The One Where I Lie To My Friends

The truth about grief and loss is that they do not always come with pretty, neatly packaged feelings.  Many of us have had thoughts that we may be afraid to share with others, for fear of what they may think of us, for fear that they may see how broken our loss has truly left us.

One brave and honest guest author living in Europe shares her feelings with us, and helps us to see the many faces of grief.  She helps us to understand that any person’s grief can be ugly and raw at times, and that we must learn how to accept and live through those feelings as we move toward healing.

I have a confession to make: a friend is moving back to the US and even though I pretend to be sad about it, I am actually happy she’s going.

I feel terrible for feeling this way, but I can’t help myself. It’s amazingly selfish and if any of my friends in real life knew they would be very upset with me. They would be horrified that I could think such a horrible thing about someone I call my friend. It would probably change their view of me completely. So I hide it. I keep it to myself and pray that no one discovers my dark secret.

So what is this friend’s crime? What has she done to make me so happy that she’s moving so far away?

Three words

HER BABY LIVED

Yes, it’s a simple as that. We were pregnant at the same time. Our due dates were a month apart. We had all these plans about our babies being friends. She was having a girl and I was having a boy and we joked about them being boyfriend and girlfriend. We were going to join the same playgroup. We were on the same path.

Until that horrible day.

“There’s no heartbeat.”

Those words uttered at my 36 week growth scan changed everything for the hubby and me.
But not for her. Her baby girl lived, and is here.  On this earth.  In her arms. While my son looks down on me from heaven.  I can only hold him in my heart.

This friend and her daughter are walking reminders of what I have lost. In fact, in the 9 months since my son died (yes, it’s been 9 months now) I have yet to meet her daughter. I can’t meet her daughter. In fact, we had a near miss a few weeks ago and it nearly sent me into a crying frenzy.

So I pretend…
That I will miss her.
That I’m sad to see her go.
That our group of friends will never be the same without her.
When really, I can’t wait for her to be gone. So that I don’t have to see the awkward looks on people’s faces when they are in the same room with the two of us. Knowing the struggle they are going through:

  • Dying to ask her about her baby, but not wanting to hurt my feelings.
  • Wanting to invite people over but knowing she may not have a babysitter and knowing that I can’t be in the same room as her daughter.
  • Feeling like they somehow have to make a choice whether to see me or her based on her childcare situation.
  • Feeling like they are stuck in the middle of this horribly awkward situation. Where her baby lived and mine died.
  • Trying to be good friends to each of us while not hurting the feelings of the other.

I don’t envy their situation. I try to put myself in their shoes, but I’m too close. I am unable to think objectively. So as much as I like this friend (and believe it or not, I really do) her move is a huge relief. Because I get to keep the other friends.

And I really need them right now.

As horrible as it is to say this, I need them more than she does. So I’m lying to everyone. Saying how much I will miss her and how sad I am to see her go. When really I’m just counting down the days.

So I’m a liar, and it makes me feel like a horrible person. Even though all I’m really trying to do is survive.

The author of Finding My New Normal blogs about her life, and her husband’s life, after the death of their son in the 36th week of pregnancy.  Having recently moved from the US to London, she shares her journey openly, including her plans to have another child.

Photo Credit.

11 Comments:

  1. Mary Lu said on November 8, 2011 at 9:15 am ... #

    Thank you for sharing your honest story. As someone at risk of losing a teenage son right now, I’m surprised how our emotions mirror each other. I wish you well in your grieving and living again.

  2. Lisa said on November 9, 2011 at 8:20 am ... #

    Thank you for your honesty… while my loss was much earlier (7 weeks) I still was unable to go to a family member’s baby shower, or see my cousin’s baby after the birth. A dear friend who lost her son at 20 weeks couldn’t bring herself to see my son after he was born, even though it was 3 years later and she had had another daughter. Hearing other people’s honesty will help others deal with these emotions, and hopefully help others begin to understand where they’re coming from. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Amanda said on November 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm ... #

    Oh my – how I can relate! My co-worker and I were pregnant at the same time. Her due date was the same as mine. At my 12 week ultrasound I found out my baby had no heartbeat – hers continues to grow. Since having my miscarriage, I have also had another. Seeing her everyday, is like knives stabbing me over and over again. But – she is a lovely, wonderful person. I can’t wait till she’s off on mat leave, but I know I wont be able to rejoice in her baby. I can’t imagine how you felt after loosing your baby so far along. Thank you for sharing your words – helps me put things into perspective.
    Amanda
    http://amanda-mylifeinanutshell.blogspot.com

  4. Daniel's momma said on December 6, 2011 at 1:14 am ... #

    Every detail is exactly what it’s been like since losing my son (June 2010). Thank you for putting into words what I have not been able to do.
    Blessings

  5. Finding My New Normal said on December 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm ... #

    Thanks for the lovely comments. This was not an easy thing for me to come to terms with.

    I have found that grief sometimes brings out emotions that are not comfortable. That go against how we are taught to think and feel. Therefore we feel guilty and ashamed of ourselves for having these kinds of thoughts.

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has experienced this.

  6. Melissa said on January 6, 2012 at 5:21 am ... #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I had such experience,but I was who could have her baby. My daughter is now 4,and loves my friend,and calls her aunt.Your story made me cry.How could not I undrestand the feeling of my best friend!
    But at that time I was so sad even my doctor was worried about my health.So my you see your friends felt grief ,too.

  7. lynne osborne said on January 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm ... #

    wow,,your honesty is awesome and I can totally relate.thank you for sharing

  8. Ms. Martha said on April 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm ... #

    I understand how you feel. I have a friend of 20 years that I cannot go around because I lost my teenage son last year and her son is still here. She keeps saying she is here for me when I’m ready to talk but I don’t want to talk to her as she has no way of understanding what I’m going through. I don’t want to see the reminders that she has her son and I don’t.

  9. Regina G. said on August 29, 2012 at 3:57 am ... #

    I absolutely love this story. I recently lost my 5 yo son back in June. I can relate to this story very well. I am truly grateful for your honesty. I have co-workers that have kids the same age as my baby and my co-workers kids have started to school and my Ethan want start school and I just can not stand to be around or listen to them talk. I definitely feel your pain. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Susan Quinn said on January 16, 2013 at 11:52 pm ... #

    I have a friend who has three children, two of her boys were within a year to two years of my 21 year old son, Brian, who died suddenly, 9 months ago. And whn Brian died she shortened her overseas trip to return home for Brians services,Her boys gave her troubles, drinking, drugs, being defiant, some police intervention…..Brian is our heart, he worked hard at his jobs, his college courses, he liked to be with us and we with him…..he has many great friendships, many who still keep in contact with us…..Brian was an athlete and died suddenly, at home of cardiac arrest……now, my friends boys are working, one living at home, one across country…..what’s difficult? Hearing her wish the guy who lives at home would leave, how happy she is the son who lives in California is off her car insurance and that when he visiting glad that it will be for just a short time, posting on FB that the greatest gift parents give their children are roots and wings……she wishes me happy Mother’s Day, sends a merry Christmas card, ignores Brian’s anniversary of coming home to us from Korea…….it’s like I’m not grieving fast enough……

  11. Whitney said on February 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm ... #

    I know 100% how you feel. I am exactly the same way. It’s been 3 1/2 yrs since I lost my son. I refuse to go to even a baby shower. Some of my BFF babies I have never met. Don’t ever be hard on yourself!! You do what you have to do to survive & do not feel bad for the way you feel! Xoxo

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