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We Don’t Need To Meet Your Definition of Complete

“He needs a brother!”

“Bless his heart, only having sisters”

“Better get on that tie breaker”

I like to say “He had a brother, He DIED” , “Oh crap where’d the 4th one go?!” or “well that’ll be somewhat difficult since I don’t have a uterus anymore!“ and then cocktail party laugh my way away while they clutch their pearls.

I vividly remember being around 5-6mo pregnant with Phoenix, (so around 9 months after Sloan died) and was at the grocery store with Rowan. I was standing in the bakery section minding my business, and older man walked up to us. He pointed at my visibly pregnant belly and said “just the two eh?” And I wanted to SCREAM. I had to fight tears to politely say “Yep, just the two”. I hadn’t wanted to ruin his day by telling him there was supposed to be 3, that my second child had died only recently, that my grief was still fresh, that his question had an enormity he had no idea of. But I smiled and got back to shopping.

It took me years to be able to draw attention to the awkwardness of invasive questions like that, to have the strength and sense of humor to find a witty response that lets the person know they are overstepping.

My son loves his sisters more than can be measured, he lost a sibling before them, he knows they are a blessing. When you remark on his need for a brother, you are furthering his longing for the sibling he lost, and invalidating the existence of the sisters he so cherishes.

You never know what a family is dealing with, or has dealt with. Do better.

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