Throat. That's how I fill in the blank but two of my sassier girlfriends have used other more imaginative parts of the anatomy to complete the mad lib. I've struggled to write this post. Mostly because I've read a lot of articles titled "What not to say to a grieving someone" and can check off nine out of ten. Also, I try to stay away from telling people what to do because I almost never know what to do. And lastly, if you are reading this you may have said one or more of those things to someone. Gulp, even us. Again here comes a choice. I choose to believe people are good, kind-hearted and well intended. Anything and everything said to us after our baby died was meant to comfort. I wanted to share some things I found helpful and a little hurtful.
Two weeks after Pipes died, our friend Jen, asked me if anything made me feel better. It caused me to dig deep, waay deep. I have never felt like her death was my fault. Yes, there is guilt and sadness but I worked very hard to provide a safe, happy house for Piper. In the coming weeks I held fast to that thought. It's terrible but not my fault.
If it wasn't my fault whose was it? A difficult thing for me was when people named our creator. "It was God's will". So I don't know a lot of things and in this case the answer to that. When I get to heaven I'll try to remind myself to ask him but I'll probably be having a dance party with Piper so I may forget.
The dreaded "at least". Any comment that begins with an "at least" is especially hard for me. 'At least she didn't suffer' or 'at least she didn't have brain damage' makes me feel a little woozy and at times violent. 'At least's' are like playing with fire. It leads me on a slippery slope of playing out sad scenarios. I cannot change the ending so why indulge.
But for me the hardest is when I've been met with silence. Like time just skipped a beat. Like I had been smuggling a watermelon rather than carrying our girl. I am guilty of the silence. A friend of my husband lost a child later in pregnancy, and I saw this woman frequently after their loss and you guessed it---I said nothing. I told myself it was because it would be too painful for her but in reality it was too uncomfortable for me. It's a messy, tragic thing to loss a child at any stage in life. To lose anyone ever but even more so not to acknowledge their life.
I am thankful for the brave people who navigated some painful encounters. Including those who might have suggested it was the all mighty's will. Because in my book for what it's worth: something was better than nothing. It mattered and we noticed.
Rest easy Piper Kai.
Piper Kai Bennett
I will scream, sing and share her story may it be short. Our only child was born still at 36 weeks secondary to an umbilical cord accident. This is our journey about choosing life rather than existence.