It’s come up more than once that many parents of SIDS victims are so sensitive that others must walk on eggshells around us. That we can’t take jokes, nobody can ever say the right thing to us, and we read into every little thing.
There are some people that are just trying to be helpful. With those comments, you take them with a grain of salt. You can see the person searching for the right thing to say and it just doesn’t happen. It comes out all wrong.
I find this a lot with the older generation. On more than one occasion I’ve had an elderly man or woman express their sadness at my loss but then follow it with “He’s in a better place” or “The Lord knows best.” While I might not agree with those things I figure that even if they don’t believe it themselves it’s something that they think you just say in these situations. I usually just smile and nod.
Then, there are those people who really try and think they’re saying something good but they’re not. As with the experience I had when I tried to talk to a friend about my dreams regarding Toby as a toddler. Her story about what she tells her kids regarding how babies are made was not appropriate to my situation. But she tried.
The comparative ones generally get a pass, as long as they’re talking about child loss. If they’ve lost a child as well and share their own stories then that’s fine. That’s how we relate to each other a lot. There was one woman in my support group that lost her baby at 2 weeks old and seemed to move on fairly quickly. She lectured a lot of us about how we needed to do the same. It was weird and a lot of us didn’t agree, but at least she was sharing her reaction to a similar experience.
If you’re comparing my loss to the loss of your father/mother/grandparent/child with a disability/pregnancy/dog then it gets shady. All of those might be sad and have their own set of problems but losing your elderly aunt is not the same as losing your child.
It’s the ones that seem to be trying to teach you a lesson or offer unsolicited advice that are the hardest to take. When I want advice I ask for it. (And I have.) I guess you could say that if you post your story publicly you are kind of asking for it but who knows.
I try not to pick apart what other people say too much anymore. I can’t go around mad at everyone. There are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed, though.