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Could You Please Just Listen?

Debbie Gemmill, June 1988

Reprinted with permission

Could You Please Just Listen?

My baby has died. Please don't tell me you know how I feel. You don't. You can't. I hope you never do. Don't tell me that he's with God and I should be happy. How can I be happy when every time I go into his nursery all I see is an empty crib and toys that will never be played with? How can I be happy when my arms ache to hold him?

Please don't tell me God needed another angel. It's hard for me to understand why God would take away this little one who was so loved. Maybe I'll understand later. But for right now.... let God find another angel. Please, please, please don't tell me I'll have other children. Maybe I will... but my son was not a puppy that ran away.... he cannot be replaced.

Maybe you could just listen when I remember out loud all the things we did together... the walk, the early morning feedings, the first time he rolled over. Maybe you could just sit with me while I cry over all the things we'll never do together.

Please don't tell me it could be worse. How?

I really don't want to hear about your grandfather's death. It's not the same. Don't think my pain will be eased by comparison. Of course I'm glad that he didn't suffer, but I'd be a lot happier if he hadn't died at all.

I know it must be hard for you, but would you mind looking at his picture just one more time, we don't have many of him and I'm just a little bit afraid that I may forget what he looked like. He wasn't here that long, you know.

Could you please just listen?

Don't tell me I'll get over it. There is no "over it", only through it. Maybe you could just be with me while I take my first steps through it. Please don't tell me I should be glad he was just a baby, or that at least I didn't get to know him. I knew him before I ever saw him. He is a part of me. And now he is gone. I haven't just lost a seven-month old baby. I have lost a part of myself.

I know you mean well, but please don't expect me to tell you how to help me. I'd tell you if I knew, but right now I can hardly put one foot in front of the other. Maybe if you looked around, you could find some things to do, like taking my daughter for a walk, or doing the dishes, or making some coffee. PLEASE DON'T TRY TO REMOVE MY PAIN OR DISTRACT ME FROM IT. I HAVE TO FEEL THIS WAY NOW.

Maybe you could just listen.

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