Sunday, April 24, 2011

The worst thing you can do.

"One of the worst things that you can do to a bereaved parent is to stop using their child's name. Once they feel as if everyone else has forgotten about their child or expects them to "move on", an entire new wave of anguish takes over."

I borrowed this quote from a friend that knows my pain and misery. It is such a true and meaningful quote.  Our daughters actually died on the same day.  
I am always writing that I just want people to remember her.  Maybe I need to be more specific with people.  Don't just remember her, speak of her.  Say her name. Say it Out loud where others can hear it. 
It doesn't have be a long drawn out memory.  It could be a simple, "Megan would have liked that"  "Megan was such a sweet baby"  "Megan had such a cute quirky laugh".  Thats it.  Just one little sentence.  Then you can go on and talk about whatever you want.  I don't expect huge conversations, just a little bit of "hey, I remember."

We have all moved on.  It is inevitable, it was going to happen no matter how hard I try to hold onto the past.  She is the past, but it feels disrespectful for people to never say her name.   The only time she is ever mentioned, Is when I do it.  I often feel like If I'm going to be the only one to talk about her, then maybe no one wants to hear about her. Megan this, Megan that.  Once in awhile I'd like someone else besides Emily to bring her up.
Its easier to forget.
Its easier to keep that door shut, the feelings it might awaken.
Its harder to remember.  To remember her smile and her joy and the little stories and memories we all have of her.  
She is my daughter and she was here and she was alive and she was loved. 
So many times I will sit on the couch and just ache for someone to remember her.  To speak of her, when I sit on the couch I remember her crawling on the floor, cruising the furniture.  I can see her little face peeking around the corner.  Am I alone in this? 
Sometimes when I speak of her it feels like a dirty word.  A "she who must not be named" kind of feeling washes over me.  I mention her and in a blink of an eye the conversation has changed.  Safer topics.   Lets not mention the unmentionables. 
Its part of grief, its going to happen.  Its already happened.  It just gets lonely sometimes.  Went to the cemetery today to make sure she didn't  have  a bunch of dead crackly flowers and my heart was so happy to see someone had already been there.  Someone had already cared.
One time my sister in law texted me and asked about Megan's bottom.  Diaper rash.  Specifically Megan not my kids in general.  I saved that message on my phone.  It might not have been a great conversation but it mentioned her.  My advice about how I took care of her.  Seems silly but it meant so much to me. 
I'm going to have another baby and I can only imagine this gets worse.  New babies make everything better right?  Doesn't matter that I keep dreaming that while in the hospital I won't even hold the baby won't even look at it because its not her.  In my dream everyone hates me, "How dare she?"  I want this baby to be a boy because I don't want people to look at pictures of Emily and Megan and make assumptions.  At least with a boy, people might ask questions.
The dreaded "How many kids do you have?" question is such a crappy one.  At first I tried out the "1" because at the time it was just so much easier than having to explain everything.  I knew I couldn't talk about it without crying.  Then came the guilt.   I have 2 kids. 
So then my answer became, "I have a 6 year old and another who will forever be 18 months old."  Sometimes people asked questions, sometimes they don't.   I tried the "I have a 6 year old and 1 angel" but everyone just assumed I had a miscarriage and would tell me their miscarriage stories.  Its so hard to find the right answer, the balanced answer. 
Do you remember that time Megan did......
Is this pregnancy different than it was with Megan?......
Are you scared?.....


Amy D said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Megan made me laugh with your obgyn story. And I'm still kind of upset about my crayons. :-) stinker.

Ava's mummy said...

You are not alone I promise, I ache for the same thing, for people to say Ava's name. To talk about her, to include her in our family. Most people don't. It is so much more than remembering, I have said that so many times.

I have borrowed your quote and pasted it on the facebook page for the fundraising we are doing in Ava's name. I hope it helps people to realise how important it is to speak our children's names. (I also hope you don't mind me doing this!)

I can't offer any wise words about a new baby but I too am pregnant and am finding it hard to understand how I can welcome a new baby into our family that is not Ava. I so want it to be her but I know it won't be.

I wish you a peaceful and uneventful pregnancy and I hope that people do start talking about Megan. She sounds like one amazing and beautiful little girl. xx

BellaSteph said...

I just wrote something about this. How it seems as everyone has forgotten my son, Gavin. Yesterday which was Easter not one time did anyone say his name. I seen the pictures you posted of your daughter Megan and she is so beautiful and sweet. I know all the pain you are going through. Being pregnant again and not really knowing what to feel or how you are going to react is so hard. I am having the hardest time remembering when I give birth it won't be to Gavin.

I hope that if you remind people that hearing her name brings happiness and does not upset you that they will start to talk about Megan more often.

Diana Doyle said...

Sending a hug to you Jenny!

Its really hard when life moves forward and people don't mention our angels.

No-one ever mentions Savannah's name anymore...I think they think it will upset me, or that I've forgotton, but you never forget or stop missing them...

There is so many difficult emotions on this journey, that never stop...your new bub will probably open a new wound however will also bring you joy as our bub did after Savannah died.

One reason I enjoy blogging is becasue I get to write of my little girl who is no longer here and say her name....its comforting.

Diana x

marisa said...

I wish that I could jump through the computer screen and give you a big hug. Megan is real, and she is loved and will never be forgotten. I am trying to speak of Isabella as much as possible as well. I feel like if I can keep speaking of her she will never be forgotten. I did not attend Easter with my family yesterday but I was told that they had a large picture of her on the firepace and purple flowers on each table(purple is the colour that represents the disease that took her). I felt some comfort that she was being though of of that day but I hope that she is thought of and spoken of everyday. Looking at Megan's pictures that you have posted I can see what a beautiful, happy and sweet girl she was. You are a great mom and I am sure when that precious baby is born you will love it with all of your heart. I am thinking of you and Megan.

michelle said...

I feel the same and sadly it has only been a month and half after Jacks passing and most have already moved on which makes me feel so alone in my pain as well. It is because of Megan and her sweet stories and sweet face thats why I made a blog for Jack in hopes he would never be forgotten, Megan really has made a difference especially to me and to Jack

Lidia said...

Just wanted to tell you that even though I don't know you or your beautiful daughter personally you two have forever touched my heart even though the only time I have seen her is on your blog. Megan was and is a special child of God and will never be forgotten by me. Wish you the best, God bless you.


I had a hard time with this also - I would find myself bringing up his name whether it had to do with him or not...

"Before Beck..." "After Beck..."

I think people have FINALLY gotten the point that I LOVE talking about him and LOVE even more when someone else brings him up!