Saturday, October 23, 2010

Faces of Loss Monthly Topic: October, Masks

I am pleased to be part of a large community of babyloss moms (on the internet).  You can read about other mom's triumphs and tragedies at my favorite BLM site, Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope.  (and you can read my story here).  Although I wish none of us had to be in this club, here we are - and together we are stronger.

Anyhow, each month the Faces of Loss team puts out a topic of conversation.  And here is the one for OctoberAs Halloween approaches and you start thinking about costumes, are there (figurative) "masks" you sometimes put on?

 Oh good golly!  This hit me like a swift kick in the butt.  I like to think I don't pretend for anyone, and I don't just say 'I'm fine' when on the inside I'm a mess.  But, alas...  I do.  I very much do.  I try very hard not to let other people's comfort level dictate whether or not I'll talk about Rowan and/or Levi...but it often does.  Many people cannot deal with the fact that babies die.  Many people (some who are very close to me) still refer to me as 'having no children.'  So, yes, I wear masks.  I put on the mask of the happy-go-lucky girl I've always been known to be...and I go out and about.  I plaster on a smile when I see you coming with your pregnant belly, or your tiny baby.  I save my tears and frowns for a more private time.  I put on the mask of 'friendly concern/care' for you as you tell me how 'the baby won't sleep more than 2 hours,' or 'my clothes don't fit anymore - HAHAHA - LOL'.  I save the raw emotions for a later time...

I'm not sure why I do this.  I think even people who haven't lost babies put on masks all the time.  There are many reasons to pretend to be something other than what you are truly.  But, I hate it.  It only makes me feel bad, because I seem to be the only one who knows.

Sigh.  So, yes, I put on masks.  But I'm learning about taking them off and stomping them to dust so they can never be put back on...


butterflymom said...

I wish we could all just be ourselves...that everyone could be that way, but I think we live in a society that wants us to put on a "good face". People want to see happiness...not pain or grief. It's what makes them the most comfortable. So, I think that's why we do it. We do it to fit in...and hope that it works until there is a time to let it go and take the mask off. Hugs to you, Amanda. Glad you are doing what's best for you.

Toni said...

Oh dear sister, I can relate. For years, I was forced to put on a mask to guard my heart. I carried the burden of infertility (a burden, btw, that God never chose to lift, but I have since chosen to release, if that makes sense?) I served as a moderator for Hannah's Prayer and through that, have come to know (and care deeply about) the many ways we experience infertility and loss. How hard it can be to come to terms with God's big question, "Am I enough?" Daily, I had to surrender that to Him. Daily, for years. And I wore my mask to guard my heart from those who didn't "get it." Just wanted you to know I understand your struggle to leave the mask behind.
p.s. GREAT music on your blog, btw.

Holly said...

It's hard sometimes to be yourself around people who don't understand what life without your child is like.