Last week I mentioned that I have been reading Standing Still Magazine, a website for infertility and infant loss. I read an article the other day that really got me thinking. It was called "The Question." I highly recommend reading the article, but the gist of it is that after losing a child, small talk is hard, especially when asked the question, "Do you have children?"
Previous to reading the article, I had convinced myself that the answer to that question is, No. No I don't have kids. No I'm not a parent. I mean, I don't have any living children in my home. That answer seemed the best because it didn't make anyone uncomfortable, and it was a lot easier to not have to explain that I have been pregnant twice, given birth once, but still, don't have any children living at home.
A quote from the end of the article:
"I encourage everyone reading this to speak your own truths and be your authentic, vulnerable, beautiful selves. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. Walking through that discomfort and sharing your heart can foster something really meaningful and beautiful. Creating more awareness around infant loss can start with us."
This past weekend I was asked this very question..."Are you a parent?" For a moment I hesitated and almost just answered, No. Then I caught myself. After reading the article, I decided that yes. I am a parent, but my son died. Although saying that makes me uncomfortable, and I'm sure it makes other people uncomfortable too, it feels good to say it out loud. It's my reality. It's part of my story. It's my truth.
Everyday I am learning how my new reality fits into the old me. Although it may not always be what you want to hear, it is always best to speak your truth.