Friday, December 27, 2013

The bizarreness of Christmas cards.

I have received both thoughtful and thoughtless Christmas cards since Eva died but this one takes the cake.


11 comments:

  1. OMG Wow. That's pretty darn unbelievable. Thoughtless. Hurtful. And just wow.

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  2. What a horrible ignorant comment. I am speechless.

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  3. 1. Every fairy tale involves great tragedy and injustice: being enslaved by one's family, being poisoned by an apple, being pricked by an enchanted spinning needle and sent into a 100 year sleep. It is only AFTER and BECAUSE of these that the happy ending has any meaning. Would your youngest be a rainbow without Eva?

    2. To 95% or more of the world your life looks like a fantasy. Five, FIVE beautiful living children. Of people I know well I do not know a single person over the age of 25 who has not experienced great loss. Not one. Whether it's of a baby, a parent, a sibling, or a friend, it's painful. It's not that others don't see or relate to our loss, they do. If we are more interested in winning the "misery prize" we not only miss out on experiencing the compassion of others we miss the opportunity to offer compassion to others.

    3. Here and on Glow there are babyloss parents gleefully discussing how they plan to recycle or even burn Christmas cards from others that to not meet our standards. The fact is that someone sat down, held our families in their minds, took the time to write a personal message, and wished joy to our families. When disparage those sentiments and we hold those efforts up for public derision ... well, hmmm.

    4. What the author of this card meant, I have no idea. The message, albeit awkwardly expressed, seems to be from someone who looks at your family and sees something beautiful. I bet she did not mean to be unkind by sending it. Can you say the same about your blog post? Really? Can you?

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    1. Dear anonymous aol opaque commenter,
      1) I have also given some thought to the storybook aspect of apples, witches etc...and can see your point, although that is not what the card is expressing in the least.

      2) I completely agree that to many in the world I appear to live a fantasy. I think so too and I often express gratefulness on my blog for all my children. I have never sought out the 'misery prize'. I would do anything to not be here writing about this garbage. And I am genuinely grateful for the compassion that has come my way and for what I have been able to give to others. However I don't think this card was compassionate at all.

      3) in regards to burning Christmas cards that was really aimed at people celbrating their first christmas without their child and not having that child acknowledged at all. What do you do with your Christmas cards? Do you cherish each one or do they go in the trash. A little fire will at least give you some warmth where the Christmas cards didn't. I have kept the cards that offered us compassion and heartfelt love the year after Eva died and those that still take the time to mention her name are also kept from year to year. The others end up being used for the kids for art projects. I didn't include the signature precisely because I didn't want to hold this card up cruelly but it really is the absolute worst card I have ever received since Eva's death. According to your definition do a storybook then I'm living one but according to the cards author the intent is completely different.

      4) I wasn't going to publish your comment because I thought it was a little much and because I think it's rude for you to post such derision anonymously however I reconsidered because you obviously put much thought into what you wrote and you had some valid points that I'm sure other anonymous readers agree with. And you are right I bet she did not mean to be unkind when she mailed it, just thoughtless. But sometimes thoughtlessness is unkind in and of itself. Did I mean to be unkind when I posted it? Maybe. But it was shock more than anything and you will notice I did not publish a the signature. I have never posted a photo before of the thoughtless cards people have sent me, but, like I said this one takes the cake. Now, to you, can you honestly say this comment was not in the least bit meant to be unkind? Can you? Really?

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    2. Gosh - the grouchy anonymous reply is ruder than the original card. I'm sorry Em - at least the clumsy card writer signed her name ;-)

      Maybe the card writer did have something about the fairytale theme - all the heroines did undergo terrible trauma, before behaving like it never happened and living happily ever after. Have you watched the Shrek Trilogy - good laugh if you haven't... in one of the film Shrek proves he knows Fiona in a parrallel universe by revealing he knows she is scared of the dark after being locked in the castle - something no one is meant to know. I think maybe there is something about how the cultural norm is to brush horror under the carpet - so Snow White, after being repeatedly murdered by her step mother just goes off and marries a prince rather then seeking trauma debriefing and PTSD treatment.

      As I said elsewhere, I think the "friend" totally fails to understand your situation - and she is just expressing envy for your life. I disagree that you should hang your head in shame for feeling upset and not grateful - or that any of the baby loss moms should be sorry for burning cards that hurt their feelings. The card writer may not be intentionally hurtful, but her card represents a massive failure of empathy. I suspect she is simply someone who does not listen. People need to take responsbility for their impact on other people.

      Anonymous commentator - not sure where you live - Beirut? Palestine? Syria? Sounds ghastly if everyone over 25 has suffered some big heartache, though I guess you have quite a list of possible traumas. I honestly don't think losing a friend (you mean they die, I presume?) is anything like losing a child. Human beings are biologically built to raise their young, to be bonded to them and to make scarifices - to die if necessary. Losing a bonded child is a loss like no other - the pain is intense and the recovery is slow. Coming onto a bereaved parent's blog and saying get orff your pity party - everyone has lost someone... oh fuck off why don't you... no wonder you don't get many Christmas cards :( You're aleady off my list ....

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  4. What did the rest of the card say? Is she purposely giving you a hard time? I don't understand the "storybook life" statement unless she is genuinely trying to "get to you". Did they dare sign this? I'm so sorry :(

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    1. Cheryl, yes it was signed. No, she was not trying to get to me.nshe genuinely believes I have a storybook life. Eva's death is but a small hiccup in the overarching perfection of my life. She goes on to say their year was ok except their dog drowned and she is so so so sad but she will get another one in a year or so?

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  5. I assume this is from someone who knows about Eva and I think the phrase 'storybook life' is absolutely appalling. I'm so sorry, Em. You deserve so much better. And this is your place to vent and process: vent and process away.

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  6. I also don't know whether the card or anonymous' comment is worse. I don't know why we end up letting these anonymous shmoes make us feel bad. You feel grief and grief as deep as yours colors every single thing you do so OF COURSE you don't feel that your life is a storybook. I'm just so taken aback by both of these things. It's really verbal abuse. And the whole apple thing? There is no parent in the world who would dare to think they had a happy ending and that their child's death was part of that. We would trade our "happy" lives and match eagerly to our deaths to have them back.

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  7. I am so upset for you by both the card and the anonymous commenter. Any parent would eagerly trade their "happy" life to have their child back. Anonymous is gross. Ugh.

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  8. So sorry Em. People can say such bizarre things.

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