An excerpt from a bereaved
Ah, my journal. How I have missed you so. I apologize for not adding to this. For those who have been faithful readers, I thank you. I hope that my entries have helped you to know that you are not alone and that the feelings and thoughts that you have are perfectly normal and acceptable.
Things have been very hectic lately. I just took an hpt this morning. AF is 9 days late but apparently not for any reason other than my body is going crazy. In other words the hpt showed only one line instead of two. I have since decided that I am never going to take one again. It is too discouraging.
It is amazing how you can believe that you are feeling better and that the good days are far outweighing the bad ones, and then out of the blue (although you knew it was coming all along) something hits you hard and sends you hurtling backwards to what feels like square one. My great big shove came in the form of a now ex-best friend (I will call her EBF from now on). On August 28th, 2001 my good mood ceased to be. Yes, it was 11 days after the one-year anniversary of Colins death, but that did not seem to stop her from trampling all over my feelings.
I had lived through the anniversary. Imagine that. I do not know if I just pretended that it did not happen, or what? I was quite numb for the entire day, but did not end up crying at all. DH took the day off of work, and so did I. We spent the day together, on an extended date. He watched me closely all day.
For a while now, I have realized that my EBF and I do not have anything in common. We have different philosophies about raising children (this did not use to be true). I have lost a baby and she is just too caught up in her own little world to care about anything other than herself. I have known this about her for years. I just thought that she cared that is all. When she first had her little girl, I took over all of our joint online duties to give her a break. I was working over 50 hours a week, but I figured it would be nice for her not to have to worry about any of the extra stuff. She had a really tough time of it after her daughter was born. She was very depressed and they even considered medicating her for a while. She was stressed about money, as every new parent seems to be. I figured I would give her a break and do things for her until she got to where she could resume her responsibilities. Imagine my surprise when I kept these responsibilities indefinitely. When we lost Colin Michael, I really needed a break from everything. Instead she and I decided to do another site together about motherhood (stuff about her daughter) and loss (awareness about PIL which I really want to do). So, here I was amid my grieving adding another site onto my already crowded plate. She said she would help with this one. How stupid I was to believe her. You would think that if someone knows that you are hurting, but does not know what to do for you except listen, that she would figure out that maybe taking some of the responsibility that you had taken from her when she had gotten pg, that she might have thought to have the common courtesy to take these things back so that you could grieve for your dead baby. Apparently her world does not involve helping others.
I had a break at work on Tuesday (August 28, 2001) afternoon and found her on AIM and we started to chat. She did not mention a word about anything to me. Just talked about stupid mundane stuff that I have realized I really do not care about anymore. Anyway, I checked my email while we were chatting and found an email from her. No big deal, right?
"I'm not gonna take a nap after all. I think I fell asleep for half an hour earlier (off and on) while [her daughter] played in her room LOL.
Life is pretty good. I didn't want to tell you by email, but I really want you to know. I found out yesterday I'm pregnant. I went in to get my meds to start AF, and they have to give you a pg test first. I'm sorry if I shouldn't have told you this way. Forgive me?"
I think I read it a few times before the words started making sense again. Then I made up some lame excuse about having to go to the restroom and shut down AIM. I did go to the restroom only I cried dry tears instead. How could she have been so heartless? How could she have been so cruel? What was wrong with her? How could I have trusted her? Where was she? I wanted to hurt her as much as she had heartlessly hurt me.
After the attack on September 11, 2001 she sent me an online card. It said that she knew I did not want to talk to her, but in light of the tragedy she wanted to say she loved me. Well I love her too; I did not turn that part off. Shed been my friend since my sophomore year in high school. It just added to the pain however that it took a terrible tragedy like the attack to get her to say anything like that, but the tragedy of the death of my baby seemed like more of an annoyance to her. My loss seemed to be something she could exploit. I was the friend for which she could get sympathy. The card really bothered me, after all she said that she understood that I did not want to talk to her, but did she understand why?
I spent a few more days stewing. Ok I spent over a week stewing, until I had finally reached a point where bashing her head in for her insensitivity did not occupy every waking moment. I wrote her a letter expressing my feelings. DH proofread it and changed phrases like "I know that you live in your own little world" to "I know that you have your own problems." DH said it was a good letter, my sister said it was a good letter, my friend Jen said it was a good letter, my friend Melanie said it was a good letter. And so I sent the letter. Her reply was stupid. In it she admitted that she did not understand me (there is such a shocker). And she said that three of her friends had had mcs in two months, like she deserved a congressional medal of honor or something just for knowing them. Was it really about who knew more people who had had miscarriages in the past few months? All that blabber and not a single word of apology for being such a cod.
I do not know why I was surprised. But I am still a bit stunned, or maybe I am just hurt that she would be that big of a jerk. I know that she will write this off as my being jealous, and maybe I am a bit, but the truth of the matter is that if she had approached me in a different way and dared to treat me with respect, I could have been happy for her and her pregnancy. I have another friend who is pregnant, and I can not wait to hear the updates on the baby. I am even enjoying shopping in the baby sections for her. Yes, it is very hard, but rewarding all at the same time. This friend actually called me to tell me she was pregnant. We had an hour-long conversation. She made certain that I was ok enough to hear the news, and she genuinely cares about my grief. Maybe I am setting myself up for another let down. After all if one of my best friends in the world could have hurt me so badly, how could I trust another? I do not know why I trust this friend differently. Could it be that she wrote me and apologized for EBFs letter. Is it because she writes me every day and tries to help in any way that she can? Is it because she waited until I had asked her continuously for months about her kids before she was sure that she could talk about them freely with me? She did not want to hurt me any further. She has been wonderful.
Was the letter that I wrote EBF a bit harsh? Probably. Was it justified?
Definitely. Did I want to end our friendship? No. I wanted an apology.
Did I expect too much from EBF by expecting her to educate herself about
loss for our Pregnancy and PIL awareness site and to try to understand
me, her friend of eight years? Apparently. Am I sorry for the letter that
I sent? No. I am just sorry that she could not be big enough to apologize
for the way that she treated me and ended our friendship instead. I am
sorry that I did not see that one coming.