My hairdresser, the wonderful Debra who gave me a such good cut along with the understanding that only someone who has also struggled to have a child can give, left the salon. Her whereabouts are unknown - at least to me.
I had no choice but to try someone new.
Here's how it went...
Enter Eduardo, a young man in his late 20s or maybe early 30s, all pimped out in trendy gear with a multicolour fauxhawk, overly plucked eyebrows and an earring. We shake hands, discuss my cut then head to the sink. He washes my hair and gives me the best head massage I've had at a salon. Ever. I'm a happy girl. We move back to his station and the cut gets underway. We make idle chatter for a few minutes. Finally, it happens...
Eduardo: (Innocently) "So, do you have any kids?"
Me: (Shifting uncomfortably) "Uh...well.....uh....I have a sad story. We had a little boy, but he died."
Eduardo: (Very quickly) "I'm sorry."
Me: (Thinking: awkward, awkward, awkward, awkward, awkward.)
Eduardo: "How old was he?"
Me: "He was only 20 hours. He was just a baby."
Eduardo: (With a trace of relief) Oh, okay. (Brief pause) I know that's bad, but can you imagine how hard it would be if he was like two or something?
Me: (Shocked, flabbergasted, outraged, hurt, angry - and utterly paralyzed) "Yes. I know. After our son died, the mother of a friend of the family told me that she understood our pain because she lost a son when he was two. I told her I couldn't understand HER pain because I couldn't imagine going through what she did, having her child with her for so long."
Eduardo: "Yes, I mean you really know the child by then - it must be awful."
Me: (Finally regaining my wits) "Well yes, but it's also very hard not to know your child at all and to have no memories of him to hang onto. That's pretty hard too."
Eduardo: (Looking a little shocked and contrite) "Oh. Yes. I guess so. Well there's good and bad both ways I guess."
Me: (Wondering what the good part is and laughing a soft, humorless laugh) Yes. Yes there is.
Yes, yes, yes. He meant well and it was a shocking thing to hear and he didn't know what to say. Blah, blah, blah, fucking-blah.
I will never understand people's need to try to convince you that what you've gone through isn't as bad as it could have been when they don't have a fucking CLUE what it's like. You take your heart (or the thing you love more than anything you've ever loved in your entire life), rip it out of your body, hand it over to strangers and let them bury it under six feet of cold spring earth. THEN you can tell me how hard it is or isn't to lose your baby - even if he was only 20 hours old.
Oh Debra. Where did you go???