I haven’t been annoyed in quite a while with how someone has spoken about Millie, but a couple of days ago I was. I was annoyed, irritated and damn right offended.
I was having a conversation with a professional person over a phone yesterday (someone who is highly educated and in the field that they are in and should know how to speak to parents who have lost children) … and she asked me a question .. the conversation went like this.
Anon: How many children do you have?”
Me: “I have 2, a little girl that passed away at 9 months old and I have a little boy that is 20 months
Anon: “So, you have 1 child then?”
Me: “No, I just explained, I have 2 but my daughter passed away”
Anon: “Yes, so as I said, you have only one child, I mean one child at home with you?
Me: “That’s not what you asked me, you asked me how many children I have, I have 2”
Anon: … next question …
It honestly took all of my strength not to shout at this small minded woman down to phone.
Now, she asked me a simple question
“How many children do you have?”
Two. This figure will always include Millie whether people like it or not.
What she didn’t ask me was this …
“How many dependents do you have?”
Now that answer would have been different.
One. As much as I don’t like saying that, it is a totally different question because unfortunately for us, Millie is no loner financially dependent on us, but Leo is.
Different question you see.
Different answers given.
It already annoys me how there is never an answer box on a form filling excercise that lets you state you have a child that’s passed away …. never mind a human being speaking to me like she didn’t even exist.
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It doesn’t matter how many children a parent as lost, we still count every one of them whether they are physically here or not.