One year ago we were 6 months out from losing our precious Eva. 6 months of unfathomable blackness. 6 months. No time and forever. We were literally still reeling in pain and grief. One year ago today I was just, just, just holding it together when the phone rang...
*Disclaimer about today's post: I really try not to be negative or to use this blog simply as a vent but to really document my feelings, growth in my grief, and to own my pain. I have often thought about changing the privacy settings on this blog but I know how valuable it was to me to find a blog by a bereaved mom that was still active over a year later. I keep this blog open as a beacon of light and hope to other grieving parents. Even when it's hard. Even when it seems like I talk about my feelings for Eva all the time. I know I feel more hope now than I did when I was in the black vortex of my early grief. The sucking black bottomless pit of grief and pain. I am still alive. 18 months after the death of my beloved daughter, I am still breathing. Something I didn't think would be possible in the weeks following her death.
However, today's post is something I've been waiting to write for a year. Hoping that I wouldn't need to write it but I need the closure and this is the only way it's going to happen for me. Waiting for a year to have a conversation with A about this day, one year ago when my then-friend's living son was born. And it hasn't happened. So if you're someone who reads my blog and doesn't want to hear about this kind of crap then feel free to skip today's post. Tomorrow we'll be back to 'normal'. Whatever that means...
One year ago I was just, just holding it together on the 6 month anniversary of my daughter's death. And the phone rang. I picked it up without thinking. Without thinking that I couldn't hold a conversation. Without thinking at all. And A was on the other end of the line. Without any thought to what day it was she tells me... 'I'm having period-like cramps and I think I'm in early labour. I'm calling a few people to pray for me and I'm so happy it's not being born on Valentine's Day-we were praying it wouldn't be born on Valentine's Day so now it doesn't have to share a birthday with a holiday'. No pause, no stop to say that she remembered Eva or that it might be hard for me to hear this kind of news on such an already hard day.
"I hope your baby's born alive" I said, and there was a long pause. I could tell A was upset that I had said that. Because it put into her head that sometimes babies are born dead. And sometimes they are. At our small hospital there are 2-3 stillbirths a month. It was not the right thing to say. I should have said 'I hope all goes well', which would have effectively been the same thing, albeit more politically correct. And when I say those words to pregnant mamas now...I'm always thinking I hope your baby is born alive, alive, alive...and I say aloud "I hope all goes well".
In the months leading up to this conversation A had regaled me with tales about how she didn't think an early ultrasound was necessary with her baby. She didn't want this doctor or that doctor. That she would bring us a meal after Eva's death. A meal that never materialized. That she would babysit for me and invite us over at Christmastime. Both things which she was too busy to do, I guess. Let me be clear here. I don't care if you didn't make us a meal after Eva's death, although I know the people who did were showing us their love in the best way they knew how: through food. I don't care if you don't babysit or don't invite us over for Christmas. Just don't say you will.
The biggest unreality of my whole 'friendship' with A was that at less than 3 months from Eva's death and barely 2 weeks after what should have been her first birthday A called me up and agonized for about half an hour about what she wanted to do for her living daughter's birthday. How she couldn't agree with her husband over it. Really? Really? Just be thankful you have a daughter who can blow out her own candles. Be thankful that you're not sending balloons to heaven for your daughter's birthday. Seriously? You're talking to me about this. And I listened in stunned silence. We never went to that party.
And what you could call a friendship ended on February 15th 2012. With the birth of A's son, on the 6 months anniversary of Eva's death.
And since that time I have written A two letters trying to have a conversation. I have seen A at various events in our small town. I have said hello nearly every single time. She has coldly said hello back, and not one word more. I don't know what's going on in her head, but I've waited a year to talk with her.
Today is her son's birthday. I'm sure there is cake eating happening. I'm sure there are balloons. I'm sure they're glad it's not Valentine's day. Cause they prayed for that right? Prayed for a date? But didn't pray for a living child. Who knows, maybe they did...but sure didn't care about the 15th. Nope. Not a big deal there at all.
And a couple of weeks ago, I saw A again, at literacy day. I walked up and told her that I was going to blog about this because I needed closure. Because, after a year, it was obvious there would be no conversation with her. And I need closure. Just to be done. No more thinking if maybe we would talk. Done. Finished. Over. And it is. Finally.
I know I said the wrong thing on the phone with her that morning but, now, as the birth of our little hope baby approaches all I can think is...I hope s/he's born alive (and stays that way).
*I can't believe how good it feels to finally get this off of my chest. I realize that some of you readers who follow me and especially those who are not bereaved parents will think this is kind of harsh. That I shouldn't have said that to her. As you know now, I don't anymore, I keep those thoughts confined to my mind.
A little grace would have been nice. A little grace in the darkness.