That dreaded question...

It happens all the time. You meet new people, you run into an old high school classmate, the stranger in line at the grocery store strikes up conversation, you meet other moms, etc... The point is we are constantly being asked the same generic "getting to know you" questions.

Now these questions are so generic that they should be the easiest questions in the world for you to answer. Something as simple as your name and your children's names, are you married, what you do for work, do have kids, etc.. you know what I mean. I hate these questions.

I have never been one to enjoy small talk but I could tolerate it. You chitchat for a minute, pretend to care what the other person is saying, promise to get together, exchange numbers and bolt. Easy peasy, right? Nope. Not for me. Not anymore. Small talk has become somewhat of a fear of mine since losing my infant son.

It happened to me recently when I ran into an old high school classmate. I usually try really hard to avoid these situations but there was no way of getting out of it because I came directly face to face with her. The conversation went something like this:

Classmate: Oh. My. God.. Hi!!. How are you? (oh boy)
Me: I'm great. You know busy, busy. (please get me out of here before she asks that dreaded question)
Classmate: Yeah, I heard you a bunch of kids...right?
Me: Yep a bunch and I'm really busy. Good seeing you. ( I lied I was just trying to get the heck outta there)
Classmate: So how many do you have now?
Me: How many what?
Classmate: Kids? How many kids do you have?

(Shit...there it is. The dreaded question...What do I say?...Do I tell her I have five? But then I'll have to explain about Rylan knowing how people tend to react....Or should just say I have four to avoid the awkwardness. But then I will feel guilty for not including him.)

Classmate is giving me the hairy eyeball because now an uncomfortable amount of time has passed and she knows just as I do this should be such an easy question, damn it.

Me: (I settle on my usual answer) I have five but one passed away so I have four at home.
Classmate: Oh wow. That sucks. (she is instantly wishing she hadn't asked) Well so....I'm sorry for your loss. (Now I'm wishing I had just said four to avoid this moment right here.)

Typically this is where I make some snarky joke about having a drinking problem or him being so well behaved it's like he's not even there, just to ease the awkwardness only making people more uncomfortable because honestly who jokes after announcing their baby died. Uh, besides me. Humor was the way we dealt with his death. But she said something about having to go, it was great seeing me and she was outta there quicker than I could say "Everything happens for a reason, right?" (which is one of the all time worst things you can say to a grieving parent, and yes we've heard it from people)  So there I stood there for a few moments wondering, why is it so difficult for people to accept death as they would accept life? I don't see people running for the door the second I say I had another baby.

I know a lot of Angel parents feel the same way as I do. We only hesitate to answer "that dreaded question" for your sake not ours. We don't mind talking about our babies. In fact we want to acknowledge our babies life. So don't be afraid to ask us about our little ones, don't be afraid to hear our story. Maybe then "that dreaded question" can turn into a wonderful opportunity for us to share their life and for everyone to cherish the memory of a child gone way to soon.


  1. You are such an amazing and strong person! I am SO blessed to be able to call you one of my best friends! I love you and miss you every-single-day!

    1. Thank you Amy. I feel equally as blessed to have you in my life. Miss you tons.

  2. Great post! Every time I am asked this question, my brain kicks into overdrive. Do I say 3? 2? Am I going to make this person uncomfortable? Do I care if I make this person uncomfortable?

    I usually end up saying, "3 daughters, 2 living". I am usually met with an awkward "oh... " from the person who asked, and then I feel like maybe I should have just said 2, but I can't leave Clara out. There's no easy way out of this one for parents who have lost a child.

  3. It amazes me that someone would actually say "Everything happens for a reason." That's certainly the last thing I would ever imagine saying to someone who has lost a child.

    1. I agree that is the last thing I would think to say. The first time someone said it to us was the very day my son died. Now, I'm not usually a violate person but I wanted to punch her.

  4. You are extremely accurate and I get that same anxious " Get me out of here" feeling. I have even missed isles in the Supermarket and gone right passed someone I haven't seen for years and actually would really love to catch up with, just to avoid that question.

    1. Same here. It changes you socially, like suddenly you don't know how to form real sentences and you have to make an actual effort not to yell out "my child died" then throw groceries and run out of the store.

  5. That was very well put. You are so strong and I think it is awesome that you are taking such a hard part of your life and turning it into a learning/bring awareness to SIDS. I never got to met my baby we had a miscarrage and I hated having to tell people because I dread the "Everything happen for a reason speech" I know everything happens for a reason but you dont need to tell me or the oh I have pitty for you. I could never imagion if I lost my baby after birth, it was hard enough not metting my baby I still cry about that baby even after 5 years. Sorry I went on so long.

  6. This is an excellent post...and while I cannot relate to losing a child :( I do know that social awkward feeling when a subject comes up that is deeply uncomfortable to talk about.

  7. Yes! It's so hard being Eayden is in my every waking thought my only child lost to S.I.D.S. at 11 months He was so healthy, happy and loved missed every second... I remember working out of town shortly after losing my baby a customer asked me "what about your kid's? Don't they miss you??" I remember thinking how the heck do I awnser this? How do you tell someone words you won't say? How wouldn't I bring up my pride and joy? I know some get uncomfortable well I'm sorry your so uncomfortable.... This is something I bare everyday so if for one second you can think of a silent thief taking my baby, and so many other's thinking of helping someone or being a little more compassionate then you were a moment before I will mention my child and pray it helps others xx Eaydens mommy fb - losing Eayden <3

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