Words... They have so much power. Sometimes it's not even so much the word being said as HOW it's being said that has an impact. Yet, sometimes it really IS just the words. No energy, no malice intended, it's just the words.
For me, the words are "Fetal Demise". In the days immediately following Boe's death, Adler and Cameron were in the NICU. This meant that Adam and I were in the NICU; we often heard the nurses and doctors performing their rounds at shift change. Each shift change meant listening to the nurses explain Adler and Cameron's situation like the next shift was hearing it for the first time. This meant hearing them refer to Adler and Cameron as "triplets resulting in Fetal Demise"; this meant hearing that over and over again. In the throes of our grief, with raw pain and anger, our sweet son, Boe, had been reduced to 2 words - Fetal Demise.
Adam and I never blamed the staff in the NICU for their words. Hard as they were to hear, we knew it was simply their training, and, quite possibly, their way of coping with the unthinkable. I haven't thought about those words for quite some time, but, recently, they seem to have resurfaced. I, too, now find myself using those words.
Just over a year ago, my husband and I started a non-profit for our son, Boe. We provide flower arrangements for families who suffer a loss at the Labor and Delivery or NICU level. I have learned to recognize the hospital's number, and my heart breaks each time I see that exchange appear on my phone. I know what the words will be, I know what they mean. I know what I am being called to do for another family who finds themselves at the beginning of a very long journey.
Sometimes, I miss the call. I can't get to my phone quickly enough, but I always call back. There are times when the person who answers knows who I am and why I am calling. There are times when I have to use "those" words. There are times when I have to say to the person on the other end, "Hi, I'm Kirsten Kinowski with Boe's Blooms. I got a call about a fetal demise."
Immediately, they know with whom I need to speak. Immediately, I am thrown back to those days when I heard those words so frequently. Immediately, another little piece of me breaks, and I can only hope that it ends up with the family who will receive the flowers I bring in the next 12 hours. I can only hope that that little piece of me will help to weather just the tiniest bit of their pain.
Words. They are so benign and SO powerful all at the same time. They can bring such sorrow and pain, or they can provide great comfort in a time of need. #bringingsunshineduringthestorm