Thursday, 8 October 2009

Conversations

I bumped into a lady who used to volunteer at the shop today. I just popped into town to deposit a cheque and grab some milk. I don't go very often, and even less by my self.

I always got on ok with this lady, sheesh, I always got on with everyone who worked there, I'm not the sort to not get on with someone for no reason, life is too short. Anyway she's about the same age as my mum but can be rather caustic and blunt at times.

This lady sent me a notelet, not a condolence after the loss of your baby card but a notelet with cute woodland animals on it after we lost George telling me it was "probably for the best". Those words back then upset me immensely. For days. I had many conversations with this lady in my head where I told her exactly what would have been "for the best" for us and our son.

Still, I chatted with her, I'm a nice person you know and I don't care much for conflict. I filled her in on why I wasn't going back to that job with those people. She told me about a friend of a friend whose daughter had been born 8 weeks premature and died after surgery to correct a problem with her stomach. "It was all for the best". Ahem. She then mentioned that our loss had probably been "for the best" too. And so, taking my cue from her own bluntness, I told her.

George was perfectly healthy up until his death. The big anatomy scan a week before we lost him showed up NO problems. He was normal to ahead on his growth. He was moving around normally, he hid his face and then flipped over to wave to us. The relief after that scan had been immeasurable; I'd spent the previous night on a ward with women far more pregnant than I listening to a couple of them going into labour and then being wheeled away. They sent us for the anatomy scan, I stopped bleeding and they sent me home. A week later my waters broke and his cord slipped from my body. George died because something in MY anatomy went wrong. I told her that I disagreed with her strongly. Losing our son had never ever been "for the best".

I felt as if I was defending my son's right to his own short little life. And you know, even if there had been terrible problems, even if he had been doomed from the start, even if we had chosen to end our pregnancy to spare him a painful existence, none of it, NONE of it would have ever been "for the best".

I think she might cross the road next time she sees me. Which would be a shame, because she has been one of the few people to even mention our loss. And quite honestly, I relished the chance to say the things I said, and I would have enjoyed "educating" her further.


24 comments:

  1. Good for you. I'm glad that you set this lady straight.

    Next time someone tells me that 'it was all for the best' I am going to try and emulate you and tell them that actually no it most definitely was not. Such a stupid thing to say really. xo

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  2. Bravo! People really have no idea, no clue whatsoever, that their words actually hurt instead of making us feel better. I long to take some of your courage and shove it up my own grandmother's ass the next time she asks me "Aren't you over that yet?" , instead of hanging up the phone and crying over her insensitivity. Best thing I've heard all day Barb....Hugging you

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  3. You gave her a gift, that was a compassionate, kind act that you shared your pain and heartache, your love of your beautiful son.
    For the Best, Eff Off is what I'd like to say!
    Oh, Barbara, I am so proud of you, and so sad that Morons abound. ((Hugs))

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  4. I'm so glad you "educated" her and set her straight. I hope she heard you and now knows never to say such stupid things.

    And regarding the notelet-reminds me of a card I got from a good friend with a photo of a smiling ape on it, because "I'm sure you're sick of condolence cards." Um, no, I'm not actually, because my son died and a condolence card is the proper thing to send. Sheesh, some people...

    Sending you love and remembering George always. xo

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  5. Good on you, Barb. George dying will never be for the best. Never ever.
    Stupid woman.

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  6. My instincts say she will not avoid you. Perhaps she will remember forever that everything that happens in this world is not for the best and that it never helps a grieving parent to be told that his/her child died and that was for the best. I have spent much time educating a few people who are willing to talk to me about my baby, and surprisingly they are still in my life.

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  7. good for you! you held yourself in much more grandeur than i would've. your son's death was never for the best. i would've smacked her.
    xxMB

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  8. Good for you, I think putting her in her place was "for the best." Maybe she wont be so quick to dish that line out to the next poor babylost momma who crosses her path.

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  9. Barb, you should be proud of yourself for standing up for all victims of this woman's insane opinions of what is best in the world. Let's just hope it sunk in and no one else has to be told what deaths are acceptable to her and which are not. It just sucks that she put you in a position to feel in defense of your beautiful George. With love.

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  10. I am so, *so* proud of you. I'm not sure that I've ever been presented with such a blatant statement like that. I'd like to think that, if so, I'd have the courage to reply the way you did. Of course I don't know. . .

    What you said took courage and strength, and I just hope that she realized that. And, with your words, your validated your sweet boy's life.

    Nothing. None of this. No way you can twist the facts. Was for the best. He was beautiful and perfect, and I wish he were here.

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  11. Barbara,
    I think that what you had to say is such an honour to who George is and was - a beautiful, whole baby. May others understand it more and more.
    Ruth

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  12. Good for you Barb! It's sad that we have to dignify our children's lives to others. I remember my (then) husband telling one of his friends that 'actually , it would've been better if it hadn't happened at all' after his 'it's for the best' comment. Levi died 21 years ago. It saddens me that as a society, we haven't become more compassionate in 20 years...

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  13. Well done Barb. For empowering yourself and for telling her how it actually is. Never for the best. For the best of who??! People are just amazing how they use these little 'sayings' without actually thinking about what it might mean!

    xxx

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  14. Yay Barbara!!! I am so proud of you. I know you said this for George, but I think it speaks for all of us, for all of our babies who left too soon. xx

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  15. Well done Barb, George would be so proud of you - we all are.

    xxx

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  16. I agree with the poster who said that you gave this woman a gift. She needs to know that saying stuff like "it's for the best" is not just hurtful but wrong. No matter how unhealthy the baby is, I seriously doubt that a grieving parent would agree "it's for the best". Thank you, on behalf of all the parents who endure that comment.

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  17. Ditto. You really did the right thing by just being straight-up honest. I hope I learn a lesson from this post, because I'm horrible at confrontation or even being forthcoming with things like that. I always think of the best things to say later on.

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  18. well maybe next time she has to write a 'note' she won't be such a moron.

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  19. OG, and I also dream of replying to this kind of comment with a wide-eyed, innocent, "Why's that?"

    As in, "It is probably for the best, dearie."

    "Oh? Why's that?"

    Are they really going to say, because your daughter would have been retarted, or have health problems, etc? Which, makes me wonder how they know these things, since my baby was perfectly healthy before she *accidentally* died in my womb.

    Like, is it 'for the best; if a baby falls down the stairs and dies? OR is a terrible accident and tragedy? I think we know the answer to that one.

    ok, sorry, ranting taking over!!!

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  20. Well done Barb. It takes gumption to do that. I imagine George cheering you on too.

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  21. Well done, especially with his day so very soon in this month. I don't know how you held it in that long. She has to know that it hurts people when she says things like that.

    Thinking of you daily...xoxo

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  22. You are so brave. A courageous mother of a beautiful boy. Thank you for sharing your strength.

    "for the best"
    "everything happens for a reason"
    Phrases like those turn my stomach!

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  23. Good for you, Barb. I always feel I have to defend my baby's right to her short life. The end of a child's life is NEVER for the best and I applaud you for saying so. xxoo

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  24. You are so right Barb.

    I hate those words..... Maybe its for the best. They have come from my own mothers mouth a few times over the past few years and I tell her each time... Its never for the best.

    Thinking of you Barb... al the time :) xxxx

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