Monday, February 4, 2013

Walking With You: Mirror, Mirror ~ The Comparison Trap

February 4, 2013 ~ Mirror, Mirror ~ The Comparison Trap

Mothers often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another.  This is a trap many women fall into.  We compare our families, mothering styles, fashion sense, careers or lack thereof, bodies, etc.  Even mothers with babies in heaven compare the way we grieve our children.  I know...sad...but we do it, if we're honest enough to admit it.  So, how can we find freedom from this?  Sharing is a start...telling the truth...admitting the struggle.  I think, then, we will see that we all love our children, regardless of how we choose to remember and honor their lives...whether publicly or quietly...with big parties or simple moments of remembrance.  Be real on this week's post, and let's free ourselves from the trap of comparing!

No comparing...but, isn't that part of human nature.  I know I have done it more times than I can count.  I have definitely compared my pregnancy, miscarriage, and grief to others.  Not that I really wanted to, but it happens.

Grieving - I know how to do this, but I have falling into the comparison trap.  I have read and saw the way others grieve and wondered if I grieved hard or long enough.

I have seen more loss in my life than I wanted to.  My brother passed away when I was 9.  My papa passed away when I was 17.  My baby passed away shortly after I turned 26.  I have also had several friends, cousins, uncles, and my great-grandparents pass away during those 17 years.  Death.  It happens.  We cannot have life without it.  But grieving.  Grieving is another story.

There is no book that describes how we should grieve.  Is it supposed to be different for each individual person?  Are we supposed to grieve differently for each person we love that has passed away?  How long are we supposed to grieve?  If we don't grieve the person who passed away, does it mean we love them any less than the others?  There are no specific answers to these questions, that I have found.  But, each individual person has to answer these questions for themselves.

My grief is not your grief.  We will grieve differently.  No matter how you grieve, it is not wrong.  It does not mean that you did not love the person.  I have learned through my personal situations that I grieve each individual person that passes differently.

My brother was the first person I knew to pass away.  I was only 9 years old.  I still grieve for him to this day, but I know he is in a better place.  He had several disabilities/disorders, which kept him from living a happy, healthy life on earth.  When he passed at only 13 years old, I accepted that God took him to end his suffering.  I knew he went to Heaven.  I know he is up there running around, playing, laughing, talking, etc.  All things he could not do on earth.

When my papa passed, I accepted that his life had come to an end.  Again, I still grieve for him, but I know that he lived a full, happy life on earth, and now he is living his eternal life in Heaven.  It was the natural order of things.  To live a full life on earth, than go to Heaven to spend eternity.

When my baby passed, I could not accept it at first.  It is still hard to this day to accept that I will not get to see his beautiful face on earth.  There are no answers to the questions that I have.  There was no reason given for why he passed.  He was just starting his life within me.  How could he be gone so soon?  I still want to curl up in a ball in bed and cry.  I still want to know why.  I still have questions.  I know that Bo is in Heaven, but I don't know why he couldn't spend more time on earth with me.

For each person, I grieved.  I loved them all.  But, I have grieved the hardest for my child.  I love him.  I miss him.  And, I have unanswered questions, which makes it even more difficult to accept that he is gone.

Honoring & Remembering - I have definitely done this throughout my life as well.  I think this is mainly where the comparing comes in.  I see how other moms remember their children, and it makes me wonder if I am doing enough.  Am I really showing people how much I love and miss my child through what I am doing?  {As I sit here and type this and read over it, I can't help but think now that I really don't care.  I know how much I love my child.  I know how much I miss him.  What I am doing is helping me heal and remember, so that is all that matters!}

Every month, and on holidays, I have done something for my baby boy, Bo.  I have a candle that I light for him on his angelversaries {month 1 and month 2}.  My fiance and I bought him a stocking and ornament for our Christmas tree.  I made him another ornament/tree topper for the tree.  This blog was made especially for him.  Originally it was a way for me to share with my family {since they all live on the East Coast, and I live on the West Coast} my progress through my pregnancy.  Now it is my way to remember Bo.  Writing helps me.  I am healing through my writing.

I also love to take pictures.  I have started taking pictures for other bereaved families.  This also helps me to heal.  I am honoring Bo by helping other families to remember their children.  I am trying to put together a list of resources for grieving families and for individuals who have suffered losses through miscarriage.

I am doing what I can with what I have.  That is the best that I can do!  That is all I need to do.

I remember my baby.  I will not forget him.  I love him with all of my heart, soul, and being.  He is and always will be my first child.  We were not able to spend much time together on earth, but I know I will see him again one day in Heaven.

Until then, I am going to continue to honor and remember him.


  1. Yes... Continue to do the very best that you can... That is all you can do! There is no specific "right" way. Feel it-- grieve...

    It's all within your heart, and no book has the answers for every individual. <3

    1. Jennifer,

      You are so right! Every person is created differently, so it is only natural that we will do things differently, like grieve. Thank you so much for your support!

  2. You are walking your walk, sister. No one else can do it the way you can. We all grieve differently, as you said...and we grieve each loss differently in our own lives. There is no right or wrong.

    You are a beautiful momma!

    1. Kelly,

      Thank you so much! I try to be! And, I am only doing what I can. Thanks again!

  3. You're absolutely right Kayla! There is no set of rules for grieving... we're all different, so it's only natural that we're going to grieve differently. Anything that helps you remember Bo or to heal or to feel comforted, is the right thing for you.

    1. Catherine,

      Thank you! Sometimes it is so hard to accept that what you do is just fine. It is nice to be told that you are doing the best that you can, the only thing you can! Thanks again!

  4. People want to put grief in a neat little package but it just doesn't work that way. It's even more difficult when the loss is a child because it isn't the order of how things should be. There def is no rules on how to do this so why do people make it feel like you're doing it wrong?

    1. Holly,

      That is exactly how I feel. Like I am doing it wrong. But, I don't think there is a wrong way. We each do what we can with what we have. That is our best. It is all we can do! Thank you!