Thoughtful Thursday: There But For The Grace…

December 15, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Some of you have seen recent news stories about a woman who recently died from childbirth complications. I was particularly interested not only because of the many parallels to my experiences — infertile for 7 years, boy-girl twins from IF treatments, planned c-section because one baby was breech, severe hemorrhaging after delivery — but also because I actually am separated from her by only one degree, through a common friend.

When our friend passed along the horrible news, I scoured the website and the news articles, curious about the extent of the parallels between our lives and wanting to know more about this truly special person. And yes, some degree of lookie-loo motivation too, there but for the grace of G-d go I.

When I told DH about her and the parallels, his reaction was to refuse to listen to another word about her, horrified at the parallels, there but for the grace…

DH can stop me from talking to him about this family, but he cannot stop me from donating to help a bereaved husband and overwhelmed father of newborn twins take care of those beautiful babies.

When you see someone just like you befall a terrible fate, do you want to know more or shut your eyes and pretend it never happened?

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13 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: There But For The Grace…”

  1. Cat Says:

    I want to know more. I get sucked in. My husband wouldn’t care to hear about it, either, but not from horror. He’d just be like, “But that’s not you. That happened to someone else. Why do you care?” Sometimes he’s just that much of an engineer.

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    My life – and how I view the universe – changed forever when a woman I knew died in a bus accident; she was a fellow volunteer just a few weeks older than me where we worked in rural Bolivia. Her husband survived the accident. Until then I had felt that even under dangerous conditions we volunteers were under special protection from God (it was a religious organization), and that God was personally interested in us and our safety. After that, not so much. I totally saw myself mirrored in her life and death. My husband (who I met there as part of the same volunteer corps) wasn’t affected in the same way; I still remember the anniversary of her passing every year. I can’t pretend it never happened.

  3. a Says:

    I always want to know everything – and my husband is like Cat’s (of the “why do you care?” philosophy).

    What a tragedy. Why does anyone have to die in childbirth in this day and age?

  4. Ana Says:

    I guess a little of both. On the one hand, I wish I’d never heard about it. But once its in my head, I want to know all the details…maybe so I can find SOMETHING that differentiates this person/situation from myself and pretend that it could never happen to me.

  5. strongblonde Says:

    you know me. i need to know all that i can. it serves as a reminder that bad things can happen to anyone at any time! 😦 it totally sucks. at the very least, it helps me to learn. i try to figure out if there WERE any differences. how can i help to avoid the same fate, if possible? what was different? could this be prevented in the future? and then also-is there anything that i can do to help?

  6. Sara Says:

    I think it depends on the story. If it’s something that I could see having happened/happening to me, then sometimes I become voracious for details. But I’m often bothered at how little I am moved by tragedies that are far removed from my circumstances, such as floods and earthquakes. I don’t always seem to find the empathy that would be appropriate.

  7. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    I pour myself into research if I think it could have been me. But stuff outside of my world, I pay little attention to. I’ve often been told that I’m cold or not empathetic to the goings on around me. I don’t think that I am consciously. I just have so many things I worry about close by that the big stuff doesn’t really get through to my radar.


  8. I’m like you and my husband is like me. Their ability to compartmentalize is amazing.

    I am so sorry for the family involved.

  9. St. Elsewhere Says:

    I can’t look away. I often get hooked onto stories of people who are not related or connected to me at all. If that can happen for strangers, it most definitely does for friends and close acquaintances.

    Someone I know, delivered her stillborn son this January, about a week before I gave birth. It was a shock.

    Her pregnancy was as precious as mine. Mine came after a wee bit of battle. Her pregnancy was a fruit of ICSI.

    I have been following her story through her and my family.

    As my ‘luck’ would have it, I was cleared for TTC pretty fast. She was asked to stay off-TTC for a while, and her appointment for another cycle is in Jan…

    I have been invisibly behind her…very hopeful for her to succeed again.

    Her babyloss philosophy is very contrary to mine, but it does not take away the fact that she is very hurt. I won’t ever butt in and try to correct her or change her view, but I will put my two cents of hope on her.

    Much love to the bereaved family….especially the children who won’t know their mum first-hand.

  10. celia Says:

    A friend of a friend’s husband died on the way home from picking up milk, leaving her with a young baby. I could not get it out of my head for whatever reason and even though it was five years ago I still get very worried when my husband is more than ten minutes late.


  11. I kind of become obsessed with the other person’s story, then I cite it in a bunch of conversations when I’m fretting over what may or may not happen. My husband doesn’t mind, but I do. It really is one of my worst habits. However, if it hits too-too close to home, he refuses to hear about it. For ex. if a little b/w biracial girl has anything horrible happen to her, he stops reading, listening, etc. Even if it’s fictional.

  12. Elana Kahn Says:

    I usually try to read as much as I can, even though it spooks me a lot. However there are some exceptions… The final episode of ER aired just a few months after my twins were born, and there was another twin mom on that show who died after severe hemorrhaging. Obviously it’s fictional, but in that case I had to turn it off because I was so terrified…I was just thinking “that could’ve been me…holy shit” Now that it’s been almost 3 years, I might be able to watch something like that.


  13. I would want to know more, will dig up all information I can find even if I know it might be better to not know about it.


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