*************Okay, guys, I think this is my last blog in this series (and part 2 here) and I am warning you, I wrote it on a very dark day emotionally and it represents the combined experiences and the secret “I wish I would/could have said’s but didn’t” of seventeen years of humiliation. I am not really proud of this. It is full of something I generally keep under tight wraps – ugly, vicious sarcasm and dark humor. I won’t lie – it is a cruel post, but it also is an honest reflection of how certain comments make grieving people feel when we are handed platitudes. It was cathartic and I have the feeling that it will be a cathartic experience for anyone who has endured this type of abuse – I would not recommend ever actually saying these things to people and I don’t think that the reality of the situation is funny at all. We are called to patience, love, peace, kindness, gentleness and self-control even when we are wronged – so I would not lash out at a person who says these things in this way, probably. However, when these illogical things are said, it truly does cause a person who is already hurting and vulnerable to become confused and to feel inappropriate guilt and condemnation – it is devastating to a person’s already fragile state of mind. For the record, I don’t think that the people who say such things are cruel on purpose – I think they mean well, and i think they are simply allowing their discomfort to control their tongue and override our call to be compassionate, but the impact of their words are decidedly cruel. *************
Well, I always suspected that literature like this existed, based on the universal nature of the obscenely boorish and outright nasty comments women and even men are subjected to after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or when they are barren or infertile – and I finally obtained a copy! **
Is someone in your life making you uncomfortable?
You have undoubtedly sent away for this pamphlet because someone in your life is being decidedly inconvenient and their grieving is getting in the way of your enjoyment of life. You have our condolences. Nothing is worse than having our easy and blessed lives interrupted by someone who is boohooing over something that doesn’t even remotely matter in the scheme of our own lives. Grief is best kept to oneself and set aside quickly, right? You won’t find a single publication on earth commanding people to weep with those who weep – no, life is meant to be enjoyed, every moment of it! Everyone needs to be grateful for their lot in life, and things will get better! No one who is truly righteous ever suffers!
So, without further ado, we have compiled a list of tried and true platitudes that are 100% guaranteed to make sure that people stop boring you with their tragedies. Why on earth should you suffer just because they are suffering – am I right? Of course, I am!
When Someone has a Miscarriage
- Remind them that it isn’t a real baby – they will be relieved to hear that they are grieving for nothing. It probably hasn’t occurred to them – I mean, after all, if it were a real baby, we wouldn’t be allowed to kill them, right?
- Tell them to be grateful for what they have – they probably haven’t realized how good they have it and you will be doing them a favor. Remind them of the selfishness of mourning when they should be grateful for everything else they have. It will be just the wake-up slap across the face they need to get happy again – and stop pestering you with their sadness.
- Point out how lucky they are that they never actually held that child, or saw the child. I am sure they will agree with you that it is better to nip such things in the bud – you know, before they fell in love and started making plans.
- Bring up the very real possibility that their baby was probably deformed or would have been retarded. Imagine their relief at being spared parenting a special needs child – they will probably get down on their knees and kiss your feet in gratitude. Far from being hurt that you would be saying such a thing, they will start seeing the reality of the situation. They might even throw a party.
- Whatever you do, be very sure to trample out any good feelings they had about their baby, I mean, their fetus. Do whatever it takes to dehumanize it, devalue it – you’re doing them a favor. I know that it may seem cruel, but allowing them the so-called dignity of cherishing their memories is only going to prolong everyone’s suffering – so don’t be afraid to trample those pearls. It costs you nothing, and rest assured they will never throw them in your direction ever again. It’s a win-win situation.
- IF THEY ARE STUBBORN and persist in being sad, it is advisable to say the following. Sometimes shame is the only way to snap people out of it: “What are you sad about? It’s only a miscarriage.” Cut them off completely – no quarter given! Be sure that your face registers a hint of incredulity and disgust, but don’t overplay the ridicule in your tone or they may suspect that you are simply heartless.
IF THEY KEEP HAVING MISCARRIAGES, well, then we have a spiritual problem, obviously. The female reproductive system is very uncomplicated, so almost nothing can go wrong if a woman is indeed righteous. We never see any of the righteous women in Scripture having fertility problems. This calls for stronger measures and an actual intervention:
- “Hmmm… have you tried praying about this?” People rarely pray when they go through tough times; it’s an established fact that is obvious to everyone. People pray when times are good, but as soon as something terribly upsetting happens, they immediately stop praying. That’s where you come in – you have to get them praying again – otherwise, bad things will keep happening to them. Bad things never happen to people who pray.
- “You need to relax – your stress is obviously causing this problem.” Although it is true that you never noticed that they were stressed out before the first unfortunate occurrence, you need to face facts – you just weren’t paying attention. Stressed out women can’t have babies – which is why unwed women, rape victims, battered wives, sex slaves, and especially teenagers, never carry babies to term, ever. They are simply too stressed out.
- “You must be cursed.” Sometimes it is best to be blunt. After all, you have all the children you want, and so you have proof that God is blessing you. Don’t allow the fact that they have plenty of money in the bank distract you, or their success in other areas of life – children are the only true measure of blessing in this life and the more kids you have, the more blessed you are. Just ask Sarah and Abraham! When was the last time you saw someone really nasty breeding like there is no tomorrow?
- “Remember that God is good.” To the untrained eye, this might seem like a cop-out, but their constant sadness is a sign that they have lost their faith. Refusing to be comforted is not behavior we would see by any Biblical parent! Nope, they got on with their lives happily. This remark will remind them that God wouldn’t have allowed anything truly bad to happen to them – He is good, and so the fact that their baby is dead is, by extension, a good thing and totally His will. Everything that happens is good. Being sad is an attack on God’s character and they need you to rebuke them. They will thank you later.
- “I am just speaking the truth in love: You are miscarrying because of unrepentant sin in your life.” It is best to say this while showing them pictures of your children, thereby proving your case – as they will recognize your righteousness and see the truth of what you are saying. They will think to themselves that it is indeed true that unrepentant people never carry babies to term – prostitutes, crack addicts, unmarried teenagers, white supremacists, etc. They will, in fact, experience a revival in their own life as they go and root out the sin that has slaughtered the innocent life in their womb.
THESE ALSO WORK IN CASE OF STILLBIRTH, although some alterations might be necessary. But be strong, don’t give in to misplaced compassion or they might keep on coming to you for support. No, give no room for them to express their grief. Sometimes brutality is the most potent form of compassion.
MANY OF THESE ALSO WORK IF SOMEONE IS INFERTILE OR BARREN, but remember, we don’t see people in the Scriptures who are righteous and important to God going for decades without having babies. It just doesn’t happen. Babies are a proof of God’s love and favor – more babies = more love from God. Babies are like a character reference direct from the Almighty! Don’t allow myths about birth defects fool you; every womb is perfect from the get-go and nothing can go wrong – unless sin is involved. Also, keep in mind that the woman is always to blame – sperm counts are never low, and sperm is never faulty in any way. Remember that blame is important – things don’t “just happen” – there has to be someone at fault. After all, when something goes wrong for you, it is Satan, right?
However, you should still try and cheer them up by reminding them that they are actually blessed – after all, they get to sleep in on the weekends which is much better than the bother of hugs and kisses and watching a child grow to adulthood. If they persist in lamenting and crying over not having any children, then facetiously offer them yours – show them how petty and silly their desire to parent truly is. Everyone loves a good joke, and by demeaning their desire to have children by scoffing at their expense – you will show them how funny it really all is.
Remember this simple formula:
“Mary has a fertile womb because she has no sin,
But Molly’s wicked cervix won’t let any sperm come in.”
You will find this to be true 100% of the time. Barrenness and infertility are always due to sin, just as righteousness always means lots of kids, a lasting happy marriage, and a surefire ticket through the pearly gates – it’s just obvious!
We hope this helps you in your quest for a trouble-free life and the bliss that comes from being unencumbered by the need for empathy and compassion.
(**Okay, maybe this isn’t really real – maybe it was written by a barren, miscarrying woman who is now blessed to parent a set of twins, one special needs, through adoption; and maybe she’s tired of the insulting, illogical and idiotic things that people say when they should say nothing at all. It’s time for them to be ashamed of themselves, not us. Note: none of these comments were made up, I have personally heard them all, although I did embellish the commentary myself, and I also made up the poem at the end**)