Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Missing Baby Blueberry Part 2: Don't Compare

The day we found out that Blueberry was gone, I texted a friend.  She was one of few friends who knew about the pregnancy.  She also had experienced a loss of her own--only her loss was much later into her pregnancy.  I nearly cringed when I texted her about losing Baby Blueberry because, to me, her loss seemed agonizing and impossible.  Mine was tiny in comparison.  What would she say?  What would I say if I were in her position?  She texted back kind and comforting words.  And still I felt stupid.  I was grieving the loss of a tiny blueberry baby. She had to go through labor and give birth to her little girl, knowing she was gone.  I texted her back and thanked her and said something to the effect that my pain was no match for the pain she experienced.  No, she said.  Don't compare.  Grief is grief.

But I still felt guilty in my grief.  I have a healthy boy already.  Isn't he enough?  I never knew what Baby Blueberry looked like, sounded like, felt like.  I didn't know Baby Blueberry's personality.  I never felt Baby Blueberry kick.  It wasn't like I spent years with Baby Blueberry and had memories to mourn.  I never watched Baby Blueberry suffer through an illness and then die.  I never even actually gave birth to Blueberry. Who did I think I was?  I have a friend who gave birth to a son that lived only hours.  I have another friend who had a son who lived only weeks.  Those babies were held and seen and named.  My baby was the size of a blueberry.  My baby did not die under tragic circumstances.  As the doctor said, my baby probably had a serious genetic problem that was incompatible with life......I think they say that to everyone, by the way.

Don't compare.  Don't compare.  I think we are all about comparing these days. Jobs, money, kids, houses.....instagram pics.  It's a race to see who's the most beautiful, the richest, or the highest achieving...whose kids are the wittiest....who can post the sassiest comments on Facebook...who can shut down someone else in an online argument about this or that social issue.  And so then here I was comparing my loss to others.  Measuring up the loss of my baby.  How twisted is that?  I'm not blaming society or culture by any means.  I blame myself for getting caught up in the nasty game of comparing.  And it hurt me.

As I said in my last post, when I first wrote about losing Baby Blueberry I received so many messages and texts from other ladies who experienced a miscarriage or fetal demise, many of them friends.  But why hadn't I known about my friends' losses before?  I'm thinking maybe some of them felt the same way as I felt.  They were comparing.  They felt grief, pain, loss....but because they never met their baby they felt it didn't meet "the standard" for actual loss.  I'm thinking maybe most of them didn't have a friend like I had to say, stop.  Don't compare.  You lost something. You lost someone. Baby Blueberry was small and had a very short life.  But Baby Blueberry was.  And Baby Blueberry was mine.  The culture I live in says that Baby Blueberry wasn't a person. But to me, Baby Blueberry was a person.  A soul.  A creation of God. Someone I'll meet on the other side of heaven.

I'm not suggesting that everyone who loses a baby go and publicly declare their sadness as I have done....I'm doing it because there are ladies out there who need to find the grace that my friend had for me.  I'm saying be the grace for someone else.  Be life-giving! (I learned that at the ARC conference recently and LOVE IT) Don't belittle someone else's grief because you think you hold the title for "Worst Life Ever".  Validate it.  Help them through it.  And if you've lost someone...whether it be a baby or a child or a parent or a friend...sometimes it feels like no other human could ever give you the peace you're looking for.  And you're right.  Only your Heavenly Father can guide you to that peace.  But having a friend who knows what it's like........value beyond measure.

That's all.

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