Saturday, November 22, 2014

the taboo of stillbirth (8:30 am)

I never realized what a taboo stillbirth was. Maybe because I've never been one for taboos. Once I lost Wylie, I was amazed at how many people told me I was brave to talk about it. But why wouldn't I? Why wouldn't I talk about my daughter? My social media feeds are dripping in photos of my son on a regular basis, why wouldn't she be included? Stillbirth is something that makes people uncomfortable. It's sad, it's horrible, it renders people clueless as to how to act or what to say. (And many times they unintentionally say something cruel.) No one really knows how to talk about it and I feel like it's because they just don't.

Ethan will know that he has a sister. He will have a sister who doesn't get to grow up with him and that pain, that unfairness, that devastation -- it's real, so it will be talked about. I will never be able to justify why Wylie isn't here, why her heart was so broken. I will never be able to understand or be okay with life without one of my children. But I will talk about her. I will keep her name alive in our home. I will remember her and, at every opportunity I get, I will share her beauty with the world. If I can take the ugliness and pain that is losing a child into something beautiful that helps others, I will do it.

And one day maybe no one will ask "stillbirth still happens?" or wonder why I'm bringing it up. Maybe one day no adult will find out that they had a stillborn sibling they never knew about so many years ago. It is my hope that one day every parent who has experienced this loss will also experience the freedom to remember their children, to talk about them, to feel compassion from the world instead of isolation.

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