Thursday, October 18, 2012

On Loss

This was my Facebook status on Monday.

October is Infant/Pregnancy Loss and SIDS Awareness month! Let's take some time to remember the babies who were born asleep, or whom we carried but never met, or those we have held but could not take home, or the ones who made it home, but didn't stay. Make this your profile status if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby. The majority of you won't do it because baby loss is still a taboo subject. Break the silence. In memory of all lost angels.

In memory of Josef Cupertino Mayerle (August 2004) and Frances Mayerle (January 2008). 

Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace. Amen.

It was lovely how many of my dear friends supported and liked this status.  It was also lovely and thought provoking to see the several friends who shared their own losses in the comments section.  The loss of a child is a devastating experience, and yet it is often a silent wound that so many of us carry.  Why is it a taboo subject?  

One of my dear friends actually related a story in which she found herself among a group of women who were discussing the loss of a pet and were equating that loss to the the loss of a child.  When she shared that she had lost her precious son to SIDS at just 5 weeks the conversation died completely.  She realized then that she had to be cautious when sharing the deepest grief of her life.

While we can grieve and sympathize with our friends and family that have experienced the death of a pet; a pet is not a human being.  Losing an animal is not even in the same realm as losing a child.  When a child dies, not only do we morn the loss of that life, we morn the loss of the hope and potential of that life. It's a life long grief with constant reminders.  It does ease over time, but it will never dissipate completely.

I guess my point with this post, and it may come across as a little harsh, but do not compare the loss of a pet to the loss of a child, EVER!  If you have never lost a child, don't feel awkward when speaking to someone who has.  You don't need to share your pet story to commiserate.  Just listen.  Give your friend a hug.  Let her know how sorry you are.  Pray for her consolation. Believe me, that is enough.
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1 comment:

Michelle said...

I do understand how a pet companion, especially if they are a part of your life for 10 or 15 years, can be missed terribly when they die...but no, it's not the same as losing a child. I have shed many tears over cats and dogs, but none had me fighting tears daily or left me sobbing if my husband dared to talk about it as I did when we lost babies through miscarriage.