Telling the Truth

November 8, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Grief | 6 Comments
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Someone very close to our family (especially the twins) recently had a miscarriage.  She was 14 weeks.  The twins knew that there was a baby in her tummy.  As in the past, I tried to honestly explain to the twins what happened.  It does not always work.  I simply told them that the baby is no longer in her tummy.  I braced myself for 1,000 questions.  There was only 1.

“Where is the baby?”

Excellent question.  Where is the baby?

Trying to keep it simple and find the words that their 4-year-old minds can relate to, I responded, “The baby is playing with Sawyer and Jake.”

No follow-up questions.  End of discussion.  For the moment.

Every time the twins have seen our family friend since that day they ask about the baby.

“Are we sure that the baby is not still in her tummy?”

“Where is the baby?”

Sometimes out of the blue I will be reading bedtime stories and one of the twins will point to my stomach and ask if Sawyer is still in there.  I explain the best I can and keep on reading.  It is painful for me and our family friend to explain why our babies are no longer with us.  The twins, on the other hand, are not phased by these questions.

They are just observing.  (Just like the time in a public restroom when they were loudly counting the number of black people and white people in the room. No negatives.  Just counting).

They are double checking the facts of the world as they know it.

It is difficult to explain the unexplainable.

“Death cancels all but the truth.”  Proverb


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  1. You are such a great mom lanie. xo

  2. How do you explain something you don’t understand? I have no idea. Your warmth, love, patience, and especially the great way you honor and remember Jake & Sawyer will undoubtedly give Fletcher and Alyssa the best foundation for a wonderful life.
    Love, Amy

  3. Out of the mouths of babes…if only their innocent questions had simple answers.

  4. Children are so innocent and so honest. My husband and I own a beautiful “planet” by the reknowned glass blower Josh Simpson. Every time my grand daughter visits she points to the glass piece and very seriously tells me “that’s where Poppi lives now”… why she believes this is beyond me – but you know, perhaps she is right – he now resides among the planets and stars….

    Blessings to all of us as we seek the unanswered questions.


  5. Oh, Lanie, dear –
    If death truly cancels all but the truth, I fear you may have short-changed Fletcher and Alyssa with your assurance that the three babies are together and in a good place. If only you could believe that, you might have an easier time to accept your babies’ fates. I wish you much strength. I think of you with love.

  6. I think death and a change from being to not being is fascinating at this age generally too as well. I actually have an easier time with the death questions of my four-year-old son than his investigations of his number of siblings (having a 10-month-old brother who had a stillborn sister). That I still can’t really answer to satisfy him.

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