When people say:
"Mazel Tov" or "Congratulations" upon seeing Mo
"You seem to be doing so well"
"I'm so glad to see you" when they haven't seen me since Max died
"How is work?" or similarly, "What's new?"

I think that what they really mean to say, but can't bring themselves to is,
"I am SO sorry that Max died.  This couldn't have happened to more undeserving people.  I hope that you never know pain like this again".



rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

I am trying not to read into things as much now as I used to. (It's good in theory anyway...) With the "congratulations" bit, it could be a "I am so glad to see something positive happen to you" or it could be a simple reflex, something you say to a person when you know something good has happened to them.

I would like to think that they mean that it couldn't have happened to more undeserving people and that they are glad to see you happy and hope you never have pain like that again.

Last spring, a family that I was very close to lost two of their children in a fire. I have communicated with them sporadically since then. When their insurance money came in and they were able to purchase a modular home and have it constructed on their new property, I wrote them and said "Congratulations! Do you have anything new going on?" Because I really wanted to know. And I really was happy for them. After the deaths of their childrena nd fighting with the insurance companies and having to sleep on people's couches, I was truly happy for them that they could start building something new, although I also realized that it would never be the same for them and that this new adventure would be riddled with heartache. But, I guess in my own way I WAS saying, "I am so sorry your little girls died. This couldn't have happened to more undesrving people. I hope you never have pain like that again." And I meant it.

Jaydens Mommy said...

I think when you hear these words - Congratulations- from another berevead parent is a different understanding in so many ways that is genuine because althought we are all in different situations and circumstance we know they know the "pain". If it comes from someone else that doesnt bother to see us, say anything, or never aknowledge our dead children or our pain its hard to believe how genuine they truly are. In the past few weeks we attended a few gatherings and saw friends we dont see often but were there when Jayden left. They said Honey we are so happy for you guys. We know this baby will never replace Jayden. The people that never aknowledge our sons death or thought that because we have our girls loosing our son it could not be that hard. And said congratulations, I wanted to smack them and in my rage I wanted them to feel my pain for a day. Kira

Susan Ireland said...

I seriously doubt it. Most people haven't experienced a traumatic loss, and generally have no idea of how difficult it is to come to terms with.

rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

Agreed. And those fools who felt like it was "safe" to come back into my life now because I must be "fixed" with a new baby and everything can just kiss my hiney.