So, while I was making Mia dinner I had a brief thought on trying to understand why my family has been so bad at support. I want to briefly wander through it to see if it makes sense once I've had a chance to really think about it.
I asked (multiple times in multiple ways) for people to talk to me about Charlotte...to let me talk about her. They didn't. They still don't. One of the most awkward, frustrating, and infuriating experiences of my life was spending a week at the beach with my family three weeks after Charlotte's birth...and no one said anything. No one spoke her name. No one asked me how I was. Everyone just pretended like everything was fine. It wasn't.
I think that part of this is that they don't understand what I want to say, or why. I think (based on some of the response I did get...limited as it was) that people think I want to talk about how sad I am. Well, yeah, I'm sad. My daughter died. I'm allowed to be sad. That's only half of it, though. I want to talk about my daughter. My DAUGHTER. She lived, if only in me. She was loved. She had a name. She had a face. She died.
When a real person dies...and I don't mean that the way it sounded...I mean someone who was real to everyone, if that makes any sense...when a real person dies, people talk about them. They remember them. They cry for them. They reminisce about them. They don't forget them.
To me, when my family (and everyone, for that matter) doesn't acknowledge that my daughter lived and died this year, it's as though...I can't put it into words. It's not that something bad happened to me. It's that my daughter lived...and then died. It's not an event...it's a PERSON. It's a LOSS...my loss. It's like they can't differentiate the difference between the event and the person, and to ignore her existence doesn't feel like just a lack of support...it feels like a slap in the face.
It feels like they think she didn't matter...as if she only mattered to me (and by me, I of course mean me and Mike...but it would confuse the matter to use a plural word form here when talking about how everyone else acts). They care that I'm sad or upset, but they don't honestly CARE that my child, my CHILD, MY child is gone. I don't want pity; I want someone else to give a damn that my little girl, who looked so much like her big sister, who liked to kick me when Mia was taking a bath, who was so deeply loved and wanted, is gone.
Yes, I want to tell people about how sad I am. I want people to care that I am grieving. This is step one. But, more importantly, I want people to care that there is a hole in my family that a child should be filling. The world is a little darker because her laughter will never fill it. Someone should care about that.