There is no reason to compare pregnancy loss to the loss of a child, but today I did anyway and I think I have my answer. Losing a child is worse.
I was bored at work this morning and f'ing around on Facebook when I came across a number of condolences messages to a friend and ex-boyfriend from college. We had not kept in touch right after college but, thanks to Facebook, had more recently reconnected and exchanged a few emails. I would say in the past year or two. Actually I just checked my Facebook messages and got sucked into a rabbit hole of reading old Facebook messages. Wow. My friend and I were in touch back in 2009 for the first time since college. More than a year or two ago.
I will get right to it: his 6-year-old daughter was hit by a car and killed on Monday. This is unbelievable. Apparently she walked out between parked cars; there were no allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the driver. He and his wife have an older daughter who is 9, I think. This is just so sad. I cried and wrote something on his wall and spent the rest of the day being really out of it and unfocused at work.
I also told one of the secretaries and we talked about loss for a few minutes. Her sister died of cancer last year and she is a pretty understanding person. She is also known as the office gossip, so I figured after the fact that she was a good person to tell because she would tell other people what happened to explain why I was out of it (if anyone actually noticed). Later that day a card was being circulated for sympathy and condolences for one of the partners who works from home. I don't know her very well is my point. I signed the card, writing simply "my condolences," thinking about my friend and his daughter and whether or not I cared at all about whom this partner lost. I asked the secretary and it was the partner's uncle. On the day I found out my friend's 6-year-old daughter just died, I have to sign a card for someone-I-don't-care-about-at-all's elderly uncle? After that it was late enough in the day that I just chatted with another associate and then left.
But anyway, as I was reading the condolences on my friend's wall, scrolling and scrolling and scrolling to try to find a status update, I was thinking what could it be? He had come up in my news feed quite a bit lately and I was pretty sure his wife wasn't pregnant. He is an only child so it wasn't a sibling and it didn't seem like parents and then some posts mentioned his wife and one daughter but not the other. As I was thinking was it the loss of a pregnancy or of a 9- or 6-year-old child, I just knew in my heart that losing the child at that age would be devastatingly...worse. And I was just speechless and sad and I wish this never happened.