10 Things Customers Want/10 Things Jen's 'Friends' Want...
by Jen Mountney

-Excerpt from Jen's Subsequent Pregnancy Journal-

This e-mail came to my inbox from one of the Avon groups and I'm sure I've seen it before, today it really spoke to me. So here's that e-mail.....I'll put it in regular writing and how it applies to me in my grief on the line underneath in italics.

10 Things Customers Want
10 Things Jen's 'friends' want

1. They want it to cost less money, even if it's already value-priced.

They want to feel like they are giving great support and really being there without actually giving great support. They want to feel like heroes without doing anything heroic.

For example: The friend who kept saying she would always be there for me and then proceeded to tell me that I should be better and that I was a real trooper.

The foolish thing is I believed her, I thought she meant it when she said she would always be there and I held onto that. Eventually though I couldn't hold onto it anymore, her 'support' wasn't very supportive and although I kept trying to tell her what I needed it got progressively worse until I had to stop relying on her for that support. =(

2. They want it to act faster / immediately.

People want you to be 'over' your grief in a matter of weeks, for some a matter of days. I remember Carl asking me how I was about three or four days after Amy Dawn was stillborn, I said sad. Know what he said? 'Still?' Yeah big surprise that I would still be hurting a mere three to four days after the stillbirth of my daughter. Come on!

3. They want it to come to them / be delivered. (ASAP Service)

People want an answer and/or solution to come to them ASAP because they can't fix the fact that your child died and it makes them uncomfortable. And if they don't have that solution (none of them do) they then proceed with the cliches and platitudes that are supposed to fix it all and take away your pain. Like words could take away the pain of the death of your own child!

4. They want it to be replenished / updated / upgraded / replaced automatically and consistently.

I guess this one refers to both me and the 'friends'. I expected the support to be constantly there (how many times did I hear 'We'll always be there for you', I didn't know it was crap) I expected people to know when I needed them, to continue to call, even if I was angry with them. I expected them to look at the world through my shoes, thinking of what it would be like if *their* baby had just died, imagining what they would feel like. Of course now I realize just because I do that with people all the time doesn't mean they give a second thought to how I'm doing or what I might need. UGH! It sucks!

Now for the 'friends' part of this, they expected me to be 'better' after you know three to four days, I mean really her baby only died, big deal! UGH! I was supposed to be good as new in a matter of hours. I mean why grieve? Why be attached to your own child? What the hell these people were thinking I just don't know!

5. They want it even before they know it's available or that they even need / want it.

Well this one applies to me, like in the past being the oldest made me the guinea pig and yeah I looked to others to help guide me through and really other than two couples in the very early stages of Ben and I's relationship (before we were married), the support we needed just wasn't there and I felt
so abandoned and lost. So yeah Jen tried to be there for others and now Jen is angry and feeling violated because she gave so much and it sounds bad but she didn't get what she gave not that she did it for that reason but that's where I am. Worn out and feeling like 'WHY did I give so much?' UGH!

I wanted someone to prepare me for what was to come, for the problems that came with marriage, for having a baby and when Amy Dawn died I expected the 'friends' to be there and help me through the grief and prepare me for what was to come. Sadly my 'friends' sucked, it was the strangers that helped me, the strangers who helped to prepare me for the grief journey ahead. It's like they say friends become strangers and strangers become friends.

No wonder I find myself pouring my heart out to strangers now. I don't have faith in 'friends' and hell if a stranger hurts me, it doesn't hurt as badly as if it were a 'friend', because there is no emotional investment I can walk away.

6. They want it pre-customized to fit their unique needs.

Me again, I wanted my 'friends' to be there, to understand, to put themselves in my shoes, to try and get where I was (and am) coming from, to meet my needs. How many poems have I written about my need for people to BE THERE for me? To continue to be there because I'm so tired of trying and of being hurt, I needed them to push their way in and continue to be there and other than Bev that didn't happen.

And on the 'friends' part, they 'needed' me to be 'better' and so that's what they pushed for....they couldn't see beyond their fears and 'needs' for me to be 'okay'. UGH!

7. They want it to come pre-assembled and ready to run; no instructions or thinking needed.

This one applies to the 'friends'.They wanted easy answers for my grief, they wanted solutions, they wanted to fix it yesterday. They had no patience for grief, grief has no timetable and they wanted me to be 'better' yesterday.

And I expected my 'friends' to know what I needed and to be there damn it. But as we all know just because Jen wanted them there doesn't mean they were! UGH I hate it!

8. They want to be able to return it with no hassle; a solid / flexible guarantee.

The 'friends' wanted to give up on me when they couldn't solve me, when they couldn't fix me and they did. You know it reminds me of that story of Job, his friends sat with him for I think a whole week saying nothing realizing how terrible his suffering was.Then you know what they did? Started preaching, time to get over it, time to feel better. UGH! UGH! UGH! Talk about idiots, since when did preaching help?

9. They want it to work perfectly and beyond all expectations.

This was me, how'd you guess. I wanted the relationships to work perfectly, I wanted people to know how I felt and to be there. And like this subsequent pregnancy I thought, I actually foolishly thought, that people would be there that they would realize how terribly frightening being pregnant again would be and they would be there. That didn't happen
either not with the 'friends' anyways.

People online have been there, people I've never even met have been there but those apparent 'friends' ran off, yet again. And I'm supposed to have trust and faith in people?!

And from the 'friends' point of view, again all they wanted was for me to be 'okay'. Why? Because they (ooh poor them) couldn't stand to see me in so much pain and so instead of helping by listening and being there and trying to understand, I got cliches and platitudes and judgments for grieving. Incredibly supportive, isn't it?

10. They want to feel good about using it / being a customer of yours.

That's the bottom line. People wanted to feel good about being around me and being with me and they couldn't because I was suffering and so instead of helping what did they do, they hit the road. It was much easier to hitchhike to leave Jen all alone in her pain than to actually *DO* something helpful!



About the Author:
Jen Mountney is currently 36 weeks pregnant with her second child. Her first child, Amy Dawn, was stillborn at 23 weeks on February 5, 2000. Jen awaits the day when she will be able to hold this child in her arms. Jen's baby is due December 23, 2002. All she wants is for this baby to come home alive and well in December.

If you are currently pregnant again and want to e-mail Jen, please e-mail her at hellogoodbye@crosswinds.net

For more resources on subsequent pregnancy, please see these pages from Jen's site, Hello, Goodbye., in memory of Amy Dawn.

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