There’s a thread on the messageboard of the online support group that I belong to called the “Bite Me” thread. It’s a place for other parents of SIDS babies to vent their frustrations. Some of them are funny, in a sad sort of way. Some of them make me angry. (Not at the poster, but at the people that they are venting at.) But most of them sound familiar.
I can’t share any of those, of course, because they’re private, but I added my own two cents and thought I would expand on it. So as not to leave it too negative, though, I thought I would also end with a “thank you” segment because I think in the long run there really has been more positive than negative. So, here goes…
To the person who said “at least he was just a baby so it’s not like you had a long time to get attached to him”, BITE ME.
To the people who get on here and read this, not because they care but because they have some sort of sick fascination with me and my grief (yeah, I’m looking at YOU, Orlando), BITE ME.
To the people who should have been supportive but instead just caused more grief, BITE ME.
To the people who didn’t hesitate to jump onto me whenever I tried to defend myself and my family yet made excuses for the person doing the attacking, BITE ME.
To the people who give me laundry lists as to why they don’t call/come around/write, BITE ME. You gave those same excuses when I was pregnant and again after he was born.
To the person who said that God is just “testing” me, BITE ME. I’m sure he can come up with better ways than that.
To the person who hasn’t made any attempt to visit me or talk to me, except to offer to bring me books and brochures, BITE ME. How about just trying to be a friend?
To the people who don’t contact me just to talk, see how I’m doing, or hang out, yet persist to give me medical advice and add their two cents as far as my healthcare is concerned, BITE ME. I wasn’t asking you.
To the people who act like Toby never existed, BITE ME.
To everyone who said that I would be “fine” when I was having problems during the pregnancy, BITE ME. Guess what? I wasn’t.
To the people who claim to miss him, yet never met him, BITE ME.
To the people who say that they don’t worry about SIDS because they “follow all the precautions”, BITE ME. SIDS is not preventable. And are you implying that we DID do something wrong?
To the “family member,” and I use that term loosely, who continues to send hateful e-mails and text messages, making things just a little bit worse every day, BITE ME. You’ll be sorry one day and then it will be too late.
To the people who said, “Let me know if you need anything” and then when I asked for something said “no”, BITE ME.
To the person who ridiculed me for visiting his grave, keeping nice letters that people wrote me, and other things that make me happy, BITE ME.
To the person who wrote me a cheery “Hope you’re doing well!” e-mail four months after he died (without contacting me at all any time in between), BITE ME.
To my “best friend” who hasn’t seen Sam since he was 7 months old, never met Toby, and didn’t even come to the visitation or funeral, BITE ME.
To the people who brag to others about everything they have done for me, BITE ME.
To the “friends” who supposedly came here with “unconditional love” and then placed conditions on everything we did or said, BITE ME.
And now, for the thank you part…
To Laura who, when everyone else said I would be “fine”, urged me to go to the ER because I probably had preeclampsia, THANK YOU. She was right and if we hadn’t been vigilant, he might not have survived his traumatic birth.
To the paramedics who valiantly turned on the sirens and worked on him all the way to the hospital, even though it was obvious that he was gone, THANK YOU. Even if it was just for show, I appreciated the seriousness that you took.
To the nurse who sat in the room with me until Mom and Pete got there and cried, THANK YOU.
To the staff at the hospital who left us alone with him for hours, THANK YOU.
To the woman who came up to me in the lobby and hugged me and prayed, THANK YOU.
To Kendall Clark, former superintendent of Wolfe County and friend, who sang the songs at the funeral even though he had just learned them the day before, THANK YOU.
To the funeral home who only charged us their overhead costs, THANK YOU.
To my Aunt Fran and Uncle Ray who drove 32 hours to be with us, after just making the drive the week before, THANK YOU.
To the friends that took a week out of their lives and practically moved in with us to make sure that we had food, groceries, and clean bathrooms, THANK YOU.
To the people at the Gathering, many of whom we had only met once before, who sent cards, messages, and donations, THANK YOU.
To the friends who drove a long way to come to the visitation, THANK YOU.
To the friends, family members, and total strangers who sent monetary donations for his funeral and tombstone, THANK YOU.
To Melissa Allen, who held a yard sale to raise money for us, and then took me to get my hair done, THANK YOU.
To Pinnacle View Bed and Breakfast who gave me two free nights after he died so that I could recuperate, THANK YOU.
To all the people who got up and spoke at his funeral, THANK YOU.
To the random people who find my blog and send me nice messages, THANK YOU.