Friday, May 1, 2009

Blue Friday

It's one of those days when I feel blue. My heart is heavy today as I think about all of those who live with infertility and loss.

I have been thinking about how people respond to the pain of others. What is it that drives us to reach out to someone who is hurting? Is it a shared experience that we may have had before, moving us to reach out and tell them that we've been there? What are some reasons why we don't reach out sometimes?

I think some reasons are:
1. Because we think we won't know what to say or how to help. We're scared to try, for fear that we might say the wrong thing. Maybe they are going through something we know nothing about or have never faced ourselves. We would rather stay silent than say the wrong thing.

2. Because we don't think we know them well enough to "intrude" on their grief. How well do I have to know someone to tell them I'm sorry for their pain? Can it be a friend of a friend, or a family friend's daughter? Will he or she think it's none of my business?

3. Because we're too busy as it is. We have enough problems to handle today. We may think, "How can I be there for someone else if I don't take care of myself? Besides, I'm sure she has friends and family who will be there for support. She probably doesn't need me."

4. Because we are too wrapped up in our daily lives to notice.

I hate to say it, but I have been guilty of all of these things at one time or another.

It is definitely true that going through infertility and recurrent miscarriage for many years has made me much more aware of and sensitive to the pain of others. This sensitivity carries over many times to those who are struggling with entirely different problems as well. Still there are times when I fear I will say the wrong thing, or I don't think I know the person well enough to reach out, or I'm too caught up in my own issues to even think about someone else. I know that we can't always be available, and this is not about feeling guilty about that. I simply want to do the best that I can.

When you are struggling, you need to know that someone cares and that someone is standing with you. Maybe that's why it is so hard to hear all of the questions, suggestions, and unwanted advice right then. You just want genuine support, love, and prayers. It doesn't take a lot of words or attempts to "fix it." Just care, plain and simple.

There's a girl that I kind of know in real life. I used to work with her mother. A few years ago she married a young man whose family are good friends with my in-laws. His mother played the Wedding March at my wedding. We are friends, even though I really don't know this young woman very well on a personal level. Last week she lost her baby. She was 6 months pregnant, and everything suddenly changed at a routine doctor visit. Some of the things that I listed above came into play in my mind: Should I reach out to her? Do I know her well enough? Will I say the right thing? I haven't been through the exact same experience. I know they have a very supportive family and church family. I don't want to intrude...

But then I remember that some of the sweetest blessings have come from people who have taken those risks with me. People whose lives have been touched by pregnancy loss have shared their own experiences. In some cases I've known them for years but never knew they'd lost a baby. Some sweet friends who have never experienced infertility have been kind enough to walk beside us even though it is hard, and even though it has been years and years. Some have been the parents of my friends, and some almost complete strangers to me (and thanks to this blog, so many "strangers" I now call dear friends).

I've been praying for this young couple, and I'm going to send a note to let them know that I care because I do, and I know how hearing that from a heart that is truly sincere can go a long way.


Erin said...

Stacey, you are such a kind spirit. I am sure your note will be a great comfort to them. I know that I too am guilty of not reaching out when I should. And yet, when I do make the effort it is usually met with great appreciation and even relief from those I'm reaching out to. Always a good reminder that people need an extra little love or helping hand now and then. Thank you for the great blog read today.

Renovation Girl said...

I have been guilty of all those things as well. I have found that the more loss I suffer (not just IF related), the more compassionate I am and the more I "intrude" without worry. I have not once been told to buzz off (at least to my face). ;)

Amy said...

Another great post, Stacey. I think we have all been in that spot of "not wanting to intrude" or afraid we would say the wrong thing. But I have been struck over and over again by 2 Corinthians 1:3-7:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Thank you for continuing to comfort others with the comfort you've received through your own struggles. I have experienced it personally, as I'm sure many of your readers show us the heart of Jesus. Love you!

twondra said...

Another wonderful, well-written post, Stacey. I have been guilty of all of that, too. I'm ashamed to admit it. I think it's wonderful that you're reaching out to her. You're such a sweetheart and I know she'll appreciate it so much.

Love ya

beth ewing said...

what a great post. i've struggled alot with this throughout our journey. some people that i thought should be there for me were just silent and it hurt me badly. i hope it's taught me to be there for others in their suffering b/c i don't ever want to cause someone the same pain.

Life In Mazes said...

I am so glad there have been compassionate people in your life. Praying for you! Thanks for your prayers, I am feeling a little better today!

Anonymous said...

I agree Stacey, I too have found that I've become much more sensitive towards others pain because of my experience with Recurrent Miscarriages, but I also think that while this is a wonderful trait, it can be detremintal to myself, sometimes others sadness is too much to bare when trying to deal with my own pain.

Kathryn said...

One of the sweetest letters came from friends of the family where their entire family signed the card & wrote a note. I was so deeply touched.

I too, tend not to say things, even am minimal in my comments even tho i know i usually love comments on my own blog. I generally feel like what i would say doesn't matter all that much.

Someone wrote on my blog yesterday, & even tho she didn't mean it unkindly, she kind of told me to "get over" the miscarriage & loss & let it go. I wish i knew how to do that. I've been crying ever since.

Living With Loss said...

Your post was spot on - everything you said was completely right!

I am sure that this couple will appreciate you reaching out to them.

A said...

What an awesome selfless idea to send them a note. Your post is quite inspiring! And especially poingnant during this infertility awareness week!! I hope we will always be thankful for the support we find and give to/from others going through this journey

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

I think as a society, grief is definitely something we try to tiptoe around. We don't talk about death and dying as a natural part of life anymore. Thank you for taking courage and stepping out to share compassion with someone else. I always try to remember in these situations that, next time, I could be the one grieving.

And so it goes (AshaAnn) said...

Well said- i can so relate. I have slowing starting reading blogs again, but so struggle to comment- for all the above reasons.
but I just want to say thanks for your steadfastness in leaving comments on my blog- it helps with the healing, step by step.

Jenn said...

I do love you Stace. You are a wonderful inspiration to everyone you come in contact with. You are truly an angel on earth!

Anonymous said...

this is just a beautiful post. I think this is my favorite of all of them. I am guilty guilty guilty. My greatest fear is hurting someone even more, because I already have children. Who wants to hear something from someone who is holding a baby in their arms? Please shed some light on this with one of your throughtfully written posts for those who have children, but know people who are struggling with the everyday pain of infertility. You know me and I sure say some stupid crap. -Faith

Amy said...


You are such a precious soul. Your heart truly is as beautiful as you are on the outside.

I will keep this young family in my prayers as well.

This will be the last from me for a while as my surgery date is May 8th! This Friday, time has surely flown by.

I would like to speak simply from my experience of you as a person whom I have never met, yet you have made me feel like we have a budding friendship. You do not run away from the unknown for fear of your own discomfort, but to it with the hope of comfortimg another.

You have blessed my life, as a fellow human being, and as a friend. I pray for you many blessings. You are indeed a light in a very dark place for those who have suffered a loss. You always say the right thing, because it always comes from the love inside.

You are beautiful! You are blessed! You are a blessing!!!!!

Loads of love to you and yours,


Michelle said...

I agree completely. With as hard as IF and recurrent loss is I have definitely learned some invaluable lessons and one of them is to reach out to people even if I think I don't know there pain. I have been amazed by the people that have comforted me when I did not think they would even notice. I think it makes a big difference to people.

Teresa said...

No, no, no blog world wouldn't be the same without YOU! You don't even know how your words affect me and so many others. You are truly amazing mama! And I hope you're feeling a little less blue.

Amber said...

I have also been guilty of those same things, sometimes its easier to not do anything than to fear what you may so wrong.