Friday, December 30, 2011

When Least Expected

"Well... he never existed."

Shock, replaced immediately by incredulity and hurt. The above words were spoken to me by my brother, in reference to Aiden.

I had just been mentioning that I was planning a trip out to see our grandmother to introduce her to little Kevie as her first Bailey great grandson. I corrected myself right away, which confused my brother. He asked who the first was if not Kevin Jr., and I just said matter-of-factly that Aiden was.

"Well... he never existed," was my brother's reply to me.

How the fuck anyone would think to say that to another human being about their dead child is simply beyond me. Really? He never existed? God, why didn't you tell me earlier; I've been spending so much time mourning him, missing him, crying for him. I could have saved myself a lot of unnecessary stress if I had know that he never existed. That whole funeral thing was a big waste of money, too, if that's the case, and all those needless hospital bills.

Really? He never existed? I still can't get over how hurtful those words are. I know it wasn't his intent to be hurtful, and he immediately apologized as soon as I started defending my son.

What am I supposed to do now, though? He's my brother, not just a friend I could stop talking to completely. If almost anyone else had said that to me, that would have been the end of our relationship. Do not pass Go. I would have gotten up, walked out, and never said a word to that person again. I was sorely tempted to, regardless. But instead, my friend Chris came to the rescue and changed the subject without much hesitation, and I was able to get through the night and pretend things were normal while secretly heartbroken.

I've always looked up to my brother. He's been there for me in the worst of times, and, being 12 years older, he helped raise me. I've been a financial burden on him at times, and he's never once complained, nor has he ever asked for recompense. There's practically nothing I wouldn't do for the guy.

Now with this statement hanging over my head, I don't know if that relationship has been permanently damaged. I hope not, but if that's how he honestly feels...

7 comments:

Jen said...

I've been lurking but had to come out of the shadows to respond to your post...

You have to say something to your brother about how his words affected you. I don't know if I could forgive someone, even family, if that had something along those lines to me about Lily.

I'm sorry that you're having to deal with such insensitivity from someone so close to you!

Joanna said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through that Kevin - sadly, many of us have gone through something similar. Our family didn't really acknowledge our child either, and I've heard comments that losing Sammy at 12 weeks was just a 'pregnancy loss' and not a 'real baby'. They weren't there for the labour or birth, they didn't love him from the first moment or grieve once that little life was gone. It hurts so much to know that these people who are the closest ones to you can hurt you the most. I won't lie, things were more than awkward for over a year for us as I hated family visits, hated having to sit through Christmas and Easter knowing how little they thought of our child. For that reason, we chose only to invite our parents to the memorial service and noone else. Over time, we had to make peace that this is their feeling and clearly only we felt that something was wrong or inappropriate. We're more comfortable with them now, but to be honest we don't share as much as we truly know where we stand with them. I now view my husband and our rainbow baby as 'my family' and the rest as the extended family. Maybe we'll get to be that close again, but for now, things are nice, but a little distant.

I hope you can find a way to deal with your brother. For me, I know that no amount of apologies could take that statement back or make the hurt go away. Yes, we all say stupid things sometime, but sadly we can't take them back. I guess you need to figure out where you are going to go from here. Good luck.

Tiffany said...

i'm so so sorry that someone had the nerve to say that to you about your son, let alone someone who is as close to you as that. i'm not really sure what i would do if i were in your position. unfortunately thoughtless words such as that about someone so incredibly important, do some irreparable damage. i pray that your brother realizes how much his careless words hurt you guys, and makes a very heartfelt and sincere apology.

Erin said...

Kevin, I will CC: you my words to Angie, because they are really my words to both of you...

Yes, he was. He is and he always will be. He is loved, missed, wanted... No one can change that, no matter what they say. Even those close to us cannot understand what we endure. They may even believe it is better to forget. They don't know how much they hurt us when they act this way.
Aiden is always with you, and you know that.

Kevin said...

Thank you all for the comments, I appreciate the kind words and advice. As an update, I did speak with my brother directly about his comment and how much it hurt. His explanation was that he just used the wrong words. He has some strong opinions about how I raise Kevin as it applies to mentioning Aiden, which I disagree with, and we've come to a neutral stance with each other.

elena said...

I have had two horribly insesntive comments made to me by a close family member. I went back and forth on how to handle it. I still have not to this day spoke with this family member about it. And I really do believe if that person knew how badly they hurt me they would apologize. I am glad your brother did apologize. If I had a more open relationship with my family member I would have taken the time to explain how their comment made me feel, as I always look at those opportunities to educate those who don't know what to say to me. It's been a tough road in that department. I think if you look deep within you will know your answer on how you should handle it. I am so sorry that any of us have to have insensitive comments to add on to our already unbearable pain. It's like adding a million pounds of sand to a forever open wound. *hugs*

elena said...

I meant to say salt not sand. Oops

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