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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged, understood.

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Tuesday
Jul102012

ghost town

I lost my daughter then I lost my friends. Not simply lost them. It was more like they drove me out into the country and told me to go run out in the woods for a while, they waited by the car.

"There, Angie, check out behind that big tree. A little further away. There is something shiny there. It is the internet and there are people on there whose babies died too."

"Over here? I don't see it."

"Just a little further. Go on now. Be good. I loved you once."

"Okay. I love you too."

And I watched their license plate become illegible in the distance. I walked back to town, determined to understand, only to find that they moved without a forwarding address. So, I suppose, they lost me.

 

photo by Denise ~*~.

 

Villages of friends were gone. I walk into the ghost towns of my past, sidle up to the bar. There is nothing left. I am not part of their tribe any longer. I slam the empty bottle of the long bar. They were drinking buddies, after all, not friends. For years, it made me angry. It made me angry that my daughter died and then I kept losing more and more and more until it was just me.

When it was just me, I saw you. And you. And you. And you. And you is beautiful and amazing. I told you all about the pain of losing friendships, and my daughter, and raising a daughter and every little thing about this experience. I listened to you talk about it too. We suddenly had a little boom town of the babylost. I felt normal.

Normal was all I ever wanted.

 

+++

 

Everything about my life changed after Lucia died, even though it looked exactly the same. And I feel attached to all those things I once was, like grape vines winding around the withered parts of me--my arrogance, my lightness of being, my inappropriate anger, my bravado, my aloofness, my old friendships, the confidence I had in my body. I cut the shoots, understanding that those bits of me are dead, but the tentacles grow back, clutching dearly again to something already gone. (I fear it takes the nutrients of my thriving, beautiful bits.)

In the weeks after, it became abundantly clear that I had no idea how to feel anything but anger and longing about her death. I was not emotionally equipped to handle the death of my daughter, except I had to handle it. It was awkward and painful. I clumsily talked to people, until I just couldn't do it anymore. I drank heavily. I watched the same safe comedies over and over. I was afraid to call friends and cry. I thought I would never stop--hysterical, uncontrolled tears. Keening. Misplaced anger. Blame. Fear. Blubbering. I heard the conversation before I uttered a word.

If I say I want to die now, you won't understand. You will think I am suicidal. You will call the authorities. You will take my only living child. I just don't know how to live this life without her. I don't know how to shop for groceries now that she is dead. I don't know how to make small talk. I don't know how to watch Law & Order. I don't know how to do anything.

And so, thinking they understood that about me, I expected them to call me. Surely someone calling a grieving mother would know what they signed up for if they called. It felt rude to call someone, even a very good friend, just to cry, even though, ironically, I longed for someone to call me in the early months and cry. I just wanted to be needed, not underestimated. I had once a month calls from a few friends, which were like tall cool glasses of water in a drought. I never cried during those conversations. I was almost maniacally positive about how fine I was doing. Then those petered away too. Mostly, it was silence broken by long, drunken tirade emails. 

Left to my own devices, I behaved badly. Oh, I behaved graciously here and there, but mostly I was angry, chaotic, impulsive, and afraid, lashing out at unsuspecting strangers in markets and yoga studios. The crying stopped eventually. The misplaced anger at other people slowed. I quit drinking. I figured out how to shop, and chitchat, and watch crime dramas. I learned how to feel all the emotions of grief, not just the loudest ones. I went to baby showers, and parties, and stopped expecting, or wanting, anything Lucia-related to be discussed. That took time, but it happened. The grief fog lifted. 

Being the me I was and grieving was fucking torture. So I changed stuff about me, like who I trust and when I trust and what I trust and how much I trust. I changed what I give and what I take and what I give personally and what I take personally. I changed what I complain about and what I don't.

I couldn't call those old friends after I changed. I didn't know what to say to them anymore. I wasn't over her death. I would never be over her death. But I learned to live with it. Time had moved forward. I moved forward. They moved forward. I missed so much, and they missed so much. Not many people stepped up. Those that did, stepped away eventually. I never called them to ask about the thing I should have been asking about--birthdays, illnesses, new jobs, old jobs, pets, boyfriends, girlfriends, new babies. When I came to fully understand that my daughter was never coming back, I came to understand that neither were my friends. I don't blame them anymore. I was a terrible friend--grieving and overly sensitive, impetuous and distant. I didn't and still do not understand how I could have been any better. I did the absolute best I could with who I was. Emotionally, I was stunted and small. And maybe they were too.

+++

I wrote because I didn't know what else to do with this ache in me. I couldn't speak it to my closest friends, so I wrote her birth story. I posted it on the internet. I thought that was everything I knew about her. I put it on a blog. Maybe someone will read it, maybe someone will understand. It was a flare shot into the night. Or a campfire, as we say around here.

Then I wrote about going to the market. Suddenly, people were there. Other grieving parents. I read about tears in the produce department. I wrote about my fears and anxieties and loves and revelations. I wrote like no one but babylost folk were reading, and sometimes, I wrote like they weren't even reading. I wrote with a kind of freedom that is both naive and slightly endearing. I found myself in the community I longed for since birth--supportive, honest, loving, compassionate. I made friends who appreciated my dark side, as well as the other parts of me. And I theirs. I had found normal.

Writing publicly about grief and pain and the darker parts of losing your child remains both incredibly comforting and absolutely terrifying. In most of my friendships that ended, the complaints centered around my blog and writing. My friends didn't like grieving, complaining, sad, disappointed Angie. 

You wrote about the friends! How unforgivable! You made it sound like we are terrible people! You write about your dead baby every week! That's too much! You make art and sell it! It is about the death of your baby! How terrible! How gauche! Everyone is sick of everything BABYLOST! It is unhealthy! It is wrong! We can't have it!

I never expected any friends to read my blog. It had nothing to offer them. It certainly had nothing to offer me for them to read my innermost, ugliest thoughts about the death of my daughter. I never imagined they would read, but they did.

I wrote because I had no idea what else to do. I wrote because my friends didn't call, and I couldn't call them. I wrote because I needed a community, to feel normal, to feel worthy of compassion. But it came with a steep price. 

Because I lost Lucia, I found something of myself tangled in the tumbleweeds of my emotional and physical defects. After everyone left, something dark and ego-filled, sensitive and critical, drunk and capable of sobriety, redemption, and forgiveness emerged. I forgive those friends, not because they have made amends, but because I have. I had to forgive my humanness. In doing that, I had to forgive theirs. I was grieving the death of my daughter. I did the best I could, and so did they. I sit with who I am now, a human being worthy of compassion. You taught me that. Thank you.

 

How have your friendships been affected since the death of your baby(ies)? Do you have a blog, or on-line presence? Do your before-friends know about your on-line community of babylost? Do they read your blog, or participate in your forums? How do they feel about it? How have you felt about being public, or not so public? Anonymous? 

 

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Reader Comments (49)

Angie, a beautiful, stunning piece.

I have a blog, one that is sometimes anonymous, sometimes not. I lie to myself and say its anonymous. There's no rhyme or reason as to who I shared it with pre-babyloss. I told some friends, neglected to mention it to others. I can think of only one or two open invites to my space to real life friends since my daughters died. The journey changed.

Sometimes I write as if they're reading. Most of the time I don't. My people are mostly here. In the boom town. I remember your post about shopping, Angie. About going to the library. About trying to make small talk. Your voice was there when I was searching for someone who sounded like me.

I think some friends might be a little envious of the boom town. Not of the price of admission, but of the community that lies within.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergabrielle
I lost my baby girl four days ago. And I am surprised how quiet my phone has been - though I asked my friends and family to leave us alone to grieve. I worry I am isolating myself - telling people not to call, but then disappointed they don't. Angie, reading your journey is really helping me right now. To know I am not crazy, just a sad, lonely (angry) mama land though you don't know me from a a knot on a tree, you feel like a friend.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ
Angie,
You took the words from my head, and heart, and put them in that post.

I dont blog... but it's only been 4 months. So, maybe soon, I will. I need a place to put all of this, and I've never felt more at home with everyone I've interacted with in this community.

I am so happy I have this community - and as said by gabrielle - not the price of admission, but the parents I've come to know, and love.

Before my baby died, I didn't feel I had good friends. They were after work social hour company at most. Now, some of those friends expect calls, some have asked around about me.... but not many have reached out. Stepped up. Made the effort. NOT ONE SENT FLOWERS OR A FUCKING CARD. When I talk to my mother or sister about my disappointment in these people, they make excuses for them. "they dont know what to say." Wow, I guess that's ok then.

fuck no. not ok. they suck.

but I always knew they sucked. So, I dont feel too hurt. This experience has reminded me of how empty I allowed my life to be in the first place.

At first, I was afraid that a few of my friends would look into where I've been online (I mentioned Glow in the Woods, and a few other blogs I've commented on). I thought maybe I could help them understand that this isn't going away. My hamster didn't die, and I wont one day just be fine with all of this.

I got nervous. I thought they'd think I was living underground. I thought they would relate this to the early "chat" days where nothing was really real about who you were connecting with online. I was afraid they'd think I was trying to escape my "real" life. I posted everything anonymously. I told people I was reading "books" when I was reading blogs.

I knew they wouldn't get it. I knew they thought I was killing time, or ignoring my life. But man, thank god for you all. I wish we all lived on the same block, really.

And Angie, what you said about things changing is so true.

I am different now - after 4 months (SINCE HE DIED). And I'll be different again after 5, and 6 ... and if you're not here in the in between, how could you possibly know who I am now that this very important time has passed?

And no, I dont want to get a drink one day, and "catch up". Thanks.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica
Angie,
Not only are you a gifted writer, but a brave one at that! My husband and I lost our angel baby on May 19th, 2012. Today was to be her due date, and it has been one of the most difficult times in my life. My husband and I, however, do have a caring and supportive church group of beautiful couples who have gathered together in a "life-group" who have all shared the loss of a child, either through still birth or loss of a child late in pregnancy.

I have a blog and it has been very comforting to write for me. Sometimes people tell me that they read it, sometimes I get no response. What I do know is my precious angel baby has changed the lives of many people her short 4 1/2 hours on this earth. She has not only changed the life of my husband and myself, but the lives of anyone who HAS been following our blog and knew and met her during her short but powerful few hours on this globe.
Some of our friends do the best they can, as we all do, but their best sometimes can be more painful than helpful, then there are those new friends who's relationships are more powerful than any other relationship that I have ever known. So, I suppose blessings can be found in tragedy and light can shine somehow in total darkness. Either way, Angie, do know that you have a fellow sister who knows exactly how you feel and what you are going through. Keep standing and looking for shown light in the darkness, as I am told that light does get brighter and brighter as we allow ourselves to grieve and never forget our angel babies, our precious little ones who never had the chance of physically being able to develop on the realm as we know it.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBethany
I lost one friend, but I'm okay with that. Her baby girl was 3 months old when my baby girl died, and all of our plans for them to play and grow up together were shattered. We're still friendly, and I adore her little girl (2 1/2 years old now), but I recognized that the friendship was always a surface one anyway (she has intense social issues, and very few friends. we're neighbors, and her husband is still a very good friend). I was angry at her for a long time, not because her daughter lived and mine didn't, but because she had the audacity to complain loudly, to me, about the three weeks that she took care of my dog while I was out of town. And not just loudly, but over and over, until I thought I might spit.

But it's been two years, and I've found peace. And she was the only one.

I'm mostly posting to say J, dear J, please tell one of your friends to tell everyone else that you DO want to hear from them. I made a flurry of phone calls from the hospital, because I knew I was about to sink underground, and I told my friends that it really helped to hear from people, without having to actually talk or respond. So they texted and sent emails and left me notes on Facebook. I didn't pick up the phone (much) and I didn't write anyone back, but it was an absolute gift, and a life line, to have all of these messages flooding in and reminding me that I was not the only one who was heartbroken. If you tell people to leave you alone, they will, and (if you're anything like me, and it sounds like you are) it will hurt so much more.

Four days, four days, fuck. I am so sorry your daughter is gone.

Much love to everyone here.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM
wow, J. I'm so very sorry
When I was writing my post, there was only one comment - and by the time I published, you had posted.
Please know you are loved, and not alone.
Maybe tell a family member, or a close friend that people can email or facebook you. It can be hard with phone calls in the early days. I almost felt like I had to console people when they called to give their condolences. Reading peoples kinds words can be very comforting as you can re-read, close computer, cry, re-read, and repeat.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica
Angie this is beautiful. And that tangle of everything - the keening and writing and not knowing what to do and friends not knowing what to do and the reading and misreading - you describe it all so well, and there is grace in your words. That last paragraph strikes me as being what forgiveness should be.

J, I am so very sorry about your daughter. If you need to hide for a while, that's okay. Having said that, four days is brutal, gasping-for-air territory, and if you change your mind about wanting help of any kind, that's okay, too. Truly.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErica
I lost one close friendship that I still mourn. At first I thought I lost it to the other person's insensitivity and what I perceived as a major disappearing act. Then I thought I lost it to my own anger and inability or unwillingness to forgive. Now I wonder if we would have lost each other anyway- hadn't, in fact, been losing each other for years- and if we could find ourselves on better footing with work that neither of us really wants to or can put in. I did, at some point, reach out to say that I was grateful for what our friendship had once been, regardless of what it became or becomes. Though I really, really needed to be angry then and still feel terribly let down by that relationship, I can't be that angry now. I'm tired of it, and it no longer serves me.

I have no blog, but I am not shy about letting people in my before life know that some of the dearest people in my now life are from this community. When I hesitate, it's out of respect for other people's right to tell their own stories. But, as my husband says, you can't truly get to know us unless you know the story of all 3 of our babies. And you are all part of that story now. So there you have it.

J- I am aching for you. I am so sorry about the loss of your precious daughter. We came home from the hospital and immediately sent out a mass email saying "don't take it personally if we're not in touch right away or don't answer calls". i just wanted to be able to hibernate in safety and quiet. In retrospect, I wish I had added a line that said "Even if we don't call back, please call anyway." People did what they thought we wanted by staying away, and I so wished that they wouldn't have.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
I have a blog about my son Logan. I have gone to extreme lengths to keep it hidden from anyone I know IRL. More than a year ago my SIL told me that she read it, on the heels of me horrifyingly telling her that my Aunt came across it and read it. It changed for me after that. I felt too guarded. I don't like feeling like I am on display, like the wreck you just HAVE to stare at as you drive past.
I didn't "really" lose any friends. But I cut off my Dad, his wife and my sister. I just couldn't "deal" anymore, and they couldn't see the forest. I have since pushed a few people away, people that I wasn't real close to before, and afterwards just seemed to really rub me the wrong way. My lack of giving a shit about other peoples problems and the pettiness that is often found is to blame. I used to care more. These days, I just don't have it in me.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
This entry really hit home with me. I think most baby lost Mom's feel that they never quite fit into their old skin anymore...and this definitely hit me right in that spot.

You wrote it so beautifully. Thanks so much.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDomenica
I have been one of the lucky ones, if you can call a babylost mama lucky. Amy's birth and death and the harrowing 5 day hospital stay leading up it revealed that not only is my husband second to none, but our friends are real, rainy day friends. Reading the blogs of others, I've realized over and over, how unbelievably lucky this is. My heart absolutely breaks for those of you whose family and friends have been absent in this awful time. I credit their support with how functional I am, just 3 months after losing our daughter.

I do blog, and it is anonymous to the internet at large but my friends all know about it and know the URL, and many of them read though most only comment in person. I find it's actually helpful because even with supportive friends, sometimes I put my brave face on when I'm out and it helps them to know that sometimes I'm okay, and sometimes I'm still utterly broken, so they're more sensitive to what's really going on. And sometimes there are things bubbling up and over that you want to say so badly but you never would in polite company, and the blog is great for that. Those posts are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the ones that seem to touch people the most, in the end.

One weird thing about my blog - there is only one person I know who does not have the address: my husband. He knows that I have the blog and I write about our private life with his permission and blessing, but he doesn't want to read it and I don't really want him too, either. We talk about and share all of the same stuff in person, and I think to actually have to read my pain and my grief would just be too hard for him, somehow. He sees it every day in our house, anyway.
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin
Yes, the phone doesn't ring, the emails are for shop orders only, and no one brings me flowers on my birthday. It's all true, it happened here too, it's still happening, three years later. I am a different person, too cautious to share my true self with anyone, let them see my horns, my ANGER, my grief, my hideous wishes. I am a shadow self in some ways, but in many more I am someone altogether different than who I was. For all intents and purposes she is dead, and I don't even have enough left to truly miss her.
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMindy
Ah yes, my before-friends. They know about my blog. Many have read...but fewer read now...like you before me, they now wonder how I can write about my dead baby every week.
I am a little anonymous as Em is not my real name but stands for Eva's mama and is a name I like...but is not completely me. I have a very unique name and it feels too vulnerable to see it here. But Em feels right.
I have not lost everyone. I have been surprised by the people I have lost and surprised by the people I haven't (I've heard this is common) but, like you, I have no idea how I could have been/could be any better of a crappy friend than I am now. There is so little left for my survival that there is nothing to give to others. And, strangely, I"m ok with that. I am who I am and I'm not who I was. I will never be that Em ever again. I am a new person and the shape of who I am is different than the shape I once was. And forgiveness is key. Forgiving them their blissful ignorance and forgiving me my twisted new shape of pain and grief and a little something beautiful in there too.
Thanks Angie for another beautiful post.
Much love, Em
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEm
I lost my baby boys (twins) March 6 and 9, 2012. I too feel like I am alone. When people have asked how I am doing (supposedly friends), if I say the truth, I do. not. hear. from. them. again. But I don't know how to lie and I am not good at pretending everything is o.k.
Everything isn't o.k. Everything is different. I wouldn't have it any other way (besides for them being alive).
Someone told me that I should separate between being a Dead Baby Mom and my "other" life. I will not. I choose not. And. I told them how it was when they said that.
I don't feel alone with the community of moms that have lost babies but I do feel alone with my thoughts every second of the day until I read this blog.
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjessica
Ang, I could have written this, word for word.

I lost them all. All of those so-called "good" friends. They didn't know what to do the first time, and they were all long gone by the third time.

Unbelievably, these friends used to be like my family.

I've changed significantly. I trust no-one (except my husband). My expectations of others are very, very low.

Thanks for writing what happened to me!
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermirne
i guess some left me, and i know i left some of them, too...
however it happened, it is like an abandonment, of that part of me, that part of my life.

what is interesting to me is that, it seems as though my ability to care for others has somehow shifted to only online. i read, i support, i think of, i care for, online women (and men) who have lost their babies, their children, & the infertile, the grieving.

but IRL, i mean, for the most part, it is striking to me how little i care! it is kinda sick, in a way, how borderline psychotic i can be in "real" relationships. i listen, to their little iaaues, their problems, concerns, thoughts, and while i nod and offer patent advice or commiseration, underneath, i could not give a flying fuck. i mean, not really at all. its cold! but, this is where i am 7 years out of losing 2 babies.

i don't mean to imply that i don't have meaningful relationships with people who i care about and who care for me- because i do (my mom, my sister, a friend). but the majority of people who i come in contact with, i just don't care anymore. i have also lowered my expectations to the point where i really don't have any- i just don't want to connect with people whose main worries in life are how over-tan they got on their picnic. or how awful it is to have a shitty job, or a dick for a boyfriend. uh-huh, yeah, uh-huh... i understand, that must be very difficult for you. lol.

when i finally went on to have a living baby, some of the bail-ers come around again- HEY! we can be friends with you again because you aren't a freak of nature who has dead babies anymore! lets be friends, and where is that cute living baby?!! i had no patience for that. sure, i appreciated the experience of being able to feel so normal and vanilla- in fact, that is all i ever could have hoped for in the darkest days of grief. a small price to pay. but, hanging out for a little while and chit-chatting, it became very apparant that i wasn't connecting with them, even in my shiny-happy-new state of being- i didn't care about them anymore. this is reminding me of the recent post about indelability. i was trying to figure out how i had changed, permanently, and this is probably it- i don't care about other people's little shit anymore. i fake it great, but deep down, the huge losses i suffered in the deaths of my daughter and son, and knowing that they died, period, well, it changed me. i hate to admit it here in the presence of newly bereived parents, but it is the truth. which is not to also say that i know many parents who lost babies years ago who have great lives! fulfilled! friends-old and new! active! it can be that way, too. but for me, for right now, i am in a darker phase of grief. maybe one day i'll be able to start caring again. about dick-boyfriends and poor nail polish choices.

angie, like some others wrote, it feels like you swept up the contents of my thoughts about this and poured them all out on paper, neat and meaningfully organized. that image of the grapes... yes. just like that. thank you for writing this.
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterss
Angie- this is so beautifully expressed. I did co-dependency recovery years before either of my little girls was born. Finally being able to face the shame of the mess that was me was humbling and liberating. And yes, I finally knew that I too was worthy of compassion. It seems to me that, no matter what else, Lucia Paz gave you the gift of transformation. And that you were able to receive it. I think she moved a mountain.

I can't even begin to tell you how your writing puts a finger exactly on where my grief and longing are. I am grateful for your fearlessness. After AdiaRose died your post "The Laundry" was the first Glow post I read. That another grieving mother was willing to be so naked about her experience was both a revelation and a gift, like a hand reached out.

I have to say that the web, the net, of our people who showed up to support us was beautiful and sustaining. Mostly people in our "family of choice". They are not afraid to talk about our daughter. Or if they were uncertain, they had the character to get over it. The lines do get clearly drawn, and the dead wood tends to fall away, but for me it's mostly extended family. I never expected much of them anyway, but it changed the light I see them in.

Thank you for this post, Angie.
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen
A beautiful post. I still feel - at six months out - that it is too early to know for sure what will happen to the friendships I had before Anja died. I wonder about one of my previously closest friends - she just cannot understand that grief lasts and lasts and lasts. Now, I just don't talk to her about it anymore and I think that means our friendship will slowly turn into something different, less open, more superficial. I am so grateful for the community I've met online. I started a blog shortly after Anja died. Not very many people read it on a regular basis, I don't think, but I have made a couple of very good friends through it. Now that I am miscarrying my first pregnancy after Anja died, I am relying on those friends and have barely spoken with my 'before' friends. I suppose that says a lot. The support I have felt in the last few days from the babylost community is what's holding me up right now.
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJLD
It feels so good to hear I'm not alone in this. What has hurt me so much recently is how others got by with a little help from their friends. I can count on one hand how many people have asked me how I'm doing ("like, how are you REALLY doing?"). ONE HAND. Mostly these are not good friends, but acquaintances.

I know it is hard to bring up and I try to put on a happy face, but there are a few friends who I will probably always hold a grudge against - the ones who rubbed my belly the last time they saw me... then the next time didn't mention a word about the loss.
July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh
First off, I am so sorry to all the moms on here that have lost their baby/ies. I am the friend of a mommy that lost her beautiful boys and your blog really helps me truly understand what she has explained to me so many times. I try to remember to not get so caught up in the little things I am used to talking with her about, but I forget sometimes. I want to be a great support to her, and sometimes I am lost in what to do, but I am going to remember that I will never truly understand her pain, but that I need to keep reaching out to her and let her know how much I love her and her boys.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHolly
Amazing. I too feel I could have written this. Except i couldn't because I'm not you! But yep, so many shared experiences here.

I lost a great many friends. Some I pushed away, some drifted away of their own accord. In particular, my best friend who was there at Hope's birth and the first few weeks. But the birth of her daughter five months after Hope was the final nail in the coffin. Our friendship simply didn't survive.

I was probably 90 per cent to blame for the demise, and I can say that now. But I still think she could have tried harder and that's one thing I haven't changed my mind about, even though it might sound a little asshole-ish. She wasn't the one with the dead kid.

The thing is though, I often bang on about the friendships, for whatever reason, that didn't make it. But a great many more DID make it and we realised in the face of our loss, that we are surrounded by wonderful people. Old friendships were strengthened, new friendships were formed and we really were very supported during the worst time of our lives, and we still are.

And I think with some of the friendships that didn't make it, maybe they wouldn't have lasted anyway. Because when I sit back and examine them now, it is obvious the cracks were forming and Hope's death, if nothing else, removed my bullshit filter in life. I just couldn't put up with things I once did, and I spoke my mind like never before instead of avoiding confrontation like I always used to. So if they couldn't' support me, I couldn't keep them around. And the truth is, though I sometimes miss some of the friendships I lost, I will always, always, always miss Hope more. I will be ok without these people in my life, but I will never be ok without my Hope in it.

Wonderful post.

xo
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally
Oops, forgot to touch on the online stuff.
Yep, I have a blog. And it remained anonymous for only a few weeks. I told one person, and then a few others found it, then it spiralled out of control. I should have gone private at that point, as I have always felt stifled when I write. There are still some friends who don't' know about it, but then maybe they do and they just haven't said anything. I wrote about some friends, but I never used names. Only one friend called me out on something I wrote, and she was the best friend I mentioned above, and this all contributed to the demise of our friendship. I mostly have to censor myself now and it is hard.

It is also hard knowing family read because I know they just worry, when they don't' always need to. I need the blog to vent and unload. I write far less often than I'd like to.

When Hope died, I disabled my Facebook account for 18 months, and I slowy made my way back after my first living child was born. And slowly but surely, I deleted old friends and added new friends made through babyloss, mostly blogging. I think there are some real life friends who are a bit put out that I have so many "friends" who I have never met, and will likely never met. But I need these people in my life in different ways than the ways I need my real life friends.

Sometimes I do wish I could keep two existences though. Regular Sally and Bereaved Sally. I find it hard when I try and merge the two worlds and Facebook is the best example of that.

xo
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally
wow you have such an honest and amazing way of saying what so many people experience after loss of a baby. I relate so much to what you have said and read your post almost with my breath held waiting on every word and waiting to see what you would say next. I wondered if your story would end the same as mine....with loss of friends and the recognition of forgiveness needed. I too lost friends, some by my choice, some by their choice. I made new friends also who lost a baby. I found moments of strength from people I never thought that would be so supportive and I found disappointment in others that I thought would be supportive. I came to the conclusion that my grief, my loss, my life was far too important and needed to be lived by me and if they could be in that with me, great, and if not I have many happy memories and they became people in my past. I was angry, I was sad, but now I know that I had to focus on my life and my moving forward with the grief in ways that I knew how.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha
Thank you all for sharing your experiences there, and for your kind words. So much amazing and wise insights here, and it is comforting to hear your truths.

I feel like I have to qualify this by saying, I have some friends. I don't see them frequently, but I know they are there. My one friend, who I adore with all my heart, always writes to me when she pokes into my blog to see how I am doing. I appreciate it so much, because my blog starts a conversation. It is not THE conversation. I have always written freely here and at my blog, and the things I edit it out are meant to be hidden away. I know my feelings are temporary, but publishing them on the internet does make it seem permanent, which I think is where the problems arise.

And J. I am so sorry. Four days is a brutal place. It is okay to isolate. I think what M said is so true, though. Ask. It is okay to ask. It is necessary to ask. MY friends, I realize now, just wanted me to ask. Living in resentment and anger for so long was torture. It really was. The first day back from the hospital, we talked on the phone to a grief therapist. I told her I found the white funeral lilies we received in the hospital to be disturbing. And I couldn't watch flowers die too. I guess that is denial--to think my daughter shouldn't get white flowers. She suggested I write an email to all our friends and family, telling them our news, asking them not to send flowers. She said to ask them not to call for a week. After the week was up, no one called. Then another, I got a call or two. In total in the first month, I received five phone calls. After that, no one else called. I have always worried that by prescribing how people should honor Lucia's death, I pushed people away. It is one of many regrets from that time.

And Veronica, Bethany, Erin, Jessica, JLD, everyone, I'm so sorry, so many recent losses here--two months, three months, four months, six months...I'm so sorry you are here, but also grateful to know all of you and have the privilege to hear of your experience.

Gabrielle, I never thought this boom town/babylost community could be an object of envy, but I realize that it is enviable to have this group of funny, witty, intelligent, wise, insightful women and men who love you unconditionally, and to love unconditionally. I do have this vast well of compassion for other babylost mamas, as s.s. was saying. It is strange how a part of my life this community feels when it is spread to the four corners of the earth.

Veronica, I had a friend tell me at about six months that I had to lighten up on everyone. He said, "YOu don't know how they cry for you. They sit at the bar and talk about how much they love you and how sad they are for you. They just don't know what to say." And I lost it. I said "Tell them to fucking google it. I DID! And you know what comes up, millions of things to say to grieving people. Here I am reading books on how to talk to them and if they cared they would be reading books on how to talk to me." But I guess I came to see that he was right. They don't know what to say and they don't have any impetus to find out. Why should they? Their life didn't change, mine did. I punished people for a long time, and it turned out they didn't notice the punishment at all. I was punishing me. It is exhausting to be angry for three years. And I can still be angry. But I needed friends. I made this community for myself by commenting and writing and creating art, but I do regret not doing more to be compassionate to them. But as I said, I don't see how I could have. I did the best I could. The very fucking best, even though it simply wasn't enough.

Jen, Thank you for your beautiful comment. Lucia did give me the gift of transformation. She continues to inspire me to create art and be honest with who I am (the grief gypsy?)--the good, the bad, and the ugly.

JLD, Six months felt like the time when I started acknowledging how angry I was at those friends who weren't there, but I don't think I could really see who was still standing until a year or two out.

Holly, thank you for your words here. YES! Just keep on. Love her when she most unlovable. I know my darkest time came in the form of complete apathy, depression, bitterness, isolation, and general eff-it attitude. I was not pleasant to talk to or be around. It probably didn't look like grief to my friends, but it was. As Elizabeth McCracken said, "Grief outlasts sympathy."Grief lasts longer than sympathy."

I wish I could respond to each person, because everyone has something I related to immensely. Thank you.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
Beautifully written but this piece made me feel so very sad.

My husband always tells me that my problem is that my expectations are too high, that I expect people to care too much. He's probably right. I look back at times in life when I might have been a better friend than I was, cared more than I did, googled to find the right thing to say and, sometimes, sad to say, I didn't. I didn't keep the high standards that I was so keen to hold others up to.

I think that I have learnt about friendship as a result of Georgina's death is that it is a rare, rare thing. Vanishingly rare. The hen's teeth of the relationship world. Most people I thought were friends were just people hanging around in my vicinity because we were in similar circumstances or liked doing similar things. Sometimes I question whether I have actually ever had a friend or been one myself. So, in conclusion, perhaps I have as many friends as I once did. Just that I didn't realise, before, how very few I really had. I'm a lonely person now. I would like friends but I seem to have lost the knack. Too sad, too quiet.

I do have a blog, none of my before friends are aware of it and I would rather they weren't. Nobody, as far as I know, in my real life reads it. I deeply wish I had not been quite so 'public' in my online presence. Catherine W. is my real name and my real initial, I use my children's real names, the photographs on my blog are, indeed, of me. I never did have any foresight nor did I understand how impossible it can be to remove things from the internet in their entirety.

Not that I expect that anybody takes such a keen interest in me that they would feel the need to go digging about to see what I was up to (heck my husband knows I write a blog but isn't interested enough to read it!) but I would feel mortified and horribly exposed if friends or acquaintances were reading. In some ways, it makes me feel sick with fear, having my tiny daughter and all my feelings about her, out in the open, on permanent display. In other ways, it is strangely liberating.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine W
This is so beautiful, Angie.

I always said that if my son had lived, the friendships I had would have probably changed and we would have likely grown apart but it wouldn't have hurt so damn much.

I'm so sorry for those who are in the early days, weeks and months of grief. Sending you all love and hoping you have some peaceful moments coming your way.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonique
Angie,

Thank you for the post. I'm four months out from my loss and was telling my therapist just yesterday about how alone I feel. I've lost some friends, but who cares. If I'm being honest they were not great friends to begin with, so hell. I've desperately held onto a few friendships, but it's hard. I know they are uncomfortable with me, I know I've changed, I know I have a sadness in my eyes even if I'm smiling.

I moved to a new area shortly before my loss. So, now I'm trying to make new friends. I'm torn between telling these new people about my loss- fearing I'll be branded the "crazy lady that lost her baby"- and just keeping quiet. Am I dishonoring my son if I don't talk about him? Am I protecting him from the odd stares and rude comments?

I don't have a blog because I don't feel I write well. Most of the time my heart is full of a million emotions, but when I try to write it down, it's just all mush. I'm grateful to people like you, Angie, that can verbalize what my heart feels. I'm beyond grateful for this community and knowing that I'm "normal" among everyone here. It's a relief that you guys just "get it". Thank you.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
My friends are still around, mostly. But I have changed. My ability to connect with friends has changed. I recently thought of an analogy. It's silly but I think it captures our predicament.

Imagine being at a dinner party. All your friends are around, feasting on a delicious meal, having a jolly good time. Only for some cruel, random, inexpicable reason, the host is refusing to serve you and your husband any food. Only you and your husband. And both of you are STARVING. All you can think about is food, all you see around is food. Well, it's fucking damn hard to join in the celebration with those excruciating pangs of hunger in your stomach. And no, thank you, I don't want to stop by and marvel at your third course. Some friends are kind and thoughtful - they leave their plate behind to come sit in your corner. To tell you how sorry they are that your food was snatched away (that marvellous, beautiful plate that was brutally taken away), or just to chat and distract you. You appreciate their love but you can't help but smell soft warm bread on their breath and resent them for it. And even though you know how central it is to their lives, you can't bring yourself to ask them about their meal. Because that only twists your stomach in further agony.

I hope I am not offending anyone by comparing our babies to food. But I think they are as essential to living, the longing for them - similarly physical and instinctive. And then infinitely more painful and complex. As far as friends go though, the analogy has helped me understand my resentment and conflicted feelings.

Angie, thank you for the heart-felt and honest writing. Thank you for YOUR compassion.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMira
Angie,

This is beyond amazing. Every word of this is so true for me. I lost every relationship as I knew it. Some returned, many did not. I have never been able to relate to people the same again and I have written through every bit of my grief. I don't blog only within the babyloss community and sometimes I wonder if those outside of this community think my posts are a little crazy but I have learned not to care because they are what I need to say when I need to say them.

I want to share this post with everyone, everywhere. And send it to my best friend who I lost along with my daughter, I think of her often and wonder why our friendship didn't survive the loss of my child. As you said, I need to forgive her and forgive myself for doing what I needed to do to survive.

Thank you for this Angie.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Yes, this is true, and I can relate to every comment. When our son died, we told most people by e-mail, and asked for support. We got a lot of that at first. It has been surprising to see who has stuck with us and who has disappeared. I couldn't have predicted how people would shake out. At only 3 months out I am worried about the long term - who other than our fellow babylost parents will have the patience to stick with us at 1 year or beyond? I have kept things pretty anonymous online so that I feel free to share what I want without worrying who will read it.
July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLhotse
I hope the people who abandoned you after you lost your child DO feel like awful, horrible people. I think that's exactly what they are. OK, I get the "I don't know what to say" but how about "I was thinking about you today"? or "I'm afraid to ask 'how are you' because I know it's stupid" or "can I go grocery shopping for you?" How about saying NONE of the stupid cliches like "He/she is in a better place" or "It was God's will" or "everything happens for a reason". How about just picking up the phone and saying "Hello." NO ONE is better off in isolation.
July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoog
Thanks for this wonderful post. Friendships are something I have really struggled with after losing our first born daughter over two and a half years ago. Only now can I start to see some of the people I used to be good friends with as I hid myself away so much. I was guarding myself from even more pain, so scared of people saying something that would trigger even more tears or anger. Of if I am honest, perhaps the anxiety of them saying nothing at all. .

What resonated most for me was the stuff you changed about you. I too have done that. I am so much more careful about what I trust to whom. I am more likely to be honest with friends I know via the web (and some I have had the pleasure of meeting in real life too) then those who see me in my day to day life. These new friends understand why life is now further dominated by being a baby lost mama. I often feel that a second life started after Ava’s death and most of my friendships either fit before my pregnancy with my girls or after. Only one or two friendships have survived both and even those have changed forever because I have.

Thank you again for your words.
July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbbie
I'm one who only has a few but very true friends anyway, so those didn't leave me. All my acquaintances though, at church, at work, at school....I felt like I had some disease they didn't want to catch. My family was very good, though that is because there is so much loss in my family: my mother, both my grandmothers, all of my aunts.

But my close friends and my family all lived in a different state so it was still a very lonely path. Those I interacted with day to day shied away from me, averting their eyes as if to avoid seeing my pain.

I have a blog for Cora, though I'm not as active on it now that I have 3 young living children that need me. But I do write at the hard times, those sudden random moments where the grief hits me over the head and takes my breath away, still, 6 years later.
July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrittanie
I lost my daughter Gracie one year ago June 17. Some of the silence was so loud I wanted to scream. People didn't say anything to me and when I cried some of them would walk away! Love the comment about telling your friends to Google other stories and what can be comforting to say to a mother and father who just lost their baby. Or what emotions they can go through. No not a fucking E-mail asking about a due date on a project the day my husband comes back to work. Not silence and definitely not telling me your daughter is pregnant and you think she should abort. Who the heck are these people! I do not have a blog but writing this is very liberating when you know people that you actually know can't read it. Thank you all for your touching stories I feel our angel babies are always watching over us.
July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
I have had very few bona fide friends my entire life; tons of acquaintances and "dinner party" and club friends back in the day and I've always been okay with that because the two that stuck by me are more than anyone could ask for - quality over quantity. They are still here; albeit thousands of miles away now.

At one point I did think that those dinner friends/couples WERE genuine friends but the death of a child shows you acutely and swiftly fast who's the real-deal. The baby died, OMG, avoid, avoid, avoid (some sent cards - NO ONE called, visited, etc. Except the ONE, second friend came because of number 1.) and then compounded by divorce; the crazy, bereaved mother just lost.her.shit. and ended the marriage, too - poor, poor husband. Was I supposed to send an e-mail that said: At five weeks post birth with dead daughter who strangely had a bloody nose that wouldn't stop - I swore she was alive by this fact - husband wanted to have sex and I refused him. And I kept refusing him for months and months and months so he found others to have said sex with? p.s. he refused grief therapy, refused to acknowledge my silence, my tears, my pain, told me the baby (never used her name) wouldn't want a mother like that and that it was time I re-laced some Doc Martens and pulled myself out of this pitiful, woe-is-me funk." Have a great day! End of e-mail.

The marriage has been over for more than a few years and I am now re-married very recently. Some of those friends reached out to me 4-5 years years later thinking that "she's over it by now, let me say hi" genre of bullshit." With the exception of two women formerly in my life, I ignored every single e-mail.

It's interestng to reflect on a new start (and not just by re-marriage but me as a total person - a process that will be six years in December) and starting that road to a hopeful <child included> family. We and our pups are already a family, though.

I don't always like my loner status, furthered by a move cross-country, but I am comfortable being my only best friend ( and nemesis); I have back-up with the aforementioned bona fide two ANY time I need it. We visit, we talk, we video conference. And I get to see these lovely "girls" in 34 days again.

I don't blog but did consider it years ago when in the black mirth.

Thank you ALL for sharing.


There's never a "do-over" button. EVER.
July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCava
Angie: As I sit here with a face mask on my burgeoning 40 year old self, I have to say that I am reading this probably for the 6th time. I wish none of us were here but you and Lucia are a GIFT.

J: It's UGLY; it's beyond awful, beyond tortureous. I am so, so, sorry.

JLD: I find the world more cruel than just ok - your miscarriage is NOT ok; I wish you physical healing because I know the mental anguish is much more harder. Please be gentle with yourself.
July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCava
Angie,,
I was just scrolling throught the comments and I came to the comment where you responded to a bunch of people. You posted the quote by Elizabeth McCracken. It blew me away because I am reading that book right now (thanks to the cabin library) and I posted that quote on my facebook status not 5 minutes before heading over here because I'm feeling so crappy today and tomorrow is 11 months. It's 'nothing special'. 10 months was (she lived for 10 months) and 12 months will be but tomorrow is only another damned 15th and just another hellish day of life without my daughter. And grief lasts longer than sympathy...as I'm beginning to find out.
k love,
Hugs, Em
July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEm
This is my life right here. It has been almost 3 years since our daughter died and I look around at my life and see almost none of the friends I had prior to her death. Same thing: it wasn't overnight but one by one they just didn't call or come around anymore.

I used to be part of a group of 4 girls that felt almost like a coven to me. I have had angry conversations with 1 (ironically she is the most loud-mouthed of the group) that like dominoes led to the others falling away.

One of the girls was like a soulmate to me. I can't put into her words how painful it has been to lose this friendship. She was the one who initially stood by me (in her way) the first year after Mika died. In that year she was trying to get pregnant & I was her biggest supporter, although it felt awkward at times. She didn't get pregnant in that time & she was starting to stress about it. You know that feeling when you are chasing someone? I could see my desperation and feel her pulling away. Still I took anything she would give me and made excuses for her blowing me off. Our last conversation she told me it was just too hard to be around me while she was trying to conceive. That was our last conversation 19 months ago. She has since had a baby. Isn't life fucking grand.

I dream of these girls a lot. In my dreams they come to me, sometimes remorseful, sometimes angry. Often I simply walk them to the door, see them out & then deadbolt it. Last night I dreamt of this friend I had been closest to. She was trying to apologize to me I think. I still can't go back to the way it was, not even in my dreams.

Who acts like this? Who abandons people when they are most down? I have a million questions and just myself trying to answer them.

I haven't made many new friends since. I can feel the wall I have up around me. I used to be so different ~ I could talk to anybody. Now I am so quiet around people. I don't trust myself to speak a lot of the time. I don't trust the words that could so easily drive those closest to me out of my life. How do I learn how to make friends again when I don't even know what to say or how to say it? I feel so beige.

I wonder if I will ever get over these people who walked out on me. It haunts me still.
July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoretta
Oh and regarding the internet and putting our story out there ~ I don't have a blog, but have often wished I did. It was a Facebook message to one of the close friends that started the eventual fallout. She made copies of the letter, told me she highlighted every negative comment & then distributed it to mutual friends. I have since been very cautious about what I put in writing IRL and will sometimes passive aggressively share one of your posts, Angie, in my notes section on FB but not have it visible on my wall or news feed. It's my closest way of letting people know how I really feel ~ so thank you Angie so very much.
July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoretta
Thanks for sharing your feelings. While reading about grief is hard, writing about it can also be equally excruciating though sometimes it is also cathartic.

It would mean a lot to me if you could review my short book (14000 words) "A Child Lost in Flight"
http://www.amazon.com/Child-Flight-Moving-tragedy-ebook/dp/B008E9KKCW
July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMohan
When I read this, I think I had forgotten how bad it was in the beginning...and just how bitter I still feel about it now that I am in the middle, four years later. I assumed they thought I shouldn't take it personally, because it was their inability to deal. But it is personal. And it sucked. I should feel grateful for those who stayed, and I am. But the ones I lost (or who lost me) will bother me until the day I die.
July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReese
Loretta, how sad to read that your so-called "friend" used your own words against you.

All I can say is, she has no clue how you feel. She has no clue what your life is like. And clearly she doesn't even want to try to understand. It's easier for her to point the finger and walk away.

((hugs)) to you.
July 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermirne
My son was stillborn 19 years ago at 31 weeks. Internet use was not common, but common courtesy still existed. I received many cards, flowers and meals from all sorts of people- family, co-workers, neighbors, church people and acquaintances.It was all communicated by word of mouth. People dropped by and visited, even though I don't think I had a 'best friend' back then.One neighbor made me a sweet crossstitch that says " oh littlest angel, watch over us until we meet again." It still sits in my room. I still work with many of the same people, and they will bring it up from time to time, saying things like 'how long has it been?'. I know they haven't forgotten what happened to me.
Perhaps our society has changed for the worse, that people feel a text, email or a post is an adequate substitute for caring for someone in need. We need to go back to the day where everyone can safely assume that if YOUR BABY DIED, at least send a frickin' card.
I'm really sorry for all of you ladies. The stories of your babies lie in my heart, protected and loved. I'm sending you all a virtual casserole. Just put it in your freezer for a day you don't feel like cooking.
Love,
Cathy
July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCathy
Oh Cathy, that is such a beautiful response. I'm so glad that your friends and community remember your little boy with you and supported you, your description of that sweet little cross stitch is just so lovely.

I realise now that my own comment was so negative. One friend in particular has been so understanding and patient with me. She has never lost a baby, and has twins herself, but, on my surviving daughter's birthday, she always sends a card and a present for Georgina as well. That means so much to me. That she doesn't forget. And she is a friend that I feel I have let down in the past, by not being there when SHE needed me, by avoiding awkward and difficult situations.

I hope that I can be as kind to somebody else as she has been to me as I suspect it is too late for me to ever be the friend she needs or deserves. But perhaps when one of the people who 'didn't know what to say' when my daughter died, those people who disappeared need somebody to help them? Just maybe that somebody will be me. I hope so. I owe the world some cards and a couple of casseroles.

Remembering your son, Cathy.
July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine W
I too am new at this "game." Although, it's not a very fun one. It's almost two weeks from the sonogram and the doctor's "Oh Tracy...the baby stopped growing." And, me? I'm still hiding. It's easier. How do I act like the "normal" me? That's changed. Many people didn't even know I was pregnant--they won't get it. But I have a friend--I knew she was a good friend. How good I didn't know! I'm hiding. I've openly admitted it to her. And she told me to hide until I'm ready...then she'll come move the rocks.
And she keeps texting. I can't talk on the phone--grief is too hard on the phone. And so every couple of days she sends me a text. Whether it's "I'm doing errands, do you need something?" or a simple "<3." It's the best thing to me. I know she's not dropping me and walking away. She's waiting for me to be ready. And...she texted my husband! Asked him how HE was. And told HIM she was sorry. She is the only one of my friends to reach out to him. I never realized how lucky I was.
So it's ok to hide, but make sure when someone reaches out--you tell them "you are a good friend." And let them know their reaching makes a difference.
July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy
You have such a way with words Angie. A stunning piece.

I'm not sure how to respond here amid all of the friendship loss that everyone has experienced. I think, perhaps, the opposite happened for me. There were trying days, no doubt, but on the other side of sixteen months out, the friendships and familial ties have deepened through the pain, through the loss. I think blogging made a difference, though, in the end, the compassion and patience of my friends probably is what kept us together. As one friend said recently, "we all lost when Margot died."
July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ
I'm so glad you posted this.

I have been struggling with this since my baby died in March. I lost a lot of faith in humanity when I saw how few people even pretended to care that my child died. It makes me angry now every time I see people offering condolences to others online for dead grandparents, pets, etc. I'm also jealous of all of the attention on Colorado right now. Where was all the fuss when MY kid died?

I'm glad I have this community to visit to remind me that I'm not alone.

Let me step in for all of the disappointing friends so many of you (and I) turned out to have: I'm SO so sorry to hear about your baby. There will never be anyone else like your baby, and it will never be ok that this happened. But I'm still here.
July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJM
This feels so true. We lost our little girl at 27 weeks in March. I am currently in the process of miscarrying our 2nd baby.

The responses of people have amazed me. Some people who were only casual friends have been amazing, checking in with me, setting up a meal train for us. A few friends that I had pretty much lost touch with have stepped up and been amazingly supportive and cried with me. And some of my closest friends have disappeared. A friend I used to see every two weeks or so didn't get in touch with me after she heard She emailed me back after I contacted her to let her know, and I haven't heard from her since. One of my other close friends, who used to IM and email me pretty much every day - well, I've only seen her 3 times since March. Most people don't want to hear about it. A woman I work with actually told me "Well, you're fine now. It's been a few months."

But I have realized that I just don't have the energy to engage in the way I used to. I don't want to socialize. I don't want to chit chat about what's on TV, or who's dating whom, or who's stressed out about work. The things that people care about are things that I don't have the emotional capacity to care about any more. It takes most of my energy just to get through my work week, so by the time the weekend comes, I don't have fake smiles left. I need that time to regenerate and rest.
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
Thank you for this post. How terrible is it to find solace in knowing that others are feeling the same pain and frustrations I do? I thought I would be "past" the bitter hurt of lost friendships at this point, but honestly, I am just now starting to forgive my so called close friends.

I am almost 8 years out from the loss of our daughter, Jade, and 5 years out from our two miscarriages. I had no idea how quickly my friends would disappear after her death, or the horrible things people would say to me. It makes me shudder now to remember some of the mindless things I have said to others in the past, and even in those first months of complete and overwhelming grief.

My best friend hurt me deeply. My college roommate honestly yelled at me on the phone that it was not her fault her daughter lived and mine died, and that she could not just stop living her life or rambling on about her daughter because my child was dead. (I had in no way asked that of her.)

I was blessed by acquaintances stepping up, crying with me, sending me cards and calling. I appreciated it, but at the time my anger with those who abandoned me was so strong it almost overshadowed the good. I am still amazed at how quickly my friendships changed.

Reading this posts and the comments reminded me that this is a process, and unfortunately there is no clear cut path through it. We are all out here, searching and grabbing on to whatever we can to make it through the day. Thanks for the sad but wonderful reminder that I am not alone, and for being willing to lay it out there.
August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

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