I blather on too long sometimes in people's comments. So I'm going to put some of it on my own blog. This post is in reply to this post.
I'm not sure I'll say this right, I hope you understand what I'm trying to get at. My heart breaks for you when I read some of your posts, and all I can offer is a few thoughts. Not much, I guess.
This is my take on Oprah, for what it's worth. The difference with infant loss and Oprah as opposed to other show topics, is that she has serious personal issues around denial of her own child's death. And I feel like she is trying to say that we should ALL grieve the same way, by going on and on about "God's plan", and just "move on & forget". Well, you know my opinion on that already.
Some people think her silence on this issue because of the connection to the rape she suffered that caused the pregnancy, but I don't believe that's why Oprah can't talk about it. Twenty years ago, when she disclosed her sexual abuse and rape, she focused on the pain at first, as she needed to, then focused on creating change, by going to Congress and getting laws changed to protect kids. She talked a lot about the process of her therapy and her pain, and how she was going to use it for the better.
She left the part about her dead child out though. Never mentioned, never spoken, like the biggest secret ever. Total utter denial of its existence, until she was recently confronted in the media. And not only does she not discuss her pain, or ours Catherine, but she keeps repeating over and over again that it's "God's plan" that our babies die. This is just bad theology, and it also is something she would never have said about her sexual abuse.
Imagine Oprah standing in front of a child, and telling her it was God's plan that the girl be raped? That God purposely wanted her to be raped and abused so that she could go onto some bigger higher purpose....That would NEVER happen. It would never happen to cancer patients after they die, or the Tsunami victims, or gee, let's see, can you imagine Oprah saying it about 9/11?
In fact, if anyone ever said that the 9/11 victims had to die, that it served God's higher purpose, "all part of his plan", they would be accused of terrorism. Muslim clerics who have espoused this view have been convicted of inciting terrorist acts.
Our babies deaths rank lower on the pyramid of pain than any other deaths. You quoted a study a while back that said 31,000 babies were stillborn in the US every year. I don't even know the number in Canada, because we don't even publish it every year. (We publish the number of potatoes we grow every year, but not dead babies.) Why is it that maternal-fetal health is the lowest priority in the world? Maybe because no one gives a damn if women and babies die? Sort of like 20 years ago when no one cared about child sexual abuse or rape?
The pivotal difference in that fight, was Oprah coming out, and opening up her heart enough to work for change. The first step is awareness, which means yes, sad stories, acknowledgement of our losses, and giving us credit as legitimate grievers. Next, was figuring out where the problem was, and dealing with it. For sexual abuse victims she went to Congress and fought to help abused kids, she made it clear that they were telling the truth, not lying, that their suffering wasn't just a "nothing." For pregnancy loss, she could do the same thing. She could have researchers on her show that talk about how they can't get funding for studies to help save babies. She could talk about how cheap and easy it would be to save so many of those babies, instead of spending money on NICUs and funerals later. She could talk about the morality of a public that craps on women who have abortions, but refuses to pay for prenatal care for women who stay pregnant. About churches who believe an embryo is a life worth protecting when it's on it's way to an abortion clinic, yet refuse to hold funerals or burials when our babies die.
She could easily fill an hour, and keep us spellbound doing it.
I want her to do that for US, Catherine, for all of us who have ever lost a very much wanted pregnancy. I know it's incredibly hard, that's why in all these years she has never been able to do it. And maybe she never ever will. But in the same way that she would never tell a rape victim to "get over it" or "forget about it", I don't want her or Rev. Run to deny me my right to my legitimiate grief.
My fondest wish is for Oprah to use her righteous indignation to help us save our babies. Lori left a great quote on my blog, "Dear God, there is so much pain and anguish in your world - why don't you send help?" And God answered, "I did send help - I sent you."
Catherine, I believe God sent YOU. He sent me. He sent all of us, even Oprah.
Love your friend,