Friday, August 26, 2011

What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent: The First No-No

I'm sorry you lost your baby. Especially since it was a boy.

The First No-No came to me on the day Garrett would have been a month old. Oh, yes. As if that day didn't suck enough! I'm sorry you lost your baby especially since it was a boy is probably the only thing Not to Say to a Grieving Parent that cannot ever be softened by good intentions, emotional currency you've built up with me, or tone of voice. Now, people have tried to make excuses for someone saying something so truly awful but, really, while I get it...cultural and generational beliefs don't make something right.

I don't mean this to be a scholarly dissertation on egalitarianism so we won't go there. Here's the thing, we loved Garrett from the beginning. Had we discovered we were having a Violet, we would have loved her just the same. We were so excited to have one of each, though, to get to see what funny things our kids would do together. Autumn is such an odd mix of tough as nails and foofy as a butterfly, bubbly and anti-social. What weird mix would our little Garrett have been, raised in a family where it was just important to be who he was, stereotypes discouraged?

So, let's fix that one: I'm sorry we lost our little boy, especially since he was ours.


Insane? Yes. Inferior? No.

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