Everyone's talking about it, so I suppose I will too. The Duggars. We all know they lost their 20th child recently at 19 weeks gestation. I of course feel terrible for them, knowing the grief they are experiencing right now. But coupled with my sympathy for them is a mounting rage against all the people in the media/online community who are treating this baby's death as if it is somehow her parents' fault. I am here to tell you that even though I do not know the medical circumstances around this child's death, none of us should be judging.
I have now lost 4 children. Four. I've had two first trimester miscarriages and lost Tyler & Ethan due to preterm birth. I ask myself every day if their deaths were somehow my fault. I'm young, don't have health problems and followed all the rules while I was pregnant. What did I do wrong? If you know, please enlighten me. So when people point fingers at the Duggars and say that they had it coming and it's God's way of telling them to stop, I have to ask - do you feel I need to stop too? The Duggars have had one miscarriage and then this most recent loss. That's two. Two out of 21! I've lost 4 of my 5 children. Four beautiful souls were created and lost under my watch. Is that God's sign for me that I'm not fit to have more children? Should I stop now and just be "happy with what I have" instead of creating and destroying additional little lives? I struggle with this question every day, and when the media gets their panties in a bundle over the subject, I really get upset.
And today was just the straw that broke the camel's back. You may have heard that the Duggar's released photographs of their lost baby, Jubilee. Some members of the media/online community are again in a frenzy saying that it is just gross to share pictures of your deceased child. One site I saw today actually said "Why would you take pictures of a stillborn baby?!" I'll tell you why. BECAUSE IT'S ALL YOU HAVE AND ALL YOU WILL EVER HAVE TO REMIND YOU OF THAT CHILD. I was so mad I could spit, as my grandma says. If you don't want to look at their pictures, then don't. It's none of anyone's business how they choose to honor their child. I'll admit I have only shared Tyler & Ethan's pictures with a few people, and the only place they are displayed in my house is in our bedroom, but I admire the Duggars for sharing the very tastefully done images of Jubilee with the world (the ones I saw were just of her hands and feet joined with her parents' hands; they were actually taken by the same organization that did our photos, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep). I hope to someday have their amazing courage.
Point being, we are not the ones who should be judging the Duggars or anyone else in this life. None of us can know what God intends for us, let alone assume what God intends for someone else.
If the Duggars could read this, I would say one thing to them: Try to celebrate Jubilee's life and the gifts that she has given you more than you mourn her death. It's what has gotten me this far, and I hope it works for you too.
Thanks for reading,