Sympathy = I see your pain and I am sorry you suffer.
Empathy = I see your pain and I suffer with you.
Got it? Good.
Oh, why did I feel the need to post this? I've been blog-hopping again, and I got caught up in this blog. I read the whole thing and cried several times. I really, really wanted a happy December for her.
Because I have a child, can I be said to feel empathy for her? Or is it just sympathy?
I want another child. I am greedy. Really, I want three kids, all told. I have one, and one is all I shall have. There's no way my body could do it again. Last time, with Bird, my appendix exploded a third of the way through. I don't want to think what would go, a second time. Also, we can't afford another child. How sad is that? So many people just have them and worry about the money later, but not me. I refuse to lessen the quality of life for the child already here just because I feel twitchy and...empty. Also, also, I haven't been entirely sure I wanted to remain married for the last couple of years - not the best of times to add a baby to the mix, eh? Logic is hard cheese when faced with wanting another little one. So I read that blog, and I started weeping and trying not to get tears in the keyboard because then I would not only be sad but bereft of Bob the Wonder Computer.
I wasn't crying for me. I was crying for a woman who has been dealt a crappy hand and is struggling to play it. I was crying because I know a woman who has terminated pregnancies because condoms were inconvenient but abortions weren't. Six of them. And there are women in the world who are beggaring themselves for the chance at one baby. One.
So, sympathy or empathy? I think empathy...if only because I hurt to the very heart of me, and I just don't think sympathy goes that deep.
So, after I read and read and read and cried and cried and cried, I wrote this:
From the Outside Looking In
You know mama, you give us this expectation
That we are supposed to be fecund,
We should be able to produce children as readily
As the blood that comes with each passing moon
How unfair, then
To deny that fertility
To break the body from creation
So that it will not produce
How unkind to surround the grieving womb
With babies, fresh, sweet, soft
To remind it of failures as it struggles
To hold on to a handful of cells
Just one more day
How much worse to give out the hope
That this time will be different
That the struggle, the pain, the misery
Will finally pass into beauty
Only to dash it all
With a scarlet streak
I am not sure it's finished, but for the moment...I am.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.