People keep telling me what a wonderful person I am. I gave away all of the baby stuff (besides a couple of things that I just couldn’t part with) including bouncers, swings, clothes, playmats, diapers, etc. I gave it all away for free. I just wanted it to go to a good home. I didn’t want MONEY from it. Because in some way in my mind, that would have equated to money for the death of my children. And I totally was NOT okay with that. I couldn’t bear that. I gave it all away, and I was disappointed in some of the people that I gave stuff to. Some of them were greedy and trying to get more. One showed up in an Escalade and wanted the rest of what I had (that was actually already separated for other people) and I started to get angry. But their children didn’t do anything. So still I gave it away. I don’t know their situation. So I can’t judge them. But on the Buy/Sell/Trade website that I posted the things on, everyone kept saying what an amazing person I was for giving this stuff away in my time of pain. But it wasn’t about being a good person to me. To me, it was more about the fact that Carter couldn’t use this stuff any longer. And I needed to remember that even though MY baby died and I couldn’t do anything to help MY baby, I could help someone else’s baby. I could pay it forward and clothe/feed/soothe/help a baby travel safely. Even though MY SON died, there are other sons, other daughters. It was selfish, mostly (I think).
Lately I have been frequenting this chat room for bereavement and grief (specifically for child loss). I don’t think I could face other women and see the looks on their faces and hear the pain in their voices. But the anonymity of the chat room makes it a little bit easier. They don’t judge me. They just listen. Well…today a woman came in and said simply, “I need someone to help me make it through the day.” My immediate response was, “What can I do? What do you need?” Everyone got real quiet and then someone piped up and said, “[Insert Screen Name Here] you are an amazing person. With all of the pain that you are going through, you are offering to help this woman.” And I have a problem with that…
What I did is not heroic. It’s not extraordinary. It was pretty MUNDANE. Someone was reaching out for help. She was drowning in the same sea of despair and anger and hurt and grief that I am. And I couldn’t stand back and just watch her drown. That doesn’t make me special. That makes me HUMAN.
And, amazingly, after I helped her, I felt a tiny TINY bit better. Not like…let’s go shout it from the rooftops, I’m healed better, but like…maybe I’m not alone. Maybe…if I can help someone else make it through the day with her grief…maybe I can make it through today. Maybe I really do know how to get through today.
I might be wrong. I might be deluded. It might be the medicine talking. But…I’m never supposed to give up on hope. So I guess I need to figure out how to hope again.