Sunday, April 5, 2009

"The Question"

Well, it finally happened. Last night was the first time (or at least the most obvious time) that my husband and I had to answer the question "how many children do you have?" I have to say that as painful as it was, I also felt a sense of relief, peace, to recognize Nicholas as a part of our family somewhere other than in our minds.

Woman - "So, you have two boys?"

Me - "Actually, we have three boys."

Woman - "Oh?"

Husband - "We lost our youngest son last November."

Woman - "Oh, I didn't know... I'm sorry. What happened? Do you want to get into it?"

Me - Shaking head, eyes filling up... quickly. "Probably not a good idea right now, but thank you".

Followed by awkward, awkward silence.

Someone else at the table said "it is a terrible tragedy - there are a lot of people pulling for you, Lea".

A tragedy - you got that right.


Unknown said...

its so hard! I have no living children and it. I finally get to say YES to the question, but then have the hard time with what is to follow! hugs my heart is with you and your family! again we posted at the same time and had to say the same thing. Pretty much anyways :)

ezra'smommy said...

I know, the question is the hardest ever. I'm glad you were able to include Nicholas in your answer, hard as it is.

Heather said...


Fireflyforever said...

DH & I don't always answer this the same way. I say three, DH chooses 2 or 3 depending on how comfortable he feels with the questioner. That's okay, we're both just saying what we need to say to protect our hearts.

Barbara said...

"What happened?" Very few people have asked me that. It would be "nice" if more did. Even if I couldn't answer.

There are a lot of people pulling for you Lea.


still life angie said...

Good job, Lea. Honest. Kind. Respectful to you and the other lady. Right on, other person at the table, for acknowledging the silence and awkwardness, and your journey. Doesn't it just suck that this question is so complicated?(((hugs)))

alliecat said...

Yes, it's hard, and it never goes away. I came up with a standard response (what you said sounded perfect, but with no pause or waiting for a comment, just "we have 3 boys, we lost our youngest last November") - beat them to it and you get to maintain the conversation control. Then go into more detail if you want or feel you can. So glad that person gave you the chance to elaborate and the out if you didn't want to. So rare. But so great of her.

The question will always be asked, the breath catching ache of the question and inevitable answer doesn't go away but it will get easier. ((hugs)) xx

Carly Marie said...

I am just over 2 years out from losing Christian and that question is always the hardest to me.... still. My answer changes all the time. I hate saying that I have 2 girls and that is it. I feel as though I am lying. Sometimes I just don't want to make the other person feel bad or awkward. Such a hard thing isn't it.


Kyles said...

It is such a painful question. I am glad I can now say I have a child but it does depend on the situation as to my answer. Sometimes I just don't have the energy to go into detail. And let's face it at that point when jaws drop you are a bus crash and everyone is looking.

Jesse, James and Lindsey's mom said...

I know what you mean...3 1/2 years after losing Chelsea..I say 3 kids. Two that live with me, one that Lives with God. Sometimes I say 2 depending on the person asking..also to protect myself. My son (age 6 ) always mentions his sister. We are open and so is he...I have to say some are surprised that he mentions her so openly...not sure if I will understand the suprise about that one??

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