Saturday, July 27, 2013

"That" question....

One question has started to come up more and more in my life now that I am getting out and meeting people that do not know about little Joshua.  The dreaded question: "How many children do you have?" Every "angel parent" must decide how to answer this question and there is not always an easy answer. In fact, I have discussed this at length with many of the angel moms and really, it is difficult for all of us to figure out.

If I say I have two children, it always leads to telling them about Joshua.  Now, I am no where NEAR ashamed to tell people about Joshua...in fact, I enjoy talking about him.  The problem with telling someone who doesn't know is the inevitable reaction.  The "Oh, my gosh, I am SO SORRY." Now, of course this would be the response because we are human and it really is the proper thing to say.  However, sometimes, I just don't have the energy to handle it again. I find that I am the one consoling the other person.  I find myself listening to stories about other families' losses or some other horrible things that happened to someone else because they are trying to show that they empathize with my feelings.  Sometimes, it is just a little more draining than I have energy for at the time.

However, if I say I have one, then there is always a little stab in my heart since I know there is another one.  It just brings all the feelings back to the surface of knowing that there will always be someone in our family missing.  It seems so strange to tell people that I only have one when I have two.  I have two children and nothing, not even death, can change that!  So, saying something different is completely unnatural. In reality, I feel like I am lying.

So, I go through this debate in my head over a matter of 2-3 seconds after someone asks the question. I must decide if I can handle the response I will get from someone if I tell them or if I can handle the ache in my heart if I don't.  Honestly, the answer is different every time.  Sometimes, I am talking with the checkout person at the grocery store and they ask it just to have a friendly conversation.  Then, I just don't have the heart to tell them of our tragedy and I don't mention it.  Other times, I am meeting a new friend that I will most likely see and be with again.  Then, I have to answer with the full story.  They will find out eventually and I don't want to put myself through explaining it later.

So, truthfully, I am still trying to figure out how I am going to answer that question.  It is different for every angel family and I would imagine it is going to take a good amount of time to find my perfect answer.  In the mean time, I will just keep working on it. 

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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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