October 27, 2011

How To Bring It Up

By Kaci Goodrich Uipi

I sometimes still have trouble letting people know about Joshua. I want people to know about him and  I want them to know that he is a real person! I just sometimes get anxiety over the whole thing. 

Last Sunday we gave talks at church and I thought long and hard whether or not I should say something about Joshua. I recently brought him up in a Sunday School lesson I taught, so there was already a good handful of the adults that knew about him. I definitely didn't want people to think I'm ashamed of him, or fear talking about him, so I decided to go ahead and "introduce Joshua" to the entire congregation. 

I started my talk and said I was going to share a brief introduction to those that don't know us. I shared how Salesi and I met and then said, "And last year we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy named Joshua. Joshua, however, decided that he had better things to do and skipped out a little early on this life...So he is now in heaven waiting for us...But he is a part of our family, so I definitely don't want to leave him out of the story." (I also then said if there's anything else they want to know about us they can come up and ask.)

Right after I brought up Joshua, I felt like it put a slight damper on my talk. I mean, how else do you tell people that you have a son but that he already died? I know the rest of my talk was good and everyone said they felt the spirit very strong, so I guess I shouldn't worry about it. There was a couple of older women who came up to me afterwards to ask about Joshua, and one of them told me that her daughter died of SIDS when she was a baby and would be 26 in November. That is one of the reasons I like bringing him up. I like finding other people who have also lost children.

Later at home I asked Salesi what he thought about me telling people about Joshua. He said, "It was good but you stole my line". Okay, so I did steal his line... "Skipping out on Earth early... Having better things to do"... It makes something so dark seem like no big deal so I used it. (I didn't want to scare all the kids.)

6 comments:

  1. I like your/his line. In a room full of adults I probably wouldn't have used it, but that is just perfecct where children are involved. ITs hard figuring out who you want to share your story with. You feel awful if you don't share, like you are trying to hide them away and other times if you do bring it up.... awkwardness. Tis a fine line but I made a choice a long time ago that no matter what I will share and once I made that choice I felt so much relief.

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  2. Ya I am a huge fan of that line. I dont leave Pierce out ever. I literally can't do it. The one time I have said "2" when someone asked me how many kids I had, I followed it up with "that just doesn't feel right to say." I am glad you did. It makes for less awkward conversations later.

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  3. Nicely done. I wish I could have heard your talks. You've always been a really good public speaker.

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  4. I tell people that I have four children and it almost always makes them uncomfortable. I can't stand it. I want to tell them can you please just pretend to not feel uncomfortable about me talking about my dead daughter just for a couple of minutes that our conversation lasts. I actually have to wake up everyday to the reality of having a dead daughter. I know I shouldnt feel like this but I do. I think all of us who have lost children ache to talk about them and to have other people talk about them. Hugs.

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  5. Very good way to put it. You are braver than me because I can NOT speak in sacrament, scared to death BUT I want the ward to know that we have a child that is not here...so maybe I should bite the bullet and talk. Glad that you were able to share it with the ward and they seem to have accepted it nicely.

    I love when others tell me that they have experienced similar losses, makes me feel so not alone.

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  6. I love the line and may steal it. Ha ha.

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I have never deleted anyone's comment. (Not even the mean ones from my sisters.)