"Hey. I saw your comment about April Fool's jokes on the circumcision status before you deleted it. I've saved up these words but have nowhere to put them. I'm not brave enough to start my own blog and my heart is too heavy to play in the little fires all over Facebook. Maybe you can put this to good use. I only ask that you use a false name if you post this."
My Babies are Dead but Keep on JokingBy Marianne Wright
About a week ago, I started to see something creep into my newsfeed. At first, it looked innocent enough. I saw a beautiful graphic one day. One of those sunshine and rainbow graphics with fancy font that I'll never be able to master even after taking a slew of photoshop classes.
I put on my glasses and peered at the flowery, colorful words. This April Fool's day, remember the mothers who are grieving. Don't make pregnancy jokes!
I felt stunned for a moment, but shrugged my shoulders and continued on.
The graphics didn't stop. More showed up. Then blog posts. Statuses. Even campaigns to change profile pics all in solidarity of this message.
I have something to say to the apparent thousands of people who like this message and have shared it in some way.
You do not speak for me.
You know nothing. You know nothing of how I feel. You have no clue. You have no idea at all. I lost my babies. It was hell within hell within hell and it is still hell and you will never know what that means.
Look at you, posting your cute, fancy pictures on Facebook, telling other people what they can and cannot do in their own lives and how they should and should not feel.
Who died and made you queen of the miscarriage kingdom? What ever gave you the idea that you could collectively speak for every parent who has lost a child? What ever made you think that you could decide how we feel and how we react to others in our lives?
From what I have seen, most of you haven't even experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. And even if you have, you would still be wrong for trying to project your feelings and your opinion onto my grief.
My babies are dead. A friend announcing a fake pregnancy on her Facebook has nothing to do with it.
I held my babies and they were cold and their eyes were empty. A family member posting a positive stick photo on April Fool's can't touch the images I see of their faces when I close my eyes. God, how beautiful they were.
Do something that might actually be of assistance to grieving parents. Instead of exploiting the vast, deep hell of grieving parents, why don't you share something helpful. Sure, you won't get as many likes if you post resources for PTSD and depression. Those are uncomfortable topics that make people look the other way. You won't get big internet high fives if you remind others to take a break from social networking when they feel overwhelmed. No one will see you and applaud you if you quietly bring a meal to a grieving neighbor or hug a friend and whisper her child's name.
Stop beating around the bush here. You have a campaign and it looks good and smells nicer. It's all about looking good. You are riding on the backs of hurting parents. And worse, you make it sound as if it's for them! Judging by the comments I've seen, lots of moms are eating it up, too! They seem to really think that their grief can be defined, managed and mitigated by what other people say on April Fool's Day.
I get that. I get wanting to believe that someone else can take away the pain. I understand the yearning to feel normal again. When that half jump occurs, that millisecond where you forget what was and no longer is, then you come crashing back down into your hell again, your skin tightening and burning as your stomach falls and your ears buzz and you start swallowing desperately so you don't vomit: you'd give anything for someone to take it all away.
That's an April Fool's joke in itself. No one can take it away. And no one can make it feel worse. You can't feel worse than the worst feeling of all. When you kiss your baby's cold, white skin and put your baby into a box, no one on this whole planet can do anything to make you feel worse. Their stupid prank status is nothing. It's not even a raindrop in the ocean.
This April Fool's day, I hope to see a change. I hope to see opposition to this objectifying, judgmental popularity campaign dressed up in politically correct whimsy. I don't expect you to understand. I hope you never have to know. No one deserves this eternity. The least you can do is stop capitalizing on it.
My babies are dead. Forever. Please laugh. Please joke. Post fake pregnancy photos. Tease your significant others and husbands. Catch it on video. Please complain about traffic. And that your coffee is too hot and your mother in law too mean. Please argue over grammar. Most of all, post photos of smiles. Post videos of laughter. Share jokes and love.
Pull me out of this narcissism of slowly dying but never truly laying to rest. Remind me there's more to life than the slow, sharp tearing of my heart every moment of every day. You can't make me feel any worse, but maybe, just maybe, you can begin to fill in the endless black hell that is my heart.
Keep on joking. Someone has to laugh.