Saturday, October 21, 2017

File Under: WTF

I think it's a universal thing to go through old family photos when you are preparing for a funeral/memorial service. I've done it for Bryce's Grammie, for my own grandmother, and now the process has begun for my Papaw.

Sometimes when you go through old photos, you find baby pictures.

And then you might feel the urge to compare baby pictures with babies of the new generation.

Which is a really fun thing to do, if it's like mother-daughter type stuff.

It's far less fun when someone in your family posts a picture of YOU as a baby on the book of face, and you recently made the decision to resolve your infertility and adoption journey childfree not by choice, and then posts a picture of a cousin's baby right next to it and the genetic resemblance is downright eerie.

Then, there just might be immediate waterworks and downright wailing and a deep sense of loss on the part of the person who is coming to terms with not ever having children, and who years ago had to come to terms with the reality that biological children who resemble them strongly like that are a complete impossibility.

Then it may be HIGHLY ILL ADVISED to make that comparison, because it may be like a dagger to the battered heart of the person who is now faced with a comparison between her baby picture, 41 years ago, and the baby picture of SOMEONE ELSE'S BABY, who looks sort of like what a mythical baby with the same genetics might have looked like, if that had been possible in another dimension, in another time, where life wasn't so freaking unfair.

Then it would suck.

And then you'd be faced with a conundrum -- do you say something, knowing that the person who posted it just lost her father to a terrible disease and emotions are running high and the wine is probably free-flowing?

Or do you let it go?

If you're me, and this was your Saturday evening, you write this as a comment and then hope that the funeral isn't a complete shitshow of (unwitting) insensitivity:

Whoa, uncanny resemblance. Not gonna lie, made me real sad though. Emotions run high at times like these and it took me off guard. Amazing to think on what the child we'll never have could have looked like. đŸ’”đŸ’”️[cou[ {cousin's name}, your daughter's quite a looker if I do say so myself, ha ha! Looking forward to meeting her in person.

How'd I do? Heaven help me if this is a preview of what to expect when I go there in person in a week and a half. File under WTF indeed.

23 comments:

  1. I don’t what is the “right” thing to say, but I’m sorry this happened and that you are hurting :-(

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  2. Holy shit Jess. Holy. Shit. Honestly, you did worlds better than I would have in this situation. She does need to be called out on how inappropriate this is. A phone call may need to be made because though I understand emotions are running high, it doesn’t excuse hurting others.

    But damnit lady. Damnit. I’m so sorry

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  3. Ugggh I hate that damn book of face. This is just one of the many reasons. People just lose all site of what is socially acceptable. F$ck.

    You handled it very well in your response. I never would have been as gracious or as kind.

    But damn. I just want you to live in a bubble for a little while so that you can have time to process and heal without all these dumb ass crap. I am so sorry this happened. I am sorry that the hits keep on coming. I want to fight all these people for you. Big (((hugs))). Lots of love.

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  4. Wow. How incredibly hurtful. People never cease to amaze (and by that I mean disappoint) me. Your comment was very kind, especially with your last two sentences.

    I am so tired. Tired of everything we have to deal with while living our lives without children after infertility. My mom will say, "I don't know why you're so upset, it's just one comment." To which I reply, "To YOU it is one comment. To me it is the millionth comment and they all add up and cut me deeply." But then she goes on to make it all about her and says, "Well, I need a list of safe topics to talk about with you because I just don't know what I'm allowed to say around you." Sigh... (My apologies for the digression about my mother.)

    You know what? I wish there was a tropical island just for our community, where we could all go once a year and just enjoy each other's company and recharge for the rest of the year. To give us energy and strength to bear the insensitivities we all constantly deal with.

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  5. Wow. You did incredibly, incredibly well. All I could think and feel as I was reading this was OOOOUUUUUUCH!! That just hurts.

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  6. You did great on that.

    FWIW, even if you do become a parent through adoption, such moments can remain hard. Even for a few years.

    It's sad, what might have been. Abiding with you.

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  7. Just when I think people can’t be bigger assholes, they go and surprise me. I’m sorry this happened and I loved thr honesty of your response. Here’s to hoping that the funeral isn’t a shit show. Might I suggest a purse flask?

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  8. On the plus, if there is such a thing, this incident (which you handled beautifully) happened before the possible shiz show..funeral. Here's hoping it won't be. Here's to you being able to handle any rudeness or insensitivity with courage and grace.

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  9. So, my dad put a comment up that basically called out the person on her "staggering lack of empathy" for my situation and the fact that her response to my response was to post, "I knew that it might throw you off, but I just had to share with you." After my dad's comment she took the post down, and I got an apology message of "I would never intentionally hurt you," which I took as an opportunity to educate and make it clear why this was so painful, but I accepted it. Sheesh. What a bundle of drama-rama.

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    1. I was thinking that maybe it didn't occur to her that it would be hurtful but the fact that she commented that she knew it might throw you off shows she was aware it was insensitive on some level. I think you handled it very well.

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    2. Thank you -- it was hard. The comment was just befuddling...I can forgive obliviousness to an extent but to know it would be upsetting and do it anyway? So not cool. But apology accepted with a looooong message about how much it hurt and why, exactly. Argh

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  10. Ughhhh, I am so sorry you had to deal with such a painful situation. That really sucks - it amazes me how much people don't "get it" when it comes to infertility.

    Your reply is very gracious and well-done. I'm just sorry it was necessary.

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    1. Thank you. It really, really sucked. I was sorry it was necessary, too.

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  11. Ouch. Just... owwwwww..... People can be so thoughtless. :(

    My cousin's daughter (who is now 30) looked/looks eerily like my sister & me when we were both younger. I wouldn't say we're identical, but there's enough of a resemblance that her own grandmother (my aunt) has said she'll be watching a home video & think it's me or my sister & then realize it's her own granddaughter. Kind of a weird feeling sometimes. (I sometimes wonder what SHE (the girl) thinks, being told she looks like these two old ladies, lol.)

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    1. It really was thoughtless, since she basically admitted that she knew it would upset me and posted ANYWAY. I get that she didn't intend to hurt me, but holy wow.

      What a crazy resemblance with your cousin's daughter! Genetics are so funny how they can skip around and create replicants in funny places.

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  12. Ouch! Yes, I've seen nieces who look like me, and it does hurt. Your response was great, and yay for your dad.

    Though my eyes are rolling at the cousin who said she knew it might throw you off, but decided to ignore that and do what SHE wanted to do first. Ugh ugh ugh.

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    1. Thanks, it was beyond sucky. Yay for my dad indeed, and I'm glad the response was good. I am frustrated that I seem to feel like I have to make other people feel good as I am expressing my hurt, but I don't know how to do it any other way. It's a miracle I said anything.

      It's funny, it was my aunt who posted. My cousin, the mom of the daughter, actually has PCOS as well. I don't know if she was busy with her 3 children and didn't see it or if she saw it and was like, "WHOA, nooooo" -- but she didn't weigh in. It really sucked to have the admission that it wasn't obliviousness, it was thought through and done anyway. Sigh. Can't wait to see what else gets thrown my way when I go down there.

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  13. Oh man Jess what an amazing comment to your cousin. No way would I have been so nice. I'm glad that she took it down but it shouldn't have gone up in the first place.

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    1. Thank you so much -- I agree that taking it down is a good thing but man, just don't do it! I sort of wish I wasn't as nice. I always feel I have to temper things so I'm not bitter and "wow, so SENSITIVE." It was actually my aunt, it was my cousin's baby. Which was even more awkward since she's my elder and all. Sheesh

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  14. I think your reply is great. I can see how the cousin's post maybe might have been intended to make you feel included, instead of leaving you out of the baby photo comparisons altogether. But, of course, that doesn't take away the sting. People don't know how to react to IF/childfree stuff. I'm proud of you for letting them know how you felt in a lighthearted – but honest – way!

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    1. Thank you -- it sucked because you could think that maybe my aunt was trying to include me in all the "look she has your eyes" stuff that accompanies old picture gazing, but the thing that really sucked was that she admitted she KNEW it would upset me and did it anyway. Which felt pretty crappy. I'm glad the response was honest and lighthearted, although sometimes I wish I didn't feel a responsibility to make someone who's hurt me feel better about it even as I educate. I hate doing it, but it's so necessary or it would keep happening, and not just to me. :)

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  15. You are strong...I’ll be thinking of you as you make that trip, so difficult on so many levels. You can do this. Love you!

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  16. That's so nice of your dad to step in. Still, I can't believe she would tell you basically that she thought it would be an ouch moment for you and then did it anyway. Wow. You handled that beautifully.

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