Wednesday, November 04, 2009

the question.

I was asked again tonight if I have kids.
I'm not sure that I have a great answer to that yet.
I decided to manage expectations by answering in this way:

"Oh, [tennis opponent], this is an awkward question for me. And I don't have a good answer for it. So I'll just tell you... I have a son. Who died in April. He was 9."

[insert uncomfortable silence]

And she said she was sorry and that she was sorry that she asked the question. I told her I was sorry too and no need to apologize for asking. It is a common question.

I just don't quite know how to answer it so that I don't make the other person feel bad and so that I don't cry, awkwardly, in front of a stranger in between sets of a tennis match. The tears tend to blur my vision when I am serving.

I need to practice a better response. I'm just not certain, yet, what a better response would be.


Jenn Latino said...

I can't offer any suggestions to you-I can't imagine your pain every time this question is asked. I do know that when you share stories about Michael with others, your face lights up-your whole body! I think any opportunity to tell people about him, we are lucky to be able to listen. Thank you for continuing to share your stories with us!

Kim said...

no answer here either, but I think ANY mother is your sister and friend. You can answer the question however you want that need to worry about the person asking. Perhaps you will offer some perspective in the process. You are wise beyond your years.

Belinda said...

I have the same problem 7+ years later...."how many children to do you have?" After the first year of tearfully trying to answer the question that skewers my heart every time it is asked....I've figured out a simple solution that works for me. I answer the question 2 ways – all depending on who is asking. For someone I will spend more time with, I say “We have 2 girls and we lost our son at 6 weeks”. Which of course prompts the "I'm sorry" response and I always tell them not to be because I'm not. I tell them I was blessed to have had my angel to love and hold for 6 weeks, that God gave me that gift before he took him.
If the question is asked by someone that I more than likely will not see again or randomly at best…my response is simply "I have 2 girls". I feel I'm not leaving Kane out because I currently don't have him, God does.
You will find a way to answer in your own way. I’m not going to tell you there’s a magic cure or an “easy way”….just know that you are never alone. All our hearts are with you and your family. When you get to a new low, reach out to someone, anyone. I found talking with others in detail about my experience really helped me to patch the gaping whole in my heart. It will never heal completely but at least it’s not the raw wound it once was. One step at a time and one day at a time. You may have travel through this low valley but we all walk beside you, cheering you on.

Rebekah said...

I dread that question. It's gotten easier for me to answer without tears... but it generally always creates an awkward silence afterwards. I feel though that if a friendship is going to form it'll help them understand me from the very beginning... if not then there's nothing lost by the awkwardness anyways.