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?
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.