At first all I could feel was pain.
Pain of abandonment, of being misunderstood, of being pushed to the outside edges of groups that used to welcome me with open arms.
But as time passed, I began to understand.
My story scares you. You are utterly afraid that if child loss can happen to ME, it can happen to YOU.
It CAN happen to you.
And no one wants to be reminded that the one thing every parent fears is not nearly as impossible nor as predictable as we would hope it is.
From the minute we take that baby home from the hospital, safely tucked in the approved and properly installed car seat, we assume we can control the future. We think that if we eat right, get regular check ups, cover outlets and sharp corners, remove choking hazards and stuff that little mouth full of organic and healthful treats, it’s all good.
Except no one can account for random. No one can see undetected and unsuspected genetic defects. No one can predict or protect against every way a child might leave this life before his or her parents.
But we absolutely, positively do not want to think about that.
I don’t blame you.
I didn’t either.
So I understand why you distance yourself from me. I get why even my presence in a room is sometimes uncomfortable. I am not upset that you don’t add my name to the invitation list when the occasion is happy and you are afraid I might cast a shadow over the celebration.
I’m a walking advertisement for your worst nightmare.
You can afford to ignore it-and me.
I don’t have that luxury.