Caveat: This post is intended for angel moms or others who have experienced a loss and can understand how it feels to be unbelievably and unrealistically mad at anyone. If you are reading this and do not fall into one of these two groups, please do not be offended. That is not my intention, I just am hoping to help others by being honest.
I like to think of myself and a genuinely kind and sympathetic person. I care about people, and I care about people's feelings, and I like to help people find their strengths through hard times. This is actually what I want to do with the rest of my life, and a master's degree in counseling is in my future, but that's not the point. My point is that, even though this is the kind of person I am and always have been, losing Carter triggered a piece of me that isn't those things.
Like I've said before, I have tried really hard not to have bad feelings about the whole situation. I've tried to not be angry at myself, Brandon, the doctor, my body, or God, and I feel like I've done a pretty good job. But there are times that I get mad at other people, and even though I want to feel bad about the things I'm angry at, sometimes I can't. I get angry at people who complain about (what I feel to be) petty things. Things that I'm not even going to elaborate on, because the things I get mad about are by no means easy situations, but things that I don't feel even compare to what I'm going through. Unfortunately, this is a part of the grieving process that is basically out of my control.
I get angry when people feel like their situation is the worst situation, and they take every opportunity to feel bad about themselves, when what they are going through is not the same as what I'm going through. I get angry because I feel like they have absolutely no right to complain about anything, especially to me, because I'm still grieving our loss so hard. And sometimes I feel like people don't understand that, while I care about them as a person, I really couldn't care less about their "trials."
But I've also come to recognize that losing Carter might be the hardest thing I've ever dealt with in my life, but mine is not the biggest tragedy to have ever occurred in the world.
There are some things that Brandon and I told ourselves right after we lost Carter. We kept saying, it could be better, but it could have been worse. We could have gone into labor naturally, then found out at the hospital that we had lost him. We could have lost him during the delivery. Or we could have lost him days or weeks or months later to SIDS or some other unforeseen thing. It could have been worse.
I've talked to parents who have lost their babies during delivery or some time after taking the baby home, and I always think, oh that is so much worse. And I have been told multiple times "not worse, just different." How....I don't even know. How brave, strong, fearless, empathetic, compassionate, and so many other things is that of those parents to say? I wholeheartedly disagree with them, because I feel like their situation is worse than mine, but the fact that they have so much strength in their heart to tell me that our losses are of the same weight, just different...I admire them so much for that. And I think I'll get to that point someday. Maybe. Right now, it has been twenty weeks and I still find myself angry at people who complain about things that I don't feel need to be complained about so much.
Losing an unborn child is confusing. So freaking confusing. You have hardly any memories, but no fulfilled milestones. No coming home, no first steps, no first words, no baby snuggles. But I also recognize that my loss is nothing compared to a parent who had one, ten, or twenty years with their child. I can't relate to them at all. But I just think to have that presence and memories for so long, then to have them taken away...I can't imagine. Or to see your sibling, friend, spouse or parent struggling to live far before their time should be over. I haven't had to deal with that in my life, and I consider myself lucky. I know parents who have lost teenage children. I know friends who have almost lost their spouse. And I know people who have lost a parent way too soon. I haven't had to deal with that, and I consider myself lucky in that regard.
It is really easy to let myself be angry at people who complain about their lives when they haven't lost a baby. I think to myself, oh it was just this or it's just that. It's way too easy to be mad. This is a weakness that I'm not afraid to share, but it's definitely not one that I'm proud of. However, I think that it is important to keep it in perspective. No, these people have not dealt with exactly what I have dealt with, and while they should consider themselves lucky, so should I. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. If what they are going through is the worst thing to happen in their lives, then good for them. And I mean that in all sincerity. I am thankful that I haven't been handed worse, and I should be thankful that these people haven't been handed what I've been given. This stupid club I'm a part of now is way too big for my liking; we don't need anymore moms added to it.
We are as strong as our biggest trials make us, and you never really know how strong you are until you've been handed your worst. I pray to God that this is the worst thing I will have to deal with in my life, and I know others ask for the same. But we learn who we are in the midst of tragedy. We find strength in the darkest of places that reach to areas you never knew you would need strength for. Being angry at others who complain about their lives is one area I am still working to find strength for.
I don't know if I've done a good job at making my point (or any point, really) in this post. Part of my point though is this: Angel moms, it is totally normal and kind of okay to be angry at other people and their seemingly petty situations in the midst of grief and tragedy. And actually, that statement doesn't just go for angel moms, it goes for anyone else who had experienced a loss or is going through something hard. It's okay to be angry and sad and confused. But just remember that it's not the fault of the person or group of people who ticks you off - it's not their fault your baby isn't here with you. Remember how it once felt to be naive? Remember how what you once thought was the hardest thing of your life now seems so trivial? My depression seems like a freaking day at the park compared to this garbage. You don't have to say it out loud, but I know there is a tiny, tiny part of you that desperately wishes you could be that girl again. And the bigger part of you wishes you could be that girl and have your baby with you too.
It's okay to be angry. But keep in mind that, luckily, not everyone knows your pain. Remember to keep things in perspective.