At 8:50pm April 15th 2005 William Charles Stewart was born. He was 6 lbs and 19 inches long. The cord was wrapped around his neck, twice. He was stillborn. Right now... it is 9:26pm. Two years ago at this exact moment I was flipping through a phone book trying to find a funeral home to take care of the arrangements.
I could tell the whole story again. Doctors appointment, no heartbeat on the Doppler. Cervadil, pitocin, 8 hours of labor. Exhaustion, crying, helplessness. But I won't.
Death and grief are hard enough to deal with when an older person dies. But when a baby dies it is almost unbearable. People don't know what to say. They are afraid they will say the wrong thing. They feel just as helpless.
Loss brings out the best and the worst in people. In the days after Williams passing I heard people say some of the most ridiculous things. I also heard and saw words and acts of love and kindness.
My Aunt Karen who held me as I cried and who helped bury William's ashes.
Dava Lynn who was the first to remind me in prayer that God is good.
A beautiful tribute post on Annie's blog.
The photo lady at Walgreens who sent me a condolence card signed by all the workers
My dear friend Melissa who rushed to the house to take care of Braden while I was in the hospital and ended up taking care of everything else. Meals, phone calls, picking my parents up at the airport. She was my angel. I would not have survived without her.
The ladies at MOPS who sent meals and cards, even when they barely knew me.
Military friends of ours who we had not heard from or wrote to in years... sent flowers, food, cards and calls.
Knowing that people loved you and were moved by your loss took a bit of the edge off of the pain. People who cried and grieved along with you. I was humbled by the compassion and support from so many of our family and friends. Especially the people who were touched so deeply.
I assumed that a death of a baby would effect (big or small) anyone who was in contact with the situation. I was not prepared for the people who appeared to not be affected at all. Still to this day I can't understand their actions (or lack thereof). Since I had strangers praying for me and sending me cards from across the country, it took me a bit by surprise that there would be people in my life who would pretend that it didn't happen.
These weren't close close friends mind you, but acquainta-friends nonetheless. I had been to their homes, held their babies, had them on my Christmas card and email list. I don't know why it bothers me so much. At the time in my grief I gave them the benefit of the doubt deciding that they probably were SO affected that they didn't know what to do or say...
But now two years later I am still angry. I know it sounds silly. But if I am being honest... I am angry. Why couldn't they have emailed with "we're sorry for your loss" ? sent a card ...Or when I ran into them on the street they could have at least said SOMETHING.
Their silence makes it hurt more. When the bag boy at the grocery store can say something kind and acknowledge your loss... your friends.... even acquainta-friends should too.