They say every person in your life is sent to you for a purpose. Since Jensen has been born, I’ve met all kinds of beautiful souls that I would never have known if he had lived. Of course if I could have my way, he’d be here, but I know he guides me in the paths of others. No matter if the experience is good or bad, I have learned about my motherhood, self, and grief. With the positive ones, I know he’s looking out for me and I’m so thankful for that.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post talking about the anxiety of tax season. It’s one of those unexpected, grief trials a person doesn’t think about until it happens to them. In short, since Jensen did not take a single breath outside my womb, his birth and death are not considered real. I can’t claim that he died, even with a death certificate, and I can’t claim he was born because he doesn’t have a social security number. When I file, I can’t say I technically, in the eyes of the government, say I have a son. In the mind of a bereaved mother, it’s absolute torture. One of my biggest fears is people forgetting about Jensen, so this feels a lot like that. Going through thirty-eight weeks of pregnancy, labor, and birth to tell me he was never born? Or telling me he didn’t die even though I had to attend my own child’s funeral?
Yeah, I’m pretty sure all of that happened.
Just one other thing before I jump into this story… how is it that in a lawmaker’s mind a baby is person at so many weeks. If a person gets an abortion it could be called murder, but since my son died, unexpectedly, that he doesn’t count anymore? That question or thought has been bothering me so much lately. Where is it defined that he is living and if it is at a certain week in pregnancy, then why can’t I claim him? Another reminder, it’s not the fact I want to claim Jensen for money or anything. It’s more of a validation from the outside world that he mattered and he lived.
Anyways, back to my story. After I set up my appointment, I had a few weeks to get everything gathered up to take. With my anxiety, I kept pushing it off. I didn’t want to see 2016 in a pile of papers when I know how much pain it held. There was so much more that had happened in those twelve months then just what I made and what I spent money on. So, I waited… until the last minute. And when I say last minute I mean literally the morning of. Part of me think it was a good decision because I didn’t have to see the stack of papers, but the rush and hustle of getting them all last minute made the day feel even more high pressure. I even contemplated whether I should go or not.
Alas, I made it there four minutes late.
They took me to the back right hand office. When I first got in there, I felt like the walls were closing in on me. The lady, I’ll call Kay, was extremely nice and jumped into everything right away. She asked for all my papers and identification. I complied, obviously. All the basic information was answered and then she asked the question.
“Do you have any kids, dependents, or are you single?”
I took a deep breath before I answered. She had seen Jensen’s name on the insurance paperwork, with one lone box checked in April. So, I just said it. “My only son was stillborn last April, his first birthday is coming up on the fifth.”
It felt like a sigh of relief for me to just say it and have it out in the air. I know he existed and that’s all that mattered. My anxiety released when I said it, until I saw her face.
She looked at me with deep sorrow and, surprisingly to me, understanding. The first words out of her mouth was, I’m so sorry. Then she told me the story of her daughter and granddaughter. Turns out, her granddaughter was stillborn years ago and she saw the grief her daughter went through afterwards. The years following she watched her daughter and how big this loss feels. Then she told me that daughter ended up passing away too. Another bereaved mother was sitting across the desk from me. Someone who understands the pain of losing a child.
The rest of my anxiety disappeared.
Throughout the rest of my appointment, she did her very best and looked through all the rules to get me to be able to claim Jensen. Unfortunately we couldn’t claim him, which I knew that would happen. But we were able to freely talk and had this general grief understandment with each other. It made the whole appointment easier for me and I’m sure her. We got done early with our hour and just talked about Jensen, her daughter, and granddaughter. There was no judgement and at the end we just hugged.
We were just moms, who have been through the worst, but there for each other.
I really do believe people are sent to us for a purpose. Jensen constantly is watching out for his mom and making sure I’m protected. Even during the situations where anxiety just fills me. There are people who hold the most precious people in their hearts all around us. I’m thankful to be able to share Jensen, my grief, and healing with others.
We never know who we can help next.