Monday, January 5, 2009

Please people try to remember a child died

I am mortified by the criticism that the Travolta's are receiving right now. I know that their beliefs are well let's just say less than conventional, but they are their beliefs. Beliefs are things that we as individual view to be valid and true. Beliefs are as individual as people are and just because we don't understand and/or agree with them doesn't mean that they are wrong! Again they are beliefs NOT facts and aren't a matter of right or wrong. I am disheartened that so many people are focusing on the issue at hand--the Travolta's lost a child, which is by far the worst thing that any parent could endure.

I lurk on S.M.O (a surrogate message board) and periodically post. I saw a thread about how sad it was that the Travolta's son had died, so I went to read it. I was left feeling ill. The OP of the thread had great intentions and seems heartfelt and sincere, but very quickly others hijacked the thread and started insulting the Travolta's beliefs. Some of the women even blamed them for their child's death. It was horribly sad and disappointing for me. I generally consider surrogates to be among the most compassionate, understanding, and empathetic, so these posts were extremely disappointing to me. I decided to speak up as a baby loss mama and let these ladies hear my thoughts. Here's what I said:

My heart just breaks for the Travolta's. Losing a child is something that no parent should have to go through! When your child dies your heart literally feels as though it's shattered into a million tiny pieces. You feel empty and lost. You don't know what to do or where to go. Life after the death of a child is strange, unfamiliar and lonely. The grief journey is never ending and filled with many unexpected detours. I know because I am currently traveling this road. It's quite disheartening to think that so many people, specifically parents (including many of you), are criticizing this grieving family right now. Try just for a second to imagine what they are going through. The lack of empathy I'm hearing from women who I've considered to be very empathetic is sad and completely disappointing. If you haven't lost a child (and I hope none of you ever have to know this pain), then you have no idea how horribly difficult it is. Some of you say you'd die if you lost a child and in my experience you certainly feel like death is a better alternative than the overwhelming emotional pain of losing your child, but somehow, someway you take each day minute by minute. You try to put one foot in front of the other and walk forward. However, the walking is difficult and you need to lean on others to help you navigate in this new, horrible world. Please try to remember this and show respect to the Travolta family by sending your condolences, sympathy, and love!

Unfortunately my thoughts were completely ignored. Now I'm furthered saddened. I just hope that none of these horribly judgmental women ever have to go through what I've gone through, what many of you have gone through, and the nightmare that the Travolta's are currently going through.


Lisa said...

First, let me say good for you - not enough people stand up for what is right - regardless of what belief system is in play. It must be a horrible time for them and my thoughts go out to them.

I really do not know what makes people tick - I am sorry that you had to be exposed to that sort of insecure, hate spewing, useless and horrific rhetoric.

Lost in Space said...

The stupidity of people ceases to amaze me. They often miss the big picture. Bottom line is they loved their child and did whatever they thought was best for him. I wonder if these same women enjoy having their parenting skills and choices judged.

I'm glad you responded and am sorry that your response was glossed over. Many hugs.

m said...

So proud of you for responding! I happened to catch this story in my local paper online and I too was totally shocked at how the comment section got hijacked by people ready to blame the parents, blame their religion, say their religion was better (no, my religion is better...) I was shocked at how things turned for the worse so quickly.

And yeah, I am getting a little tired of some (well-meaning) folks who keep saying, "if I lost my child, if I were you, I would just want to die..." Well, guess what, sometimes I DO and you saying that just implies that your love for your child is so much greater than mine.

Sometimes people don't realize that continuing to live is the best memorial we can give to our babies.

Perhaps no one responded to your message. That doesn't mean it wasn't read. You never know how you impact others. Good for you for trying.

Duck said...

People are weird, and those message boards sometimes bring out the worst in people.
It is awful, it sounds like their son had an illness for a long time and it's sad that he is no longer with them.

Lisa said...

hey niki - I just watched the video montage again that you put together for Myles - if it makes it too hard, tell me to shut up - but I cried and I remain in awe of your strength and courage - you are really amazing.

SMK said...

Hi Niki

I TOTALLY AND WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE WITH YOU! My heart just breaks for them. I sent them an email trying to express my condolences... A child died and it is totally being missed. Good for you to say something. I am really upset that people just won't let them grieve in peace. We all know all to well what losing a child is like and they deserve their privacy. I keep waiting for the day that someone makes a law against papparazzis. My hope is that although your message is being ignored... at least it is making them think!!!!!! Take care of yourself!

Rebecca said...

I wholeheartedly agree, with you and with everything everyone here has said. People's beliefs shouldn't be attacked, especially when they're going through the hell of losing a child.

I'm sorry your response fell on deaf ears. Maybe like a previous poster said, they read and didn't respond...perhaps they were shamed into silence. We can only hope.

Heather said...

I think it's great that you spoke up on that message board.

People can be so, so clueless.

Wewurtskihit said...

Unfortunately you will always have people who are ignorant and ill-mannered. All they have in life is to bitch, whine and complain.

It is the nature of human's to be that way - unfortunately. Can you Imagine a world where EVERYONE loves each other and accepts each other for who and what they are? I cant!!!!

All you can do is ignore those idiots (as hard as it may be) because they are so far gone down the moron ladder it would take them 10000000000 years to get back up half way!

Our thoughts are with the Travolta's in this time of loss and dispair.

Tina said...

As a SMO lurker, surrogate and a mother of a child lost I am sad that so many of them are so judgmental.. it is sad and it makes me not want to go to that board anymore this is why I lurk and not post at the chance of being attacked....Your post was perfect thank you

Kris said...

Other people always seem to be quick to judge others, especially when they have not been in their shoes. I think it is great that you made a stand on this issues. Sometimes when others hear the other side to the story it makes them realize how cruel they are.

Your post was really well written and needed to be said.

Thinking of you,

~Denise~ said...

That's too bad that people have to be like that. I admit that I've heard people around here talking like that as well and it's so sickening. Kudos to you for saying something. That took balls my dear, and you should be proud of yourself.

Elizabeth said...

I applaud you for posting. I hate that the tragedy of their son's death has deteriorated into Scientology bashing. It would be one thing if there was legitimate question about whether their beliefs contributed to his death (no medical attention or prohibited treatments), but from what I've read, they didn't, and it's just awful. I can't imagine how awful the Travoltas must be feeling, and I'm sorry that your response was overlooked.