Sunday, July 24, 2011

When the care leaves "I'm Sorry."

I know I am not the first person to ever write about what you shouldn't say to a angel mommy. Over the past year though there has been a lot of mental processing. Mental processing over the death and burial of Savannah. When you first begin the journey, you are in a state of "foggy reality." The week after Savannah passed. I felt like my mind was always hovering over my body, observing everything I was doing, I just wasn't capable of thinking of the decisions I was making. It was an automatic response. Thankfully, we had my mother there to help us with every funeral process, but during my past year of mental processing, looking back I feel I didn't make the decisions in the same way I could now if I was given the chance again.

I remember two nights before Savannah's funeral. We were sitting at the Olive Garden, after Koady's mom had flown into town. It was probably the most overwhelming out of body experience I have ever had. Everyone sat around me talking, and I literally couldn't feel my body. I was light headed and didn't feel like I was the person sitting in the chair at the restaurant. My mind began screaming. "What are you doing here? Days ago your baby died, and you are sitting waiting for your food. Every second in this casual life you pretend to lead is another second that your baby lays across town in a freezer." Those were my very exact thoughts. In my mind, I could picture myself standing and walking outside." I didn't want to sit in the air conditioning anymore because it was a cold reminder of the blue lips and fingers that now consumed my Savannah. But for every step I took in my mind, desperate for the hot air to clench the skin on my face, my physical being got heavier and heavier. I was mentally paralysed from getting up and leaving the reality that would from here on out never abandon me.

I searched inside my soul for the same "I'm fine" smile, and "I didn't just hold my baby as she died" conversations. But again this goes right along with the mental processing, I've been doing.

That same smile, those casual conversations, go hand in hand with the "It's okay" I had to muster up over two million times.

Oh, the I'm Sorry's. The absolute worst part about the after math of a deceased child. So my number one thing, that I would say don't ever say to a mother that just lost her baby?

"I'm sorry."
Any form of sorry.

I know that sounds very heartless. But think about what you are really saying, and what we are really hearing.

"I don't know what else to say."

"I am putting YOU in even more of an awkward
position because what are YOU supposed to say."

"What am I really sorry for if I think about it?"

"I don't know what else to say."

 Maybe they were just sorry they had to be there, I don't know?
Do you know how awful it made me feel to give the generic response to your generic I'm sorry, every time?

"It's okay."

{Mental Processing}
{What I was really thinking/saying.}

"Yeah sure, your sorry. Me too.
But It's okay. Why would I make it more
awkward for you, by responding with anything but."

"I'm telling you it's okay that my child is dead
I'm a bad mother."

"I appreciate that you really can't think of 
ANYTHING real to say, I wish you would have
not said anything at all..."

More than anything, a year later,
after a million "I'm Sorry's"

There's ONLY a HANDFUL of people
who I believed were really sorry.

Sorry for our loss.
Not sorry for Savannah.
She is fine.
But sorry for her mother and father
who will forever live without her. 

 Through this life lesson in I'm sorry, I've learned that statement is like a promise. You shouldn't make promises you can't keep. You shouldn't say sorry if your heart isn't fully understanding what the sorry is for. What you really mean when you say it. Following through requires effort. Actions speak louder than words. Words are useless to a mother and father who's baby's heart no longer beats. 

I started this blog a few years before Savannah was born. Then September 13th, 2010, only five days after we saw her face for the very last time, I deleted everything up until that moment. I dedicated one year to my journey through grief. A new season in a mother's life. A season we never wish to weather. I wanted to share with people that, God's love can still shine after a final breath. That you can grow and have strength through the hardest trials. That it is okay to find acceptance, and it's okay to cry. Crying, being sad, and dealing with raw, confusing emotions does not make you less of a mother. It does not make you any better or worse than other mother's in the world saddened by the death of a child. At the beginning, I sent this link to everyone on my friend's list. Family. Friends. People who were "sorry" for the death of Savannah. Most everyone took my hand and held on tight. They followed along. I knew it would be hard for some to read. I know that this life is a "tragic life." But, here is my cry. Regardless of how tragic it may seem, this is MY life. I cannot run. I cannot hide. I will not wake tomorrow and wash the death off of my hands. So for those of you, our family, who denied and ignored my asking for you to show your support...

A year is too long to feel this ache in my heart. My Savannah knows who has showed her mommy and daddy love and compassion. And those are the ones she knows love her. 

I forgive you.
I do.
I will thank God everyday, that it isn't your life. 
That you didn't get a child stripped from your presence.

But I hope one day you will take your sorry back.
And I ask that you never say to me again, 
that things remind you of our girl...
Because you never took the time, to know who she was.
Cause her mommy and daddy are the only ones who knew her.
And her life. Her stories were written here. 

We have a very strong supporter behind us.
We don't need your words to get us through. 


charis said...

it is true that people often say the wrong things, in fact very insensitive things and i know i have been on both the giving and receiving end of these types of statements. i think we are all broken humans stumbling through and often doing a poor job at showing real care and compassion.

Megan said...

It is true Charis. It is not always easy to say the right things. I shouldn't really say it's the "I'm sorry's" that were so hard, but the lack in compassion that followed afterwards. I think people should really take a moment to think about what "sorry" truly means, for every circumstance they use it for. <3 Thank you for being a positive light in the journey. Savannah knows you were one of my healing hands. :')

Auntie said...

I love you both so much and your heartbreak breaks my heart. I know I'm not always around as much as I should be, but I hope you both know I'd be there in a heartbeat if any of you need anything, I just have to know what you need. I also have to are both amazing to me. I don't know how you handled all of this like you did...well, yes I do. I know that God and family and some very good friends you met through this process is what got you through. I'm so grateful that God led you to your Angel Mommys because they truly understand where you are at and where you are going, having been there themselves.

Jackie said...

I do pray that I am not one of the ones you are talking about. You and Koady have been through so much and you are an amazing couple. I have enjoyed the journey of getting to you know during this last year.

deziann said...

I love you.

Amena's Mommy said...

Wonderful blog Megan<3 NOBODY should be taking this so personally though. It is just some pain in your heart. And I Understand that you never mean to direct it at anybody in particular. Because some people do not understand. In either sense. Love you hun

Mattie said...

I just want to hug you now. Not really say anything, just hugs...

Danielle said...

I hope that in your hearts you know that I truly was sorry for all you were going through. Sorry that I couldn't take away such heartache and pain. Sorry that I would not see this wonderful child grow up and know the great love of her Mommy and Daddy and Siblings. And selfishly, sorry that I wouldn't be able to love this bundle with all the affection that I have lavished on the other 5 grandchildren. Time goes on and even though I haven't been able to hug her up into my arms, smother her in kisses and spoil her rotten like all the rest, I have spoken to her daily, taken time to see her in every smallest detail that happens my way and to remember her beautiful little face looking at me. She will be forever in my heart and thoughts and yes, even in the tears that I still have from time to time just thinking about how precious our Angel truly was and still is in our lives!:')

Holly said...

I do agree some sorry are truly meant and some just said for the sake of saying.