I know some of you are haters. Okay. Okay. I can be a hater too. (I'm sure you all are rolling your eyes right now saying, "dang right you are".) Yes. I can be a brat sometimes. But in my defense--since this is my blog--I wanted to address a couple of issues that it seems like people "bother" me about quite often on here.
1. Why don't you tell more people (or everyone) about Joshua?
Think of all the people you see/meet/talk to on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Now think of how many of those people you actually might see more than once. Now multiply that number by 34 and divide it by .053. (Ha, just kidding.) I know that some people honor their child by making sure they always talk about him/her when people ask. That's cool. I, on the other hand feel like telling everybody wouldn't do me all that good. There's just some people that I feel as if maybe they just don't need to know. You know--that grocery clerk that I might only see once. I feel like it isn't worth their time, or mine. And sometimes they might cheapen my experience which is just going to make me feel worse than I already did. So, I have decided to pick and choose who I tell.
There are also times when I'm feeling really emotional and just plain out do not feel like crying in front of anybody that day. It basically just depends on how I'm feeling and who the heck the person is. And sometimes I just don't have a chance or reason too. Think of what it's like going to church. Nobody sees us with any kids so they all assume we don't have any. Unless it's part of the conversation I don't just randomly tell people, "Oh by the way I wanted you to know that we have a son that died." (However, I did bring it up when we gave talks in our new ward because I wanted people to know.) I'm pretty sure it will be a lot easier (or maybe not) when we have more kids. When people visibly see you with children they usually ask the question "how many kids do you have" more often than not. Then, when we do have more kids, I plan on adding Joshua to the number and letting them figure it out and ask more questions if they wish.
Sorry if that answer isn't good enough for you. Please--if you have lost a child--tell me if my response seems all that strange.
2. Why is it so difficult to find support?
For me, it's been difficult finding support. There is one support group I've heard about called "Compassionate Friends", but I've never gone. (Yes, maybe I should.) A couple of girls from my church started a support group for moms in the Phoenix area who have lost children. We try to get together every 6-9 months and go out to breakfast. I have done that twice. I appreciate that group and it's nice getting to spend a morning with other moms that I can really relate to. However, I haven't gotten close to any of those girls. I only see them once, maybe twice a year--so, it still makes it hard for me. To be honest, I don't have anyone I'm really close with that I can talk to things about. Not even family. Sad, I know. (And don't get me started on family. Not saying all of them are bad, but just don't get me started.) Every so often I will meet an old lady at church that lets me know she, too has lost a child. I'm always grateful for those moments. (And nothing against old ladies.) I appreciate all those who remember and acknowledge Joshua. Even just a note on Facebook or a text.
I have also tried to find counselors that might give me support. This is also a tricky one. It's tough finding a counselor you like, let alone one who really understands grief and what you are going through. Some of them want to understand you but when they haven't been through it themselves it's pretty much impossible.
Again, I try to make it public knowledge to those I associate with on a regular basis, hoping that if any of them have also been through a similar experience they would let me know so that we could support each other. Yes, you would be surprised at how many other people have also lost children...and then you would also be surprised at how few people have also lost children.
So for me, it just makes it difficult at times--if that's okay if I say so.