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I Don’t Have to be Grateful

I’m human, and sometimes words hurt. But it’s so frustrating that the thoughtless words of some stranger on the internet can ignite such a visceral reaction within me. This morning, someone told me to “be grateful” I could “even have children”. That I should feel “lucky”, and that some “aren’t so fortunate”.

One of my children died. HE IS DEAD. I’m pretty certain that is 100% worse than any other experience in my entire life. It affected every single cell in my body. If I’m being frank, how dare someone try and tell me to “be grateful”. All the thankfulness in the world isn’t going to bring my child back from the dead. It cannot undo the trauma of holding his cold and lifeless body in my arms.

Telling me to feel “lucky” is so demeaning and dismissive. I’m painfully aware, every single second of every single day, that things can change in an instant. Of course I don’t take a single second with my living children for granted, I live in fear of losing them too.

My entire life is a balancing act. I am forever teetering between the world in which my living children exist, and the one in which my dead child doesn’t. I am allowed to hurt. I am allowed to be enveloped in my trauma once in a while. I should be allowed to talk about these things without being made to feel guilty.

A child that I birthed, held, and love, exists only in a tiny urn on my dresser, and the memories that cause my tears. I will spend the rest of my life without him. My living children’s beating hearts don’t negate my pain over my dead child’s cremated one. Throwing around patronizing reminders to be thankful for what I have is directly invalidating my experience.

It’s okay for me not to be okay. It’s not okay, for you to judge me for it.

One thought on “I Don’t Have to be Grateful Leave a comment

  1. As always, beautifully written!!

    Some people don’t realize just how insensitive their words are. My mom always said, sometimes it’s best to just let it come in one ear and then straight out the other. I can imagine it’s gotta be hard to ignore these comments sometimes. But if I have learned anything about you in the past two years of following your story, it’s that you are a resilient and extremely strong woman. And on top of that, you still choose to live your life with grace and kindness, even though some people are mean and hurtful with their opinions.

    I hope you will continue to find ways to honor your little boy’s memory, and may you find healing along the way.

    Stay strong, stay kind, stay resilient!

    P.S. You look amazing in the photograph, by the way. But you always do!!


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