Saturday, August 15, 2009

Being a Mom

I write a great piece for the school paper and I come to the end, you know the spot in magazines with a short author bio. It's always something simple like, "Mrs. Smith has been writing for either years. She lives in South Haven with her husband and three children." It's not that simple for me though. It's actually really difficult.

Though I have given birth to three children, only two live with me here on this earth. How can I explain that in a writer's bio: Liz H. Allen lives with her husband in Washington. They have three children together, two on earth and one who died. Wow that's a great afterthought.

Liz H. Allen is the mom of three two three children.

It's an age-old question for us bereaved parents: How many kids do I have? Unfortunately there is no right way to answer that. I know how I normally answer - I say I have three but one died at birth. But it's part of what I do, I talk to women everyday about loss.

What do I say to people who aren't affected by loss, are removed from the situation, who don't even care? But I care. I had three children and my greatest fear as a bereaved mom is that someone will forget that. How can I tactfully tell the world that, however?

Liz H. Allen is the mother of two living children.

Wouldn't that leave you wondering? I wish there was a writer's handbook which touched on this. Do I deny one child to make it easier to write?

Liz H. Allen is a mother.

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