Monday, March 16, 2009

At least

At least you have insurance.
At least you know you can get pregnant.
At least you weren't further along.
At least you were far enough along.
At least you were in a good hospital.
At least he was viable.
At least he's doing okay now.

All of these are things that have been said to me during our struggles with infertility, miscarriage and premature birth.

Last week, a friend lost her husband to brain cancer. He leaves behind his wife and their their 3 month old daughter.

I heard "At least he's out of pain now." "At least he got to see his daughter."

It's not enough.

Can we please agree to never say "at least" again?

Someone always has it worse. We all know that. That doesn't ease the pain of those who suffer. It doesn't comfort. It dismisses.

It says to the bereaved that they should count their blessings. And while we all know there are blessings to be found in many places, sometimes we just need a hug and for someone to abide with us.

At least give us that.



Nicole said...

::big hugs::

Alice said...

Excellent posting Trish. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard this before Bubba Girl was born - and by my lnlaws. I've never figured out why it irritated me so ... until now.

Thank you for finding the words to express my irritation with at least.

Malloryn said...

Very well said!

Amy said...

Well put, Trish! I have probably been guilty of saying it myself without thinking--I hear it so often from others that sometimes it just comes out like it's the thing to say. How dumb is that. But people really do need to validate the loss first. That needs to happen BEFORE blessings can be counted (and that should usually be initiated by the one struggling, not those around them; they know when they're ready). But people like to slap a Band-Aid on a gaping wound and think they've done their part.

Mrs. Spit said...

Yes. At least.

Should be banned from our vocabulary.

Laura said...

Beautiful post today. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Elisa said...

This is so well written, thanks! When I lost my baby, everyone had the case of the "at leasts". It did not help me, I think it helped the person talking so it doesn't force them to think further. Because when you dig deeper you understand that bad things, really awful things happen and no one can control it. And that is scary! Thanks again

El said...

I hear ya, girl. Seriously.

Newfitmommy said...

Thank you. Simple, to the point.
I enjoyed reading "At Least" ...

studentrntiffany said...

Im sending my prayers to your friend. And lots of peace to you.

There is no such thing as "at least"

Anonymous said...

I feel like I just had my eyes opened a little bit wider. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how many times I heard that through my Infertility, recurrent miscarriages and death of twin boys. I have 2 to add "at least you have children" right like that makes the death of my boys OKAY! And "at least you had a year" this was said to my sister in law after the death of my brother in law who was TWENTY FIVE and died of cancer. Yay like one year makes up for the lifetime of dreams they had planned. THANKS for this post!

weeza said...

At least these people don't live in your house.
Can we add "but it was meant to be" to that list? or "but you're so lucky in other ways"

Sorry darlin

Tracy said...

So true. Great post.

Two Hands said...

At least there are people in this world (both virtual and otherwise) who love you and would do anything not to belittle your pain or struggles.

If only that made up for all the other "at leasts".

I'm sorry, Trish. (Big hug)