Life or Death?

Deathlife

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Ecclesiastes 7:2

The Bible seems clear that we should be quick to mourn with others.

In my experience, this is not always the case. Take Facebook for example. When I post something regarding infertility, it isn’t always something that makes people feel good. But if someone announces a pregnancy, there are hundreds of likes and comments on that post.

Why is it so much easier for people to support those who are rejoicing? Are you taking the road that is easier to travel? The one that will hurt you less? The one that makes your life easier and less painful?

We all are going to die. We all are probably going to know someone who dies. What if we supported people in sadness as we do with people who are rejoicing? I know rejoicing is safer and more comfortable to do. It’s way more fun! Most people would prefer a wedding over a funeral. It’s much more enjoyable. But what if we supported people regardless of the circumstances? No matter what it is, no one feels forgotten.

I have seen many of my friends and family support families in mourning. It could be something as simple as extending a kind word on Facebook or sharing that family’s story.  Is it easier to mourn with those who have suffered a physical loss? In our case, it’s more emotional at this point. We are mourning the loss of having a child without doctors and medication helping us. We are mourning the dream that we may never be called mommy or daddy by someone I grow in my belly. There is loss every month for us. Would it be easier for people to mourn with us if they had something they could physically see that we have lost? For us, each month that passes, a dream dies. How can people mourn that with you month after month? When is enough enough?

I feel like this is a difficult situation for people to mourn with us and support us. No one knows what to say or do. Many times, I feel as though I am very clear, but people still do not deliver. Many times, I set my expectations too high. That’s my own fault. I do my best to not have expectations but it’s difficult for me so I’m often let down.

Several months ago, I had had a rough Friday. It took all my energy to push through the day. I had felt forgotten, uncared for, and unloved by so many people in my life. I felt no one had time to be sad with me because they were too busy living their happy lives. Then I got a text message from my friend Heather to let her in. She was at my house with flowers and lemon muffins. She made me feel so loved and cared for! She acknowledged my sadness while celebrating me. That is a such a special thing she did and it means so much to me.

This may sound really odd. But I’ve always thought it would be fun if someone threw Joe and I an infertility party. To celebrate what we have overcome and what we are mourning. Like, “You guys are kicking ass! Here’s some cake!”. It would be another way for people to show us they care about us and they are celebrating but also mourning with us. We throw parties for everything that is exciting and fun! We even celebrate and mourn people’s death. This feels similar to a funeral to me but no one sees it that way. I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t shy away from the sad stuff. I run to it. I want to support people there because I’ve been there and I’ve been alone. I don’t want someone else to feel that way.

Here are some practical and I think, easy ways to support us:

Share this blog. You probably have family and friends who are going through infertility treatments and struggling to have children whether you are aware or not. When people can read someone else’s words and know they are not alone, it’s priceless.

-Pray for us. We appreciate your prayers for continued peace as we navigate treatment over the next few months and next steps.

-Communicate with us. Let us know we are loved. Those of you that have reached out to Joe and I regarding my blog and our story have meant so much to us. We love hearing how our life is helping you with yours. Thank you for communicating that to us. Every like, share, comment, text, phone call, snap chat, tweet, and face to face encouragement we receive does NOT go unappreciated. It fuels us and means more to us than I could ever say. Thank you. We love each of you so much.

For more ways to help, check out one of my previous blogs:

https://lindsaymariemader.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/the-pain-infertility-brings/

I hate that I have to ask to feel supported but I understand that for many, this is brand new territory. You may not know what to do or say to help us. But I believe we can always do better and we can try harder. For us all to succeed, one must be willing to speak and the other willing to listen and act. You may not need someone’s support today. But one day you will. You have an opportunity everyday to build into someone’s life. One day, they might have an opportunity to repay you.

My hope is, that through this blog, Joe and I feel more supported, you are better equipped to help others walking the path of infertility, and I am able to help at least one infertile person feel less alone on their journey.

 

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11 thoughts on “Life or Death?

  1. Good reminders Lindsay. And you are LOVED!

    I think one possible reason is that the announcement of a pregnancy, an engagement, a graduation, or even a death is “event-based.” In other words, something “happened.” It may be hard to know how to support someone dealing with infertility because there is no easily recognizable “event” to those on the outside. Many people who lose a loved one have support in the beginning, through visitation, funeral, etc., but even then after a while that support during mourning may taper off. In your situation, you begin the mourning over every month, but we may not know (and I’m not sure how to fix that).

    And you’re right, people often just don’t know what to say. Does bringing it up cause greater pain than not asking? What’s the “right” thing to say?

    So, I agree with you, support you, love you, and hug you. Keep sharing your story and making us aware of ways we can support and love those who walk this journey.

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    1. Thank you John! Love you too!
      I agree. An event is helpful in the mourning process.
      Not asking is more painful for me. I appreciate when people bring it up. Mostly people asking how we are and asking what they can pray about is helpful.
      Thank you for all your support! It is so appreciated!!

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  2. Having “been there,done that” for so many years, I can relate completely. I love the way John Waldo put it. It’s hard for folks who have never been touched by infertility -either personally or through the experience of a loved one, to understand. For some, they think that the ” event” was when you were diagnosed. ( and since you know now, you grieve for a while and move on.) Some don’t see an ” event” at all, but rather see it as a disappointing knowledge. Like “I’ll never be an Olympic athlete….bummer ” again, grieve for a while and move on. The truth is, for a couple still seeking pregnancy, there’s an ” event” of tragic loss every month. It is a death of a dream; a dream that starts over with every cycle. For couples who are continually working to have a family, it’s the same agonizing loss as miscarriage. Over and over and over…The pain/ face of Infertility changes over time. It didn’t stop me from my dream of parenting. But now as I watch my daughters get older, I am grieving the loss of being able to share their future pregnancies from an experienced perspective. They will need to turn to their Mothers-in-law or other women in their lives for advice or with questions . That closeness with them is one more thing it has stolen from me. Folks on the outside of this can’t know what it’s like unless we share.
    I LOVE how you are sharing your experiences and inviting others to walk this journey with you. You may never know how many folks you bless by being transparent.

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    1. I love you Christa!! You explain it beautifully! Thank you for your perspective. So thankful for you and your heart. I’m so sorry for your sorrow as well. Your story has impacted me as well and I’m grateful we have on another.

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  3. Infertility is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. The hope that you feel every month and the devastating feeling when you realize that hope is lost. The feeling of loneliness because your friends and family can’t relate to your circumstances. I always struggle with how much do I tell people do they really care or want to know? I know sharing my story helps more and more so I try to be more open about it but I usually give facts or days of appointments and leave out the really hard part…my feelings and emotions.

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  4. Lindsey,
    I think you are so brave to put yourself out there and express how you feel, your disappointment and discouragement. One thing Christians are often not good at is asking for help, sharing their struggles and allowing others to see them being vulnerable. I appreciate you being honest and asking for what you need. This helps me know how to pray for you and support you and Joe. Personally, I struggle knowing what helps and what to say…. I don’t want to hurt you, make you feel sad or offend you – I think others may feel this way too – and so we say nothing, we do nothing. By sharing like you do you have helped me understand…so I will pray for you and I will ask you how you are when I see you, I will mourn with you and I will rejoice with you. I’m so sorry. ♡♡

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  5. Your words are so important, and hit so many people who are in that hard place for long periods of time. You are right, we as a society don’t know how to do the sad as well as we know how to do the good!

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