Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Losing a child - How insensitive can society be towards us mothers?

"Death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between 
being taken and being missed, lives are changed" ~ Mitch Alborn

It has taken me a while to write about this. I wanted to wait until I was less upset and until I calmed down. When I was in court the other day, I bumped into my junior (well I think she is my junior because her face was vaguely familiar and I have seen her masa my LLB Hons days).

Mind you, I wasn't close to her at all. Definitely not close enough to be friends, or even as a facebook friend. I couldn't even remember her name. She looked at me and screamed out on the 5th floor lobby of the Kuala Lumpur Duta Court "OMG, I heard you miscarried, so kesian!!!"

It was like it was the most normal way of greeting a person you rarely see and barely know and who have been through HELL and back these past few months. In public, loudly, in full view and hearing of everyone. Naturally I just froze, and began to get visibly upset. EVERYONE and I mean everyone went quiet.

After I managed a pissed off retort to which she replied rather rudely to me, I just did not see the point in responding and walked off to run off to the ladies to stop myself from bursting into tears in full view of my other brethren on the 5th floor lobby.

What is wrong with these kind of people? I don't understand. Can't she just ask quietly if she was so curious? Why does those kind of words have to come out of anybody's mouth?

And one word in that sentence pissed me off beyond measure. She said (or screamed out rather) that I 'miscarried'.

I did not miscarry. Does people know what miscarriage means at all? Or what it is that happened to Akif? Let me enlighten these people:-

Miscarriage :- Spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently and is the most common complication of early pregnancy;

Stillbirth : - Occurs when a fetus had died in the uterus. Most stillbirths occur in full term pregnancies;

Neonatal Death : - Death of a baby born alive within first 7 days of life.

What I experienced was a neonatal death, Akif meninggal tidak lama selepas dilahirkan. He was 8 months, almost full term. I did not miscarry.

Faham tak?

Somehow people think that if it is a miscarriage, it is normal for a mother, so you are supposed to get over it quicker or something.

Then they say something utterly stupid like 'buatlah anak baru'. I mean what the heck does that mean? Like my child was a pen or a bag which I lost, that I can replace just like that? No one child will be the same as another. That kind of statement does not make me feel better at all.

And then she said something else in her response to my retort. She said 'get over it'. Don't you think I would like to be over it? Don't you think that I do not wake up everyday wishing that I do not feel like a black hole exists in my heart which only Akif can fill? Don't you think I would want to go about in a day and not feel like a knife is stabbing my heart everytime I see another mother holding, hugging and kissing their baby? Don't you think that I want to be over all that? Do you think I purposely want to feel that way?

And I hate it when people say this to me, and yes there have been people who have said it to me time and time again. 'Janganlah bersedih, bersedih itu tandanya tak boleh terima takdir tuhan'. Is that really what grief is all about? Is it really about me not being able to accept that Akif is dead, buried and gone? I am at peace with the fact that little Akif is gone. That he is waiting for me in heaven. That he misses me as much as I miss him. That he wants to hug me as much as I want to hug him. That he wants to smother me with kisses as much as I want to smother him with mine.

I know he is in a better place. I am glad he did not have to suffer. But my grief does not come from the fact that he is gone...unlike so many people think or presume...my grief comes from the fact that I miss him so very very much and there is nothing I can do to make that go away. Have you ever gone outstation and left your kids behind? Do you have sleepless nights thinking about them wishing you could kiss them goodnight but you can't because you're so far away? That is what I feel, every day about Akif.

And I am struck by fear sometimes, so much fear that it cripples me. I am afraid that if I am not being the best muslim I could be, I will not be able to meet him on the other side. Call me crazy but that is how I feel. I am afraid that Akif is in heaven and that I will go to hell and I will not have a chance to meet him. Or be with him or make up for the time that I have lost since he is not here with me in my lifetime.

This is the truth of the matter.

I just wish people can be supportive for the sake of being supportive. I just wish people can treat me normally instead of giving my sympathy looks. I just wish people can leave me alone in my grief.

This is my burden to bear and I will bear with it in my own way. 

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