None of these people are rude or insensitive. None of them mean any harm. In fact, I am sure all of them have my best interest at heart. They don't want to bring up painful memories or talk about things that could possibly upset me. I can understand that. Here's the thing, though. I am already upset. I am already sad and angry and feeling terrible. Even if I am smiling or laughing or joking around, underneath, I am still upset. You will not bring up anything that will make me more upset. You will not make me suddenly remember what happened - I didn't forget. You will not stir up old feelings or open up old wounds. Feelings of loss do not age and wounds do not heal. There is only one thing you can do that will make me feel worse - and that is to not acknowledge my daughter - to brush past the fact that I am a mother, that I was pregnant, that this happened. To ignore my loss - that is what will make me upset.
I want to talk about her. I want to talk about being pregnant. I want to talk about how beautiful she was and about how much I miss her. I want to talk about how I am healing and what I am doing to make my life meaningful again. And I want you to listen - without pity. I am not talking about her for sympathy. I am talking about her because she is important to me. I am talking about her because she changed my life, and I need to tell you how. And then, I want YOU to say her name. I want you to recognize her as a person. A person with an identity. She was alive. For 36 weeks, she was alive. She had a personality - even if I was the only one who got to experience it. It was there. SHE was there.
It is okay to talk about her. It is okay to talk about the fact that she was alive and now she is dead. It is okay to talk about my feelings and your feelings regarding that fact. Above all things, it is okay to say her name. Kenley. Kenley Evelyn Wood. She is my daughter. She has a name. Every time I hear it, my heart does not break - it glows. It heals. It uncoils a little from its spiral of pain. Kenley Evelyn Wood. Say her name.