Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dear A, again.

Dear A,

I would so much to have been able to talk with you at some point over the last 2.5 years. Rather than write to you on my blog.

I once thought you were my friend.

You got pregnant shortly before Eva's death, which is really fine. I was happy for you.

You came over after her death and complained about your prenatal appointments.

You called me on the phone two and a half months after Eva's death and two weeks after what should have been Eva's first birthday to agonize over the details and the guest list of your breathing daughters birthday that was coming up.

You called me on the six month anniversary of Eva's death to tell me you were in labour and to pray for you. Without acknowledging the pain of that day for me you also said you were so happy baby wouldn't be born on valentines day. I said I hoped your baby would be born alive, which, under the circumstances, was the best thing I could say at that time. Now, two years later, I would manage more tact.

You basically never spoke to me again after that. I wrote you a couple of letters. I said hello to you if I saw you somewhere. I was met with an icy hello back, occasionally. I tried to meet with you with a mediator.  My sons kept asking to go over to your place or to have your son come here.

Looking back, I honestly wonder why I tried so hard. Clearly, you were not worth it.

But you showed up at Eva's ride 2012. I thanked you for coming.

My sons missed your son.

You still didn't speak to me but showed up again at Eva's ride in 2013. You also returned some girl clothes to me. Girl clothes my daughter would never wear. You invited my mom over for lunch. She raved about how well behaved your kids were. I admit it got under my skin. It felt like she was saying my kids were so bad and yours were so great. 

In the fall if 2013 we accidentally ended up at some school thing together that you had organized with local moms but had not invited us to. I guess we crashed the party accidentally. I don't remember all of it but I do remember you yelling at me very publicly that every time we talked I would bully you and to stay away from you. By that time I was done trying and would gladly stay away from you. 

You moved away and it was a breath of fresh air to not have to wonder if I would bump into you. To be able to tell my sons that you had moved away. Then you came back. 

I didn't know you were back until you showed up at Eva's ride 2014, again. I couldn't believe it. Why? Why were you there? The last words you said to me were to stay away from you...why did you show up at an event I would clearly be at? Honestly, it felt like some kind of show. Being able to tell people there you knew the little girl who died. That you were at her birth no less (oh that still bothers me, that 
you would have that sacred piece of Eva).

Then you said you were trying to reconnect with old friends and invited my son to your son's birthday party? Friends? Who? And my boys heard you...and wanted to go. I read between the lines and knew it was only Samuel you meant as an old friend and only Samuel you were inviting to the party. Not Vincent, the brother one year younger who also liked your son and who was also right there listening. On the way home I had to bite the bullet and just say I'm sorry but we just arent friends with those people anymore. You will not be going to his party.

And then your sons birthday passed and there was no follow through on the invitation. And while I breathed a sigh of relief I was also annoyed that you would invite him in earshot and then not follow through.

I let it go. Wasn't going to write you this letter...but then the phone rang. Your name popped up on call display and I froze. I let the answering machine pick up. Your son's voice on the phone (he sounds very grown up now). Inviting only Samuel to his birthday party on Tuesday August 26. 

August 26. A day no one remembers but me. The last day I would cradle Eva's body in my arms before her daddy would put her in the crematorium. Something no daddy should ever have to do for his little girl. 

No, I don't think Samuel will be able to make it. 


  1. Oh, Em. I am so, so sorry. The loss - sometimes slow, agonizing, insulting, off and on but trickling to a painful stop loss - of friends, in the wake of the death of a child, is excruciating. I almost can't believe how horrible this friend has been to you..., but then I remember the close friend I lost, about 10-11 months after B.W. died (which was around fall 2007). Your story feels very familiar, I can almost go back and hear the harsh and insulting words of my former friend - told to my sister and written to me in an email. I have never spoken to her again and have been fortunate to run into her only once since 2007. She is not worth a bit of my emotional energy although it hurt for several years and can still bring me down if I really think about it.
    Oddly, she sent me a card when Zachary died this year. I almost wanted to burn it. Here I am, with another dead son, and she is still allowed to "support" me, years later? It must be nice to be able to show up when you want..., with a card upon the death of another child, at Eva's Ride, with random but half-baked invites, and then go on with life as if the other is at fault.
    I know this kind of "friend" is more the exception than the rule, but I wish they could see how tremendously hurtful their actions and words are. How devastating this secondary loss is.
    You have been brave and graceful to continue to be kind to her when you can, to allow her to show up at Eva's Ride. I don't think I would have that kind of tolerance. Know that I am supporting you from afar, in this. You and your family do not deserve this treatment.

    1. Dear Gretchen,

      Eva's ride is a public event. Well advertised in our small town. I cannot tell someone they are not allowed to attend. I am not graceful or brave, by any stretch. Really, just stupid for letting her continue to get under my skin. Stupid for having a friendship with her at all. But, thankfully, like you said, 'friendships' like these are more he exception than the rule. Most of my people are wonderful.

  2. Oh. She sounds like a right piece of work, as she did before, but moreso now. No, these people are not your family's friends.

    I hope you've made it through yet another impossibly hard day.

  3. Personally I would have been tempted to push her off her bike. I found it really difficult when B died to understand why I was having to struggle so hard to hold onto friends who I thought would be there for me. Suprisingly though one good friend came shining through after standing in the shadows a friendship I thought lost but has now been rekindled. Others turned their backs and that hurt and it still does.i think you are graceful and brave like I said I would have pushed her off her bike x