A few days ago, I was standing outside Ethan's school waiting for his class to file out. I had a nasty cold, it was a cold day and I was really looking forward to getting home. So all that to say, I guess I wasn't at my sharpest.....when another mom tried to strike up a conversation with me. We had met before - at a Abigail's preschool and have chatted a few times briefly. She told me she had gone to my house, that she had rung the doorbell - checked the back yard etc... in hopes of visiting with me. (I was a bit surprised - not sure how she knew where I lived?) I asked when this was. She said, "right after we talked about my daughter." (none of this is ringing a bell for me at all) She said that I had told her that I lost my daughter.
"I lost my daughter?" (I was so confused...I know this is weird but I could not make the connection from this to Rachel. I thought she was talking about Abigail)
What followed was a very strange conversation, where she began trying to convince me that I had indeed told her that my daughter was lost - and me denying it!
"When was this again?"
"I don't remember that."
"I didn't lose my daughter..."
Finally....FINALLY....it clued in - and I realized that she meant Rachel.
I said..."OHHH!!! You mean that my daughter died! I didn't lose her. She died."
Poor lady. She probably thought I had lost my mind.....
But that conversation got me thinking about the language we use to talk about death. So often we use expressions like "she lost her child." instead of just saying "her child died." Why is that? I can't say that I have been too concerned by it before. I have used this expression myself - many times, actually. I'm not saying that it is always wrong to use it. And I am not going to analyze this woman's reasons for using the word 'lost'. I am saying though that sometimes it can just be plain confusing (!). I obviously didn't forget that Rachel died....