Validating my child’s life.

Well…………that conversation did not go all that great.

We had a family funeral to attend this afternoon. I met my parents there as I came from work. After the service, we were greeting people as they were leaving. A woman from the community asked me how many children I had. My mother speaks over me and says “None.” I looked at the woman and said “I had one child and he passed away.” I left it at that.

I realize that in her own way my mother was trying to protect me from “the conversation”. Having said that why am I an a$$hole because I was real about my feelings and told the truth.

She said in our conversation this evening that she ran into the same woman at the mall and she apologized for asking. If she had known she would have never asked and did not mean to hurt me. I told my mother “it do not hurt me.”

Mom – “Well I said none so she wouldn’t ask any more questions.”

I responded “Mother. I live with this everyday. Everyday someone asks a question. It hurt when you said I had No children. I have a son.”

She then argues with me. “No, you do not have any children.”

I said “Yes Mother, I do have a child. I do not have any living children. There is a difference. Do you or do you not have a grandchild?”

“No, I do not.”

I responded “You do not have a grandson?”

“Yes, in the cemetery!”

This comment was meant to incite anger in me. But.. I responded “Well that means you do in fact have a grandchild, he just is not living.”

She is angry now. “Well I just will not speak. I will talk to no one…..”

Blah blah.. Like this hurt and anger is about her… I responded “Mother, am I not allowed to be truthful and express that it was hurtful to me and my feelings. We cannot have an adult conversation about this?”

She ended the conversation.

Each of us must decide on our journey how we are going to handle questions from people in regards to our children. I do not set up to cause someone discomfort because I answered a question truthfully. At the end of the day, it is not my fault that society does not and cannot handle the truth about upsetting things. At the end of the day. If someone asked me a question. “How many children do you have?” I will respond “One.” If they push and ask their name. I respond “His name was C.” That usually ends the conversation.

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4 responses

  1. I’m sorry your mother could not hear you. You have a son and have every right to say so, of course. Your chosen way of doing so is very gracious and respectful of Carter. It is so unfortunate that we do not raise people knowing how to face grief and loss with the dignity and respect they deserve.

    Our two-year old now knows to say “I’m sorry” when his “what happened?” question is answered with “x died and y is sad about that”. We did not teach this response deliberately. I’m not sure we have even modelled it because most of the loss our child has witnessed to date has been within our own family. I’m sad on

    June 11, 2014 at 7:15 am

  2. Sorry… I’m sad on one hand because at two we should not have such familiarity with loss and grief. But on another hand I hope that empathy and compassion carries forward as our child grows up. If we were not honest like you are about loss, grief, death I don’t believe this would have happened. To me, you are doing this the only respectful way you can. I’m just so sorry you must answer the questions in the past tense.

    June 11, 2014 at 7:20 am

  3. First, I am so sorry that you are in this situation. You do not, in fact no-one, deserves to have there son die.
    Second, I am so proud of you for telling your mother how you feel, and that you do have in fact have a child. I can only imagine how difficult that conversation must have been.
    It seems weird to me that you’d have to explain to her that you have a son, but everyone grieves in there own way, and unfortunately your mom is grieving in a very different way from you, which just makes things so much more difficult.
    I think it is great that you answer any question about kids honestly. I think your son and you deserve as much. It sounds like you handle that situation in a very respectful way which allows you to be honest and reduces the discomfort of the person who asked. And, they did ask, and by asking, they deserve the truth, even if its not the response they expected.

    June 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    • Jo

      Thank you. It means so much that someone understands.. Goodness knows my emotions and feelings are all over the map!

      June 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

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