Young woman makes public the heart-wrenching comments she received after she lost her son
No parent should have to endure the pain of losing their own child. For Ariel Mendoza, the unspeakable happened. Unfortunately, some friends and family made it worse with thoughtless words.
Ariel Mendoza went through two miscarriages before getting pregnant with her son Onyx early this year. At the 20-week mark, she gave birth to her son who passed away from complications soon after he entered the world.
Mendoza was forced to lose her son. But the comments she received afterward should never have happened. She created a blog post called "10 Horrible Comments Said to Parents After Baby Loss" to help others avoid harmful comments.
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Mendoza, 24, spoke to "Good Morning America" about her third pregnancy. She revealed that she feared she would go through another miscarriage.
She told GMA: "I didn't want to get attached, but I didn't want to not enjoy him or the pregnancy because of that fear."
One of the phrases that Mendoza pointed out was inappropriate is:
"You're young, you can have another." To which she responded: "You don't know if I can have another. And even if I can, another baby will not replace Onyx."
Mendoza explained that Onxy's undeveloped lungs led to him passing. This time, it hit closer to home:
"I never really grieved my first two miscarriages. I kind of just bottled up my feelings and moved on with my life, but I wanted him[Onxy] to be remembered."
Another phrase she addressed head-on in her blog was:
"Maybe you weren't ready to be a mom yet." To which Mendoza would bluntly say: "Maybe you should get out of my face."
Mendoza discussed her understanding of people's disturbing words: "Death, in general, is considered really taboo especially when people typically don't know what to say. The other part is making themselves feel comfortable when they feel uncomfortable, and that's how the comments come out."
An incredulous comment that Mendoza had to listen to was:
"At least he wasn't a real baby."
Of course, the length of time does not influence how painful an experience is to a mother. As Mendoza rightly pointed out: "My experience is still valid."
She told CafeMom: "Despite people 'meaning well,' impact is often greater than intent." The rest of the comments are found on Mendoza's blog.
She advised people on what is acceptable when speaking to a grieving parent:
If you aren't sure what to say, say that. Say 'I don't know what to say but I just want to let you know that I'm here for you and I'm so sorry for your loss.' "
"Most of all, don't try to find a purpose for a loss. There's no reason in the world that will make parents feel better about losing their child."
A father named Raymond Olsen tried to keep the memory of his son a more private affair. Until one day when he received a letter from the oil company on which his son's monument stood.
His son had died in a car crash as a result of drunk driving. The young man was only 22 when he passed.
Olsen spent ten years going to the memorial at night so no one would see him. But when the company, Chevron, was ready to upgrade their property, some changes had to be made.
Not knowing that Olsen was the one taking care of the memorial, they left a note asking the person to come forward. Olsen believed that his memorial would be removed.
Chevron had other ideas. They worked with the president of the local council, Ceasar Zepeda, to construct a permanent tribute.
Source: YouTube/ Mike Aldax
They erected a plaque with a picture of Olsen's son. They also put up a bench and told the father: "This is your spot, Ray. You no longer have to come at night."
While it's one of the most difficult things to accept a child's death, the kind act made it a bit easier for Olsen to do so. "The world has hope," he said.