Have You Ever

Have you ever had to think about what you would say for your child’s eulogy? Have you ever had to sign your name on a paper detailing what you want done with the body they left behind? Have you had to decide what to do with the bedroom they’ll never sleep in again? Have you boxed up clothing in sizes they never got to wear?

Have you ever been recognized in public as the lady who’s baby died? Have you had to wrestle with how to answer when asked how many children you have? Have you had someone decide your child’s story deserves a trigger warning? Have you traced the lifeless features of your baby’s face? Have you wiped your tears from their cold and stoney skin? Have you felt the stiffness of their death in your arms?

I have.

What would you say? What would you do? How would you survive?

You’re one of two kinds of people. The kind that can’t fathom our trauma. Who tells me you’re hugging your kids tighter as you comment “sorry for your loss.”

Or you’re the kind that thinks you know, thinks you can imagine how you would or wouldn’t react. You think you have a place casting an opinion or judgement when you come across another’s story. But you cannot possibly know because you couldn’t have possibly imagined what it means to answer yes to all of these things.

Unless you too, have. And the truth is, we don’t want you to. We don’t want you to ever have to feel even an ounce of this pain. We just want you to consider us and the fact that we have to.

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