Thursday, August 21, 2014

Humans and the incessant need to blame someone for death

It has been a while since I have posted on my blog but a recent event has inspired this post. 2 years ago in October  the world was watching as a giraffe at the Greenville SC zoo gave birth to her first calf ( live webcam for the exhibit can be found here: Giraffe Cam .  If you are a birth junkie or even just an animal lover you will get how exciting it is to watch something we would never be able to view otherwise.

Autumn, the mother giraffe, was due to have another baby this month. I was excited to catch it this time since I work overnight shift. Last time I missed the birth completely. Last night August 20th, in the early hours of the morning she went into labor. We saw feet! After a half an hour or so the camera was turned away from the birth. Before it was moved it was apparent the baby was coming out butt first which is unusual for a giraffe birth but not necessarily an emergency. The zoo finally released a statement several hours later that the calf was stillborn, but the mom was okay. (Read article here: Stillborn Giraffe ) Immediately there were people blaming the zoo staff and on hand vets for not doing enough to save the baby.

This was a triggering event for me personally. It was like watching my own stillbirth played out in the animal kingdom right down to the placenta not immediately being delivered (minus the breech part) . Not only the stillbirth part but the reactions of the community afterwards. Why must we as a society always "blame" someone? Don't get me wrong there are times when there is a cause of death by negligence or intentional murder, but I am talking about the times when it was in fact no one's fault. Death happens. In every animal kingdom.

I get it, infant loss is a hard topic to talk about. When we think of babies we think of fresh life and new beginnings. So pregnancy and infant loss is an uncomfortable topic.  Maybe this is what makes people want to blame others? It's not supposed to happen so it must be someone's fault. The reality is that even though it is rare it DOES happen. And it is NOT always at the hands of a careless parent or provider. Sometimes it just is.  Why can't we understand that death is just a stage of life and as unfortunate as it is, sometimes it just happens? 

It's been a while since I was subjected to the cruelty of others regarding my loss but seeing the reactions of some people regarding this animal's stillbirth has been a painful reminder of the cruelty and insensitivity of humans. What ever happened to the days when communities gathered together in support of those mourning rather than banning together to bully?