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On Envy.

June 5, 2013

This is a weird post. I realize that.

The other evening I watched as Heather Spohr from The Spohr’s Are Multiplying went into have her son. If you don’t know her backstory, she had her daughter Maddie 12 weeks early several years ago, and Maddie fought through huge medical complications for 17 months before passing away.

They are an amazing family and I was so happy she brought home a healthy little son.

I’ve never read her blog through and through (I’m a terrible blog reader. Terrible.) But that night I went over and clicked on her Living With Loss tab. I can tell you right now, I read loss blogs/loss posts less than even regular blogs. It’s still hard. But hers drew me in, and I clicked through several while feeling that connection in a small way.

Then I realized how far back they went. Page after page. Post after post.

And a wave of envy washed over me. Envy for her bravery in posting for years on her daughter. Envy to keep writing in the face of people who were uncomfortable with her story. That she wrote and wrote and didn’t seem to give one thought to people who may have said, “But you have another beautiful daughter so why do you live in ‘what if’ land still?”

She didn’t let it eat her up what others thought. Yes, she had her daughter significantly longer than I did Preston and Julian. She took her home, made a life with her, had memories, fought for her health. Her memories of Maddie are far more detailed and intertwined with life than mine ever will be with the twins. Yet still, there was a longing to know how it felt to step up to the plate and simply pour your heart out year after year because you needed to still heal.

I even want to delete this post now in case someone says, “You’re jealous of her loss or…?”

It’s not that. It’s the fact that I can have a million “Thank you for sharing your story” comments and one or two “Why are you still talking about it?” ones and THOSE are the ones that just stick with me. I wish they didn’t. I would love to have a thicker skin. Somehow if someone says it to youΒ and I read it, I can get all riled up. Someone says it to me and I instantly think, “They’re right. I should stop, slow down the pregnancy loss talk. Go back to normal. I’m being ungrateful for the life I have.”

But oh. I’m really not. I hope you all know that. I hope that light shines through here. That this isn’t a blog you read and think of each post, “Man, what a mess.” I am so blessed, so thrilled to have this little boy. It’s just – I don’t know how else to keep the short little lives alive that rocked mine for just a bit longer. To not forget myself what they were like. To remember them like I remember Bella’s years. To love them in a way I would have if they’d lived.

It’s all still so complicated to sort out, the guilt and the happiness of both their lives and this baby’s – the balance of grief and love and healing. I don’t pretend to be an expert on any of this because I feel like I’m just stumbling my way around, searching for others who reach out and say, “That’s just how I feel too. It’s ok. We’re ok.”

It’s such a mix. I didn’t ask for this you know. I never wanted it. I’m doing the best I can and the feelings of, “Is she done yet?” haunt me. There are times I want to pour my heart out and other times I wish I didn’t want to. That I could simply pretend it never happened, I am not that girl, I didn’t lose babies. Not that I didn’t have them – just.

I don’t know.

If you keep writing and talking about what happened, know I stand in amazement of you. That your words heal more than you could imagine. That you are breaking down the uncomfortable for so many people. Thank you. Even if I envy you your courage – it inspires me to get up and write again. As hard as it is to read those careless comments or hear the “Are we still going to talk about this?” in someone’s voice, your bravery helps so many of us to also step out and keep these little lives alive.

If you have a minute, this is an amazing post to read on Still Standing.


  • Linda

    June 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Diana: Your blog, your thoughts, your life. The people that need to “get over it” are those making ugly comments. They don’t have to be here. They don’t have to read it. Just be yourself. Those of us that have never met you, but love you anyway will always be here.

  • Amy

    June 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    It makes me want to vomit that someone would EVER tell you that you need to stop writing about the boys. WHAT?!? It is your grief, this is your blog. You write what you need to, Diana. I hope this other woman inspired you. I hope you write all you need to. We will be here to read it. ::hugs::

  • Phase Three of Life

    June 9, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I have not had the awful experience of losing a child, but I would imagine that no matter their age, no matter how many memories you may have, it is something that tears at you every single day, for the rest of your life. Everyone grieves in their own way, processes feelings in their own way. It doesn’t mean you’re not grateful for the wonderful things you have – it just means there is a hole in your life now that two precious little boys filled up for much too brief of a time. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and feelings – I imagine it is helping so many others who feel just as you do.

  • Nancy Byers Schmelzer

    June 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I am thinking of you……

  • Mary Kay Byers Wilburn

    June 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Diana – as a mom who lost a daughter – born too soon – she was with us approx. 3 hours before she died. That loss is with you every single day and as time passes it is not as front and center as it is in the beginning. I immediately got pregnant again (not on purpose) and we had another daughter 7 weeks premature. Alyssa has CP but I thank God it is a mild case, yes we went through hell and back but she will be a senior in HS next year and is in the top 10% of her class. We are very proud. But as I am putting her scrapbook together I think WHAT IF Jessica had lived? How different so many of these photos would be – 2 little girls in dresses – 2 little girls going to school together – 2 little swimsuits – Her sister would have graduated this year and be going off to college. Yes 19 years later I still have the WHAT IFS.

    1. Kiki

      June 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      I will always have the what-ifs too. As I come up on the 25th year of when I conceived and when I found out I was pregnant and when I found out it was twins etc., I always have dreams of what-ifs. Time makes it bearable, but the loss never goes away.

  • Laura Wilder

    June 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Keep remembering & keep writing, sweet mama..

  • Melanie Johnson

    June 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I think it is great you wrote this post. The thing with a personal blog is, you write about what ever you are thinking or feeling at the moment. If you want to write about loss, DO IT! It’s who you are and if someone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read, right? I know it’s hard but don’t let what people thing keep you from being yourself.

    My oldest daughter and I were pregnant at the same time and we were due a few weeks apart. She had her son, I lost mine. I know envy. I feel it everyday when I look at my grandson…it’s in my face what I am missing. But it is also an incredible blessing to have him in my life, to love each day. I am thankful it was my loss and not hers and that even though I lost, I gained so much as well.

    I love Heather’s blog because it is so raw. I have never read anyone who can put into words, the feelings of loss like she does. It is amazing and beautiful, words that seem strange to use given the topic.

  • Katie Sluiter

    June 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

    You get to write your truth and people who don’t like it get to go away. That is the awesome of the internet. I met Heather a couple years ago. She is just as awesome as her blog. I met you a couple years ago too. You are just as awesome as your blog too. πŸ™‚

  • Jess

    June 6, 2013 at 7:51 am

    You are amazing. And you keep writing and we’ll keep supporting. xoxo

  • Jenny

    June 6, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I’ve followed your blog for a couple of years and have never commented, but I felt the need to do so today. I have never lost a child, but I did struggle for many years with infertility. Yes, I know it is not the same, but your story has touched me. Those babies are a part of you, your story, your journey. This is your blog, your place to journal and grieve and whatever else you want to do. Try not to let the negative get to you, I know that is much easier said than done. You never know who you are helping to cope with loss. Please know that for the many who think you should just “get over it, quit talking about it” there are many more who admire your strength and endurance and are touched by you.

  • Allison

    June 6, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Think of it this way: what if instead of getting a million ‘thank you for sharing’ comments, you got a million ‘stop talking about it comments’ … but one or two ‘thank you for sharing – I felt all alone but you have shown me I’m not’ comments? I bet you would still say ‘screw it!’ to the million haters and keep writing for the one or two people you are helping in ways you could never really know. You are stronger than you think, braver than you think and oh so very giving. Trust yourself. You know how to do the right thing for you – the people who don’t get that don’t need your writing the way the people who do get it need you to share.

  • Melissa Hodges

    June 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Nobody who cares at all about YOU wants to forget about P & J. I know I love reading about them. It's your blog, your boys, your life. I think everything you write is wonderful! Yours is the only blog I keep up with (shhhh) πŸ˜‰ β™₯ ya!

  • Sarah Brown

    June 6, 2013 at 11:01 am

    This is your blog, your space, your choice. If someone doesn't care for what they are reading, they should click the X at the top right corner of the browser.

  • Ann

    June 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Keep writing Diana for the million people you are encouraging in their grief and in spite of the two people who don’t get it. You have been a huge encouragement to me as I’ve walked through infertility, IVF, and 2 miscarriages. We found out we had miscarried for the first time on the same day Julian and Preston were born. Even though our experiences have been vastly different your words have resonated with me. The hurting and healing does not stop on some schedule dictated by others who haven’t walked in your shoes. I am pregnant again and we are hoping against hope that things will be different this time, but the hurting and the healing doesn’t stop when you get pregnant or have another baby. Don’t pretend that it does because it makes people uncomfortable. Keep educating us Diana! Lots of love to you and your family!

  • Christy Franc Brown

    June 6, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Don't you let those comments get to you! What you went through, really just a short time ago is real. Your experience is real. Your feelings are real. And your blog helps others. It helps people understand. It helps women who are going through similar experiences. It helps those of us who have been there – it validates our feelings. So to you I say – thank you for sharing. These are the only posts you should remember. Forget the others. If they are tired of "hearing it" they can stop reading and go elsewhere. xoxo

  • Courtney

    June 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Looks like you got your Pinterest thing working!

    I read about the Spohrs not long after their loss happened. That is some tearful reading. I don’t do well with loss, but I feel like I should be writing about it. I lost my mom young so I have the perspective of a young person watching a terminal illness progress until the end. Then, my first job out of college was to work in end-of-life research, specifically patient decision-making. So, I have perspective from the medical side, too.

    I’m not doing anyone any favors by keeping this all sealed away. Don’t listen to those who tell you to keep it quiet. You’re helping people get through tough times.

  • Sarah

    June 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I love your openness and I don’t want you to ever stop writing about Preston and Julian. I have not lost a child but I have dear friends and family who have. And I love your writing. Those two things come together in a way that makes me a better friend. You help me remember to let them know that I haven’t forgotten their children- even years later. You don’t need thicker skin, you need less dumb people in your life πŸ™‚ The smart ones know what a treasure you are. Thank you again!

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