**Disclaimer** If you know me in my 'real' life and stumble across this blog- please know that I write here for healing, and to feel close to my Noah, and close to my grief. At times these letters may seem sad, angry, and at times, crazy. Please don't worry about me- this is how I help myself heal. If you have questions, just ask- if you know me well at all, you know that I love talking about my Noah.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Rant

Well, 5.5 years into my grief journey, there isn't a lot of things that are major triggers for me. Now, don't get me wrong, Noah is thought of, remembered, honoured, and loved every day.  There are days when I am more sad than others, life is up and down, you know, like all of us, baby loss or not. 
I'm talking about things that trigger anger, frustration, really difficult days, really difficult days. 
I'm happy to say there aren't a lot of triggers anymore.. I can even finally be in the vicinity of a pregnant person, or even a baby shower, without wanting to melt away, or without wanting to let them know how wonderful that pregnancy ignorance is.. And how it can be taken away in an instant.

 But Halloween, oh Halloween. How I loath you. 

I've never loved Halloween, except the candy of course. But now it rocks me to my core. It's changed the past few years, and I don't think it is just my perception, although entirely possible, I think Halloween decor has gone way.to.far. 

What ever happened to pumpkins, jack o lanterns, black cats and smiley bats? The odd friendly ghost and witch on a broom stick? Or even a cauldron and a witches potion?  

 Now, go into any Halloween store, or even your local walmart... And it's not so innocent anymore. 
Obviously what rocks me the most are the dead baby decorations.... Yes, you read that correctly, dead baby decorations. They are there, in many varieties, zombie babies, babies with knives through them, babies with blood ozzing from their mouths, babies with bites taken out of them. Yes, I understand, they are decorations, and probably made to resemble some character from a scary movie, meant to scare or creep out guests at that upcoming Halloween party. But before you make your way out to buy one of these dead babies


 There is someone right now, in the hospital in your town,  holding their very own dead baby, but it's different, this baby came with hopes and dreams and a future they will not see a future their loving, adoring parents wanted for them. This baby is real.  There may be blood coming out of an orphise on this baby, but this time, it isn't scary like those dolls in the store, it is real, it is sad, it is oh so heart breaking. Or maybe, there are parents rocking and singing to their baby, whom they know, has only a matter of minutes, hours, or days before they can no longer rock them, or sing to them again.. Ever. 

Now imagine, just for a moment ( because I don't wish this on my worst enemy) but just imagine you are one of those parents, maybe a 6 months, a year, or two, or three after you've said good bye and buried your child.  You walk innocently into a Halloween store to get a costume for a party, only to see a mockery of a baby, oh wait not just one.. Many... And people are looking and laughing and buying. This very vision makes you want to curl up into a ball, vomit in disgust.
Or, you innocently look through your Facebook newsfeed in the days leading up to Halloween, only to see that one of your 'friends' has decided this is just the decoration they need to adorn their house. You get a pit in your stomach, you want to yell and scream... 'You came, and wept with me, you saw my dead baby, in his casket, and now, you think it's a fun, funny, cute, or creepy decoration?????' 

These people, who buy these decorations, have most likely never lost a child, or baby. 
But some are parents... What is this saying to their children, who see them laugh and spook at the site of their new 'decor'.... When next month, their teacher looses a baby, or they hear about it on the news and that very same parent has to tell that young child how sad it is, and how precious every child and baby is... But at Halloween we think dead babies are funny?
And some are teens or young adults....Who right now,  are invincible, having fun, being care free, but one day, their best friend, sister, cousin, or heaven forbid, themselves may hold their own dying baby. And then, when they are able to face celebrating  a holiday, they will unpack their Halloween storage box, and amidst the pumpkins and spiders will be this baby, a plump, dead baby replica.. And they will realize the ignorance and innocence of their younger years, and may think about just how many people they caused a very rough day, because they decided a dead baby was funny. 

It's not just dead babies. What about decorations of people hanging on nooses, of accident victims.... The list goes on, these have gone too far too. 

Ok, so some of you reading this may think... Halloween Scrooge. And maybe I am. I am willing to take that name if it means just one person, just one person, may think about what they do before they pay money for a dead baby decoration to 'frighten up' their next spooky event. 

I've held a dead baby in my arms, a real baby, my first baby, his name is Noah Curtis Godwin Lloyd, he was just about perfect in every way, except that one malformation inside his little body, which nobody knew about,  which killed him. I sang to him, and read him stories, I fed him, I loved him, I wanted him. He was adored, he is loved and he is forever missed.  Babies die, for real. It isn't funny, it shouldn't be mocked.

So please, when you are at the store looking for some decorations for that party, which you should have, it's a good idea to party! It's good for the soul! How about pumpkins, bats, black cats, spiders, orange and black things, witches on broom sticks, jack o lanterns.... But please, for the love of parents who understand what it's like to be me, leave out the pretend dead babies.  Let our children rest in peace. 


Dear Noah, 
I know this is where I write my letters to you. But this has been in my my mind latly, and I had to get it off. 
I love you my dear boy, so, so much. Thank you for visiting me in  the eyes of your baby brother, and on the wings of those beautiful white butterflies.

I love you more than words can say, 
Love you forever, 


Krista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krista said...

I do not pretend to know the depths of the tragedy you went through. The closest I have come is through watching you losing Noah; watching my cousin losing his 11-month-old; and watching an acquaintance have a stillbirth. All very, very different experiences. And all horrible and tragic experiences.

Having said that, even if I didn't know anyone who had ever lost a baby, I would still find the dead baby disgusting. Halloween is about making light of those things that we find scary, filled with ghosts, zombies, monsters, and vampires, etc. There is an anonymity to each "dead" and "undead" portrayal.

This year, Walmart was selling dead dogs. Not recently dead. Realistic looking dogs that were cut in half and mutilated. Whoever thought that was a good idea to sell was delusional. They were recalled due to backlash. I didn't see any of these pets, I saw the recall on the NEWS because others (who did see it) told Walmart that it was offensive, and Walmart listened.

I'm not suggesting babies and pets are the same. I'm saying that Halloween is meant to be an abstract "idea" of death, the undead, etc., and we have lost that and are turning it into the truly horrifying. As soon as we "personalize" the Halloween experience (whether through dead babies or dead dogs), we make light of someone's real experiences. If I ever see a dead baby (and I confess, I haven't yet), I'll vocalize to have it removed, just like I would have for the dead dog.

We should be having fun at the idea of monsters, poking holes into our fears of vampires, or dressing up as our favourite witch, devil or pirate or even kitty cat. We should be confronting our fears (of the abstract undead). We should not making light of very real grief, which the dead baby decoration does.

I removed my first comment and edited because something I said made no sense in the first paragraph, so I clarified.

Jane said...

Krista, thanks!
I tried to go up to an employee and say something.. But I couldn't find the courage..or the strength I suppose it was.
And.. The employees just work there,. I should probably contact the company directly, the 'high ups'..

I didn't hear about the dead dog decorations, that's terrible. I'm glad they recalled it. There has been dead baby stuff in these stores for a few years now (spirit Halloween is the one I've seen it in). Apparently they are a big seller, because there are varieties, and more each year. Urgh.
Sometime I will get up the strength the fight the fight. Although I'm sure it's probably been done.

Amanda Collins said...

Jane, wow. I have never been through what you have, but as a mom your words brought me to tears. Please know that should I encounter such an insensitive display, I will speak up loud and clear on behalf of you and your beautiful son.