A few weeks ago I was talking to my mom on the phone and I referred to Aidan as my 'dead baby'. My mom kind of sucked in her breath and said something a long the lines of 'dead baby' sounding very 'harsh'.
I'm sorry, but what else am I supposed to call him?
I've never been one to use euphemisms. I find them irritating in their vagueness. Why not just say what you mean? I'm a direct person. I ask truthful questions. I expect truthful answers. I don't like evasiveness. Euphemisms muddy the waters. They cover up the truth. They hide it and attempt to make it pretty or into something it's not. The closest I will go to using one when I talk about Aidan is when I describe myself and others who have dead babies as those who are 'baby lost'. I think loss and lost are okay descriptors because that's generally how I feel. I feel an intense sense of loss. I have lost out on life with my son. Without him, some days I feel lost.
I remember feeling validated in my abhorrence for euphemisms when reading a book on child development. Many developmental specialists will tell you that the best way to handle the topic of death with a child is to be direct, clear and above all accurate. You should never tell them that the person has 'gone to sleep and won't wake up', or 'passed on' or 'gone away' or other such nonsense. You are to tell them that the person has died. The reason for this is that they can misconstrue anything else. "Gone away" turns into 'gone for a little while and therefore can come back'. "Passed on" is so ridiculous in it's vagueness and serves no descriptive purpose. And, the one that I personally HATE the most is "went to sleep and did not wake up". As a child I worried a lot about death. Can you imagine making death scarier for a vulnerable child by telling them it's something that comes and steals them away in their sleep? *shudder*
When I read this advice, from a developmental psychologist no less, I felt validated. I figure if the truth is good for children to hear then why should I have to gloss over it for adults? I found out in nursing school that the best way for medical professionals to tell people that their loved one has died is just to say that "your (insert relative) has died". Anything else is just window dressing.
I think I also somewhat LIKE the term dead baby. Not for what it is, of course, but for what it conveys. The term is a slap in the face. Horrific. Dead. Baby. Two words that just shouldn't go together but in this case must, and God damn it, it just cannot be glossed over.
Okay end of rant. I'm feeling a little ranty today. Aidan's due date is Sunday and I'm not pregnant by his due date. I wasn't really PLANNING to be...but it would have been nice. I had a five minute cry about it this morning...then moved on.
I love you Aidan. My dear, sweet, dead baby. I wish you weren't, ya know...dead.
How do you refer to your dead baby? Why?