Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Big See... this is going to be a long one!

The Big C is a Showtime series in its second season. I was a fan from the very beginning, watched the premiere and every episode since. It follows the life of a middle-ish aged woman and all the quirky people in her life after her diagnosis of Stage IV melanoma. Despite the description, it's a comedy and a comedy that is pulled off quite well.

I became nervous upon seeing the teaser last week for this week's: the lead character's over the top "crazy" brother (who throughout the first season chose to be homeless and unemployed in order to decrease his carbon footprint) and the woman carrying his child (the lead character's self-absorbed long time friend) experience a miscarriage at 18 weeks gestation after finding out they were carrying a girl.

Of course there would be nerves about watching an experience close to our own play out and all the feelings it might conjure up, but more than that, I was concerned with how an "early" loss would be depicted. I was right to be concerned. Though Keely was 22w3d when she died, I loved her just the same 5 weeks earlier. Have you ever heard of a parent that loved their child slightly less the day before? Unlikely.

A lot of it I was expecting. The phrase "It wasn't even a person" stung but wasn't unexpected.

What was both hurtful and fascinating was how Sean (lead character's brother and grieving father) showed his grief. He went "off his meds" and was, therefore, acting "crazy"....

Crazy, to them, is planning and having a funeral (albeit an over the top one, complete with sushi bar and photo booth). Crazy to them is publicly complaining about how society doesn't respect these little lives (and I've already read one naive blogger's argument that that isn't true. oh please.) He even got his child's name tattooed on him (though it was on his tush). What does it say about me that I have a whole lot in common with the crazy one?

Well I believe it says that we do live in a society that doesn't appreciate life or understand bereavement and certainly doesn't respect grief.

But nonetheless, it got someone's mental wheels spinning on bereavement and as they say, no publicity is bad publicity.

The highlight for me of last night's episode was the eulogy that this baby's life had in fact, touched many in various ways and if those characters were real people, they'd continue to be amazed for the rest of their lives at how one life could touch so many without their feet touching the earth.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Day of Hope: Ask me anything!

August 19th Day of Hope: "People view the death of a baby as just a sad thing that happened. These babies that die are not sad things that happen. They are people, much loved and wanted children. They are brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandsons and granddaughters. August 19th is about openly speaking about these children and celebrating their short lives."

In honor of this day, ask me anything. Is there a question you have about bereavement or stillbirth? Is there something left unsaid about Keely? One thing I've found in common with many, many, MANY other bereaved parents is the desire to talk about their children; that desire doesn't diminish with time but people willing to listen does. Take this day to ask a question...of me, of another bereaved parent, of Google even. Or all three. Grief isn't one size fits all so you might be surprised by the differences in answers and you might make someone's day.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

what to say, what to say

It's been a somber summer. A summer of goodbyes and of remembrances. And, as always, life must continue. I don't really have a coherent post put together in my head, which is ironic because I spend much time on my daily runs authoring often lengthy posts on life and grief and just as my fingers hit the keyboard..........what was I talking about?

My parents brought back souvenirs for my kids after visiting Walt Disney World. I can always count on them to spoil my babies the way a Nana and Poppy should. With them, Keely is never forgotten. Whether it's a decoration for her grave or something for her shelf or memory trunk, it's something. This time, they brought a sparkly bracelet, full of colors and the magic of Mickey. It spurred a bittersweet conversation between my husband and myself. Is that what they might've brought back if she were alive? I thought it possible while my husband felt she might've been more of a tomboy (also possible given her surroundings ;) ) Oh what might have been...