Friday, June 13, 2008

Hiding grief?

A few days ago, I started reading Va.lerie Bertin.elli's autobiography. Her parents lost a baby when he was 17 months old. They had a 4 y.o. son, the 17 month old & the mom was pregnant with Valer.ie. They were visiting a family friend, the toddler got into some poison & died. Heartbreaking. Valer.ie wrote that she didn't even know that there had been another brother until she was a teen! The family didn't talk about him, all of his pictures were put away.
When Valer.ie's grandmother died, her own son was 17 months old. They were at the cemetery, she saw her brother's tombstone, realized he was the same age as her baby she was holding & it hit home - what her parents & family lost.

It made me sad, the parents having to hide their grief, to not even talk about their son. We proudly display Sara's pictures & other mementos around our house. We talk about her. I can't imagine having to hide my emotions. I'm not ashamed to cry in front of people - this is my child we're talking about. I see other people cry for less. I lurk on another message board & I often see people ask for prayers for their pets who are sick or saying how heartbroken they are after the pet dies. I'm a huge animal lover, but really, after losing a baby, I have to roll my eyes a bit. It's a dog.

My grandparents lost a son, my father's younger brother, in a car accident. We never talk about him. I think about him & a cousin who was stillborn 2 years before I was born. (I need to go put flowers on their graves.) I understand what my grandmother & aunt went through, but in this day & age, I can freely talk about my emotions, something neither of them got to do.

3 comments:

Lori said...

I'm glad we can talk freely now about these things. Times have changed. Like you, I also cry in front of people and display Logan's stuff around the house. Corban will know that he has a brother.

Monica H said...

I think it'd psrt of the healing process to be able to talk about our children and to display their belongings and pictures. Back then it was so different and I can't imagine having to hold it all in.

And I know what you mean about a pet dying as opposed to a child, but for some, that pet is their child. I would be devastated if we ever lost Autumn. She has become our child in a way. She has filled the void in many ways. She may just be a dog, but I've known her and loved her longer than I ever did the boys. The pain would never equal what it did withthe boys, but it would be gut wrenching.

Kristi said...

Believe me, I will be very sad when my cat Brody dies. I was there when he was born. He's 13 years old, he's been with me longer than DH.
I can't compare the heartbreak of losing Sara to losing any animal.