I think on the surface this is easily understandable, and yet, somehow it’s something I have to keep repeating. I have two children, forever and always.
A child born subsequent to loss is not a replacement
Before my daughter existed, I used to wish I could go back in time and save my son. And now, I struggle with this. Even in my imagination, it’s impossible to choose. I love BOTH of them. And I can’t have them both at the same time.
I have 2 children: 1 living, and 1 living in an urn. It’s a hard way to parent, & I’m still doing it. I have moments, though, where I wonder if I am enough for her. Will she understand when she’s older? Will she understand what it means to have a deceased brother? Will she ever resent him or me?
Children are not replaceable. I know you probably don’t think they are…
I know you probably don’t think you can grab one baby out of a parent’s arms and then give them a different one with no consequence. (You DON’T think that, right?)
But this is what we are sometimes hearing.
When I was new in my grief, there were a number of situations where people said or did something and I wanted to respond, but I just didn’t have the words. Now that I am further out, I have put together a set of potential scripts to use in these situations.
Two years ago, I was happily pregnant and sadly naïve. I had no idea babies could die. Today, I am pregnant for the second time, eyes wide open and hopefully dreaming.
I think about “moving forward”. I think about “trying again”. These words are hurtful. These words feel like I’m trying to replace you. It isn’t possible to replace you.