September 24, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, normal?, twins | 7 Comments
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As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the myth of the atomic age — as in being able to remake ourselves. – Gandhi

Anger.  It is the 2nd stage of grief according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.  At the time of Jake’s and Sawyer’s deaths I do not specifically remember feeling anger.  Perhaps there was no room for anger because the stages of denial, bargaining and depression seemed to have trapped me.  However, anger creeps into my life at unexpected times.

I was waiting in line with one of the twins so that she could sit in a fire truck.  We were patiently waiting our turn.

We were in line behind a very cute girl with Down syndrome.  She was not so sure about climbing up the stairs of the fire truck.  The fireman offered to help her but she wanted to do it herself.

I asked the woman with the girl in front of us in line how old she was.  She responded, “She is my daughter’s girl and she is 8.”  I wanted to say something back to her like “You mean she is your granddaughter?”  I remained silent.  Jake would have been 7.  Would he have liked fire trucks?

My little girl began to ask repeatedly, “When is it my turn?” My silence broke to reassure her that, “It is your turn next.”

The woman with the girl, looked at my daughter who at this point was jumping up and down as she continued to whine about her turn, pointed towards her granddaughter and said “This will really teach you patience.”  And there it was – anger.  I was angry at this grandmother.  I have not walked in her shoes.  I do not know the first thing about her life but I was angry.  The voice inside my head wanted to explain to her that I too had a Down syndrome child but he died.  He died before I got the chance to learn that level of patience.  I once again remained silent.


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  1. I am impressed with your ability to remain silent, to be angry silently. That is a true talent, and one that I wish I had. You will definitely be teaching patience to your kiddos through your ability to deal with situations like that. I hope you realize the great strength you possess. -with love, Amy

  2. I am impressed too. I have not had this happen (yet), and I am not sure if I will flip out our not. Our precious Bennett also had T21 and I miss him so very much.
    One thing is for sure, dealing with a lady like that and keeping your cool (on the outside) shows that you have incredible patience. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  3. You are strong and incredible and it must have taken all your energy to keep that anger to yourself — never-mind patience, that will come. You are teaching your kids what it means to be a good person, which is far better.

  4. The ability to empathize is a great gift–one that we all should be blessed with, but on days when we aren’t (which I know is often for me) those other feelings are quick to come out. It sounds like you handled this with great patience–and hopefully you can forget the anger.

  5. this lady obviously carries a lot of anger also and her way of dealing with people is to be rude and not understand that every child has moments of excitement and all want something at the same time, your child was just wanting her turn just like this other child was probaly also very keen to have her turn. Its a shame that this lady does not have more empathy in her life. we dont know what may have happened prior to this trip and weather or not her day was not going very well. it is true that we all have different stories and different things happen to us all, however there is no need for rudeness especially to another child. well done on being so patient and holding back from saying what you really would have liked to say.

  6. I don’t often comment, but I do often read. I am truly sorry for the loss of Jake and Sawyer. As a mother of a son with Down syndrome who is only a year old I find myself hurting especially for you and your losses often. However, as my son is my third child, I can say that I have learned more patience with my second daughter than I have so far with my son or my first daughter. What that grandmother is missing is acceptance of her own granddaughter and that makes me both angry and very sad. I congratulate you for keeping silent on your anger. I myself would have blown my stack. Prayers to you and your family.

  7. […] am in disbelief that you are dead and that it has been 5 years since we last held you.  I am angry that you are not here with us.  I am frustrated that we may never know the cause of your death.  I […]

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