Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you about those 'Whap' moments? You know those moments when everything feels right with the world and out of nowhere you are reminded that you have a hole in your soul? Well I had one last week.
I came home from work and there were two white boxes sitting in the hall with my name on them. I don't know about you, but I get excited when I receive packages. Even when I have made the purchase and the contents are not a surprise, I still get excited!
Could the contents of these boxes hold what I think they hold? I slowly took a look at the top left edge of the box to get a glimpse of the sender's name. Yes! It is exactly what I had been waiting for. I finally received the materials I ordered to start my own local support group for bereaved parents experiencing the unfortunate loss of a baby.
At first sight, I was surprised there were two boxes. "Wow, they must go all out and send a lot of materials," I thought. I picked up the first box and it was quite heavy. I grabbed the scissors and energetically sliced the tape so I could open the box. 'Whap!'
There in the box was a Comfort Cub. As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what it was. A Comfort Cub is a weighted teddy bear given to individuals who have experienced a loss to offer a needed hug and bring therapeutic healing. The national organization, along with caring donors, send a Comfort Cub to each new chapter that opens its doors. Most would see this as a beautiful, caring gesture. But for me, it reminded me of my worst nightmare.
There was no way for them to know that I was given a Comfort Cub at the hospital when we lost Riley Elizabeth. The Social Worker said they give those bears to patients who lose a baby so they have something to hold since they can't hold their baby. There was also no way for them to know that I took that bear and angrily placed it on the top shelf of my hospital room closet and never looked at it again. I didn't want to hold a substitute for a baby, I wanted to hold MY baby.
There will be times when someone will do or say something that they truly believe is a heartfelt, warm gesture that will remind you of your pain. In those moments you will have to honor yourself by acknowledging your feelings of grief and loss, while also not holding the other person accountable. The intention was good and their heart was in the right place. This could be an opportunity to share more of your story with them and extend an invitation for them to join you on your grief journey. We are not meant to walk this path alone.