Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Lesson I Did Not Necessarily Want to Learn

I have a very vivid memory of leaving the hospital the day we found out that Rip was not going to make it and watching a woman walking down the street in a Santa hat. I remember turning to Parke and saying "How is she walking around like that when the whole world has just ended?"

And that was how I felt, and to some degree how I still feel. What is hard, just like that day, is that the world has not ended for anybody else. Even though Rip is all that I (and Parke, and probably the rest of our families) can think about, everyone else is getting ready for the holidays with the usual excitement and cheer.

I think the loss of a child, and maybe especially a baby, is first and foremost nothing anybody wants to dwell on. I know I used to feel awkward talking to someone after they experienced any kind of loss, probably even avoided the subject all together if possible. I also think it is hard for people to understand another person's pain. With Rip, Parke and I are really the only ones to know what it was like to see that positive pregnant test, to feel those first kicks at 17 weeks, to know that he got the hiccups every day at 7:00 am and 4:00 pm, and to know that the first moment of Rip's life was the best of ours. Even our feelings and experiences during those times are different.

I know that time (I've developed a real dislike for time by the way) will help, that this will not always be such a constant on my mind. I guess the only real lesson to remember is that everybody has something going on in their lives, and even though you may not really understand it, you can be there to help them through it.

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