February 12, 2011
I learned something new a couple of days ago: You don’t have to like people just because they’re going through the same thing.
I belong to this support group that has been really, really helpful. Everyone in it has lost children to SIDS. Some lost theirs last month while others did years ago. Everyone is more or less at different stages in their grief but they all seem to understand what each person is going through.
There are some things that I don’t agree with. At times, the religious conversations can get a bit much for me. The anniversary of the child’s death is referred to as his or her “Angel Day” and this makes me a little squeamish because I don’t like to think of Toby as being an angel. All of the “I’ll pray for you”s sometimes makes me squirm, too, because I feel weird by reciprocating with an “I’m thinking of you.” Anyway, that aside, it has been helpful.
There is one person in the group, though, that I just don’t “get.” I’m not sure why they are there. They don’t offer anything that I see as relevant and instead seem intent on pointing out things that others are doing that they personally find to be “wrong.” I don’t get that. Just because you don’t understand why a person would be doing something a certain way doesn’t mean that you get to try to make them feel bad for doing it that way. This person seems to be more focused on letting people know why they should change their ways than looking for support and if that’s the case then they need to go elsewhere.
I would really like to be more detailed, but this blog is easy to find and I don’t want to stir up any more trouble. Other people seem to be able to say whatever they want to. I, however, do not seem to have that luxury.
The other night, Pete got to thinking about people and how they have treated him and been disloyal to him and he got angry. The next day, something similar happened to me.
I find it really ironic that when people do something to YOU they somehow turn it around and not only make it YOUR fault but put all of the weight of their actions on you as well. I’ve decided to blame some of this on having a guilty conscience.
I get random e-mails and messages from people giving me a laundry list of reasons as to why they haven’t been in touch, come out to see us, or whatever. I’ve heard things like it’s football season, it’s basketball season, I don’t have gas money, I’m sick, I started a new job, I’m really busy, my father’s sick, it’s snowing, it might snow, it snowed yesterday, it might snow next week, it’s getting dark, it IS dark, I don’t know when you’re going to be home (because, obviously, I get out soooo much), etc. Now, any one of those sounds like a pretty good excuse. When used all together, one starts to get suspicious. When sued by a person that you haven’t seen in, oh say, 6 months, YOU start getting suspicious.
What’s really weird, though, is when those things come from people that you didn’t even invite over to start with. When you just get random messages from people saying things like, “Well, I’ve wanted to come see you for the past few (days, weeks, months) but (it snowed, I’m sick, my dog’s sick, etc.) SO PLEASE UNDERSTAND AND DON’T GET MAD AT ME.” Ummm…okay. And who are you again?
Occasionally, when I have felt really bitchy, I will actually say something back to this like, “Well, I’m sorry that you’re sick/broke/stuck/depressed but I haven’t seen you in five months…” Of course, this really pisses them off. Mom actually had someone write her on Facebook saying that the reason they had stayed away was because they felt “animosity” coming from us and that their dad had had a stroke in December. Well, I am very sorry about their father having a stroke in December, but how did that explain September, October, November, and January? Oh yes, and where were they when my mom had a stroke last fall? Not to mention the fact that I didn’t see them at all during my pregnancy with Toby or his subsequent birth and death.
Sometimes, it makes me really depressed when I think about things like that. There were people that were around the first few weeks after he died and then we never heard from them again. Do we really not matter that much? Have they forgotten about him? Did they just do it because they felt like they had to and once the obligation was over they went back to their lives, relieved that they didn’t have to be around a child’s death anymore?
And yet, sometimes that’s even preferable to the ones that almost seemed to revel in their usefulness and use it as a means of bragging rights.
On another note, though, I discovered that while I might be slightly insane I am not the only one. I had a friend who had a baby 2 days after Toby died. Some cultures believe that it takes a soul 3 days to incarnate. So yes, there was a part of me that wondered if my friend’s baby might not be Toby reincarnated. I have never met this baby and was a little afraid to.
So finally, feeling silly, I told her what I had thought. Turns out, she’d had the same thought and had even had her own son’s chart done to make sure he wasn’t Toby. He’s not. So that’s good. Not that I wouldn’t want her to have him, but I would rather be more closely connected to him.
I’ve thought a lot about him this past week. I think about him every day but I’ve spent more time in his room lately. I really miss him.