Monday, August 31, 2015

Losing a Child Has Turned Me Into a Liar

I am participating in a blog hopper circle with a few other ladies. After reading my post, click on Tiffany's link at the bottom, and then follow the circle back here.


"How many kids do you have?"  
"Do you have any other children?"  
"Don't you want a boy?"

I have been getting these question since we had Emory four years ago.  They make my stomach sink now.  I had no idea how nosy complete strangers could be until we had kids.  I guess that's the price you have to pay when you have children as beautiful as ours.  :)  I never really minded answering these questions before, but losing a child has turned me into a liar.  

I feel like it's not my responsibility to go around dropping truth bombs unless the person asking is going to eventually find out about Sam anyway.  Most of the time I answer,

"We have two daughters."
"Just these two."
"We feel like God has completed our family." 

That's it, but that's not it. These are half-truths.  I want to say, 

"We have two daughters and a son."
"No, we also have a son." 
"We do have a boy.  His name is Sam.  He's in Heaven."  

But I don't say any of these things to the dude helping us with our luggage who asks, "Don't you want to try for a boy?" or the lady in line behind me at Walmart who says I have my hands full.  "Not as full as they should be," is how I want to answer.  But I don't want the smiles to change to sad eyes, the embarrassment, or the condolences, so I lie.

Living without one of your children is living a lie. Every picture, holiday, and normal day is a half-truth.  Even if it's a complete stranger that I'm talking to, I feel so guilty for not including Sam.  I know he doesn't need me to include him--he doesn't need anything, praise Jesus!  I wish so much that I could just be like Emory and Harper.  They respond truthfully when they get questions about having a brother or if they see a baby and choose to tell someone about ours.

It's important to me to include Sam because it's almost like it gives other people permission to talk about their losses.  I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have shared with us that they, too, have lost children.  Many of these people we have known for years or decades, and I never knew!

Please be mindful that there are people everywhere who have experienced infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths, and the deaths of children.  Seemingly innocent questions can really sting.  But don't stop asking!  Most of the other parents I know who have children in heaven will gladly talk about them.  We hope for opportunities to talk about our children who are no longer with us.  Simply respond to the news that someone has lost a child with, "I'm so sorry," and, "Please tell me about him/her" if you feel it's appropriate.

I love every opportunity I get to talk about this sweet face:


Click here to read about Tiffany's and my virtual BFF Jen, the end of summer, books, podcasts, and earrings.


  1. Oh. Thank you for this. Thank you for the honesty and courage your words share with us. Thank you for telling me how to respond in a way that honor's your son and how we can better love and communicate. Beautiful.

  2. I second everything Tiffany said. This blog is a beautiful expression of your heart!

  3. Great word Danielle. Thank you for sharing. Continued prayers for y'all!

  4. Please keep sharing about Sam, even to those complete strangers! My mom lost her twin brothers shortly after they were born. I was EIGHT before I knew I had uncles. The world acted as if they hadn't existed, and if I hadn't seen those sweet little grave markers in the cemetery when my great-grandmother died, who knows how old I would have been before I was told. You are walking this path so well, as are Stephen and the girls. Sam's life matters so much, and he was and is doing great things to glorify Jesus! And some day, his nieces and nephews will know all about him and jump up and down for the day to meet him in Heaven!

    1. Thank you for sharing! Yes, these tiny lives matter. It's so hard to know when to share and when to stay quiet.