It has recently occurred to me that many people think that I am grieving the idea of a person rather than an actual, real person. That I am only grieving "lost hopes and dreams". He is not an idea, a hope, a dream or a ghost. He's my son, my child. The baby I carried and delivered, the child Pete witnessed me carrying and delivering. It's sickening that I would have to even assert that at all. When someone we care about dies, of course we grieve our hopes and expectations of those relationships. But we are also grieving the actual person. We miss their physical presence and their unique personality. Toren had a physical presence and a unique personality. Just because we didn't get to see them, doesn't mean he didn't. When our daughter was born, I remember her unique characteristics started to come out right away. It would have been the same with him. Even during pregnancy, we got to know things about him.
I have heard from other babyloss parents that friends and family don't think their child is a real person. I find that brutally sad. I'm not sure what the world thinks we're doing. I guess they think that maybe we're crazy or "drama queens" or perhaps attention-seeking. The worst kind of attention. At this point, three years into being his mother, I don't really care what people think of me. It doesn't matter. He's my son and that's it. I couldn't ignore that even if I thought it was a good idea.
I can take it. I can take the lack of understanding and the avoidance and the contempt. I still get angry about it, it still upsets me, but I can take it. What I can't really take is that some people are trying to delete his life, to erase any trace of his existence and say that his life had no value. That the memory of him, the spark he left with us, has no value. All because the thought of a baby dying makes them uncomfortable.
I don't know if I can keep taking that.
Dear Toren, our beloved baby, we will never forget you. It's not even a possibility. You are loved. You always were and you always will be.