Saturday, May 21, 2011

Life Goes On

My sister-in-law got married today. It was a beautiful ceremony at a family member's house on a lake. It was bittersweet to watch her and her new husband exchange their vows. There were two baby girls so poignantly missing, yet it was beautiful to see that their love for each other has endured the past few weeks and seems stronger for what they have lost. It was briefly mentioned in the ceremony, but other than that, it was almost as if they had never been.

The D&E was a horrible, painful, three-day ordeal that I can't imagine surviving, but she is a strong woman. She and her husband took a very scientific approach to this situation. They chose a D&E so that they didn't have to view the babies and there was no opportunity for footprints, pictures, gowns, anything. They donated the bodies to science and they will be buried in a mass grave in Seattle after that. They didn't name the babies or really do anything that would. . . personalize things.

My MIL is having a very hard time dealing with the way that they decided to proceed. I have to admit, it is so different than what I think I would have chosen. Not that they made a wrong choice and mine would be right or vice versa. It's just different, and again, I don't know what I would actually do in their same situation. It isn't for me or anyone else to say, it just makes it diffjcult to know how to approach her. I don't know if she wants to talk about the girls or just. . . not. I thought about getting her a piece of memorial jewelry, but. . . then, not. I really just feel stuck. And I wish I knew what to say or do. If she is truly doing "okay," I don't want to drag her back down by asking about the girls or her well-being. Then again, I don't want her to think that they are forgotten and I don't care. I have made a point of texting her at least once every day. Not something that requires a response, usually just a quick, "Thinking of you today." I also sent her an e-mail letting her know that I would be here today and down the line, too, if she ever needs someone to talk to. I am also clear that while I have experienced loss, I am in no way comparing our experiences.

In any case, today she was a beautiful bride and married a man that she loves and who loves her.


Life goes on.


HereWeGoAJen said...

Everyone has such a different response to things. I hope they are happy with their choices.

Congratulations to them on their wedding!

Kathy said...

I echo Jen's sentiments. I can't imagine making those choices, but I respect their right to do so.

Congrats to them and your family on their marriage! Continuing to send thoughts and prayers their and all of your way.

It Is What It Is said...

I, too, hope that their choices bring them peace and comfort down the line. Decisions made in the throes of grief are difficult indeed because one can not possibly know how they will feel when the fog of grief begins to clear.

And, for you, I hope you are able to navigate this in a way that honors what your SIL wants but also what works for you. Relationships are a two way street. It is a very difficult position to be in and I feel so much for you and your loss and your desires to do right by your SIL and her feelings.

Joy@WhenDoesDaddyComeHome said...

Perhaps their choices were for self-preservation; sometimes we just have to protect ourselves from a grief that is so deep we feel we'll never recover if we think it will swallow us up. I just can't imagine and it is a different approach then I would take. But I also know another couple who lost their son mid-pregnancy and didn't name him either (but they did do photos and things).

I hope it brings them peace and that their new life as husband & wife is so very blessed!

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

It's so hard...I don't think there is a "right" thing to do.