Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is it Okay to Not Share Our Story?

In the world of baby loss, there are lots of questions and emotions around when is it okay to share our story? There are often feelings of guilt if we say we have 1 child when we really have 2 or we don't mention our angel baby. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, I think it totally depends on the situation and what you feel is right at the time.

Generally, I love talking about my boys. It's a pretty normal thing within my family and close friends to talk about Carter and "the twins". Despite the emotions and feelings of guilt, I have come to notice that there are times when I don't want to share our story. It's not that I don't count Carter as our child, because I do, or that I am ashamed or embarrassed of our story. It's more of the opposite. Sometimes I just get the feeling that the person won't understand or appreciate our boy so it feels more like I am protecting him by not sharing. 

At times, it feels like I am being scrutinized and judged based on how I react when people ask questions or we tell our story. Like maybe we aren't sad enough, or we aren't tearing up, or we act like we miss our boy enough. None of those things will ever be true. We will always miss Carter, but it doesn't mean that we cry every minute of every day (although some days we do). Some days, I don't want to be judged by my emotions or seeming lack thereof. And some days, I just don't want the looks. The looks of pity or the awkward silences. I just want to be a normal person.

The other reason is that although Cohen isn't old enough to understand what's going on now, this is his story too and eventually, in some situations it will be up to him whether he wants to share or not. We will always talk about Carter and he will always know that he has a twin, but I want him to feel like he can choose if it's something he wants to share and when. I also don't want him to feel like he is defined by being a "twinless twin" because he is, but he's also so much more than that. 

There are many times that we will share our story and we will share Carter with other people. What it comes down to is that in my heart, Carter is our boy and he always will be. We will never hide him from the world or act like he didn't exist. But, there are times when it feels as though it's all I can do to protect him and myself by not sharing his story. And I'm okay with it because for me, I know how much I love that boy and that will never change. 


  1. SO well said!! At first I felt the need to share Jonathan with EVERYONE and that caused a lot of heartache. Now I feel confident that I don't always count him like you said if there would be lack of understanding or compassion. Great Post I wish I would of read it last year:)

    1. I totally understand that Tesha, I was the same way at first. I think when it's so fresh we are just trying to process it all and one of the ways we do that is out loud. As we move forward, things change and we are more aware and familiar with our own emotions and where we are at in the healing process <3

  2. Well said. You are a great mom to Carter, Cohen and Ezra.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more! Thanks for sharing.

  4. My mom passed away away at the age of 44. To my Grandma, this was the most devastating thing to ever happen to her. I remember Grandma telling me that when her customers would ask how her kids were, she would gloss over her answer with "just fine". To her, sharing her story of loss was incredibly draining and by not sharing it at times was a form of self protection from the half hearted sympathies, judgement and even criticism. Loss is incredibly personal. And no one, other than Jesus, knows exactly how you feel.

  5. I watched an Oprah interview with some spiritual leader (can't remember who it was now), but something they said really struck me. I have not experienced what you have, and my heart goes out to you. I think what this person said is applicable in so many situations. She said that she shares her story with people who can handle it. She goes on to explain that sharing something very meaningful to you with a stranger or someone who doesn't seem genuinely interested, only serves to create more pain for you. They either will respond with something insensitive or pity - neither of which lifts you up. She says she shares her story with people who can handle it meaning those who will be sensitive, offer support, offer empathy rather than pity, who will lift you up, and who will honor your story. I love hearing your stories about Cohen and Carter and soon (but not too soon) baby Ezra. That's what is so wonderful about the preemie blog world!