Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Acknowledgement

American Heritage Dictionary: Recognition of another's existence, validity, authority, or right.

Dictionary.com Unabridged: recognition of the existence or truth of something.

Wordnet: a statement acknowledging something or someone.

I'm tired of people not acknowledging my children. When I say THANK YOU . . .thank you for mentioning what happened, thank you for calling them by name, thank you for admitting that they were once here . . .I mean that. I'm tired of some people in my life, people who are supposed to love me, not acknowledging the existence of my sons. When people don't ever mention them, it's like pretending they weren't valid or important enough to admit they were ever even here. When people refer to them as "your babies," it's like they can't admit that my children have names and are real, genuine people, just like everybody else.

The first day Jim returned to work after Sawyer's funeral, a woman said to him, "Come on, smile! It can't be that bad!" And she knew what had happened! She had sent a card of her own and signed a card at work! It can be that bad!

For Jim and I, what happened to Sawyer is still very strongly present every day in our minds. Last night I spent hours thinking about his baby registries, how I picked out everything just for him. I thought about the NICU, and the feelings of hope I had when he was there. I just knew he was going to make it! I joked around that when he was older, he might be a little ornery and spoiled, but how could we help it when he had been so strong and struggled against such odds? I think about sitting in the family room, snacking on crackers, waiting for the shift change to be over. I think about the little lockers they had to lock your stuff up for the day. I should still be there right now!! I should still be going to visit him, and to provide nourishment for him.

For other peope who were there, who were a part of it, it's like it never happened. Maybe a dream, or some distant recollection they have. I can't believe it! Though, as I told Jim, can I really be surprised? The same thing happened after Brian died.

If you ever start to think that you're sparing someone pain by not acknowleding their loved one, or some other stupid cliche like that, STOP! It's sad that I get support and love every single day from people I have never even met, but nothing from some of the people who actually met Sawyer, who came to see him, and who knew him and loved him. How could they hold his hand and not remember what that felt like?

For those of you reading this . . .you aren't the ones I'm talking about, obviously. So I will tell you again, and I will keep saying it: Thank you. Thank you for acknowledging the existence of my sons upon this earth, and the importance of their lives.

I have been thinking lately that if people would just stop worrying about vain things . . .how skinny or tan they are, what kind of shoes or clothes are the "coolest," how much jewelry they have to show off to the world . . .maybe they would be real, just for one moment. Maybe they would feel things as deeply and be impacted as profoundly as I have been, not only by my own grief, but the grief and tragedy of others as well.

Probably not.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Amy and Jim,
I also feel this way. At one time you had a Bereaved Parents Wish List on your Blog with a picture of Brian and I think that said it all. I actually copied it and sent to to family and friends, I wanted to post it at work too but thought that that would be a little overboard. I think you are very strong and admire your strength.
Love,
Amy Naasz