Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Elephant In The Room

(Someone shared this poem with me and I really liked it!)

There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
so it is hard to get around it.

Yet we squeeze by with,
“How are you?” and, “I’m fine,”
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather;
we talk about work;
we talk about everything else—
except the elephant in the room.

There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant
as we talk together.

It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about
the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her name.
Oh, please, say “Barbara” again.
Oh, please, let’s talk about
the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her death,
perhaps we can talk about her life.
Can I say, “Barbara” to you
and not have you look away?

For if I cannot,
then you are leaving me alone
in a room—with an elephant.

by Terry Kettering

- - - - - - -

Does anyone else really struggle with the "silence" of your lost baby's name? I feel like whenever I say the words Henry or Alex it sounds strange. It's a name that feels familiar but it sounds very foreign because I don't hear them often. I mean it really is the elephant in the room sometimes! It's become a part of who I am and especially when the loss is fresh, you know people are thinking about it when they see you yet no one really ever likes to use the name. I have always appreciated those who use it. It makes my babies seem "real". Ok I know they were real but it's nice to have that be acknowledged by other people. Hearing someone else talk about Alex or Henry is almost like pouring a healing medicine on a large wound in my heart. It does wonders for my soul!


  1. I still refer to mine is "baby" because it feels weird to have a name and not a baby to hold. Our living son talks about "baby" often. I try to use the name (Corinth) in prayer, since there are probably a lot of "Baby" infants in heaven already.

  2. I use "baby" a lot too when I talk about them. Sometimes I do it because I know using their name makes other people uncomfortable. Sometimes I do it because it makes ME more comfortable. But I think even when we say "baby" our babies know we're talking about them. It's more about what's in our hearts than what comes out of our mouth!