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Susan's Pregnancy After Loss Journal

Week 19 ~ October 20, 2005
~ Soap Opera Finally Plays Out

It has been a very long week. I have a huge deadline looming over me at work (I am in advertising) and I am nowhere near ready for it. I also want to take a half day off on Friday so I am expecting to get lots of grief from my boss. Cecilia's marker is being delivered to the cemetery on Friday and I want to be there--no idea how I will react to seeing it, but for now I am very happy to know her permanent memorial is on the way.

I have also been very upset over bumping into one of the "disappearing friends" I mentioned in my week 12 entry. This is one of the people who dropped off the face of the earth after our loss and didn't know I was pregnant again. I played this scenario over and over in my head before it ever happened and I always pictured her embracing me and telling me how happy she was for me and how she understood why I would be cautious about telling people I am pregnant again. Well, that was a daydream if there ever was one. It was NOT pleasant.

I went to the hospital to visit my college roommate who just delivered twins and I figured the friend would go by after work so I purposely stayed away until the very last half hour of visiting hours just so I wouldn't run into her. BUT NOPE - she was there. I never told the old roommate that I too was pregnant because I knew she would tell the disappearing friend. So I was looking forward to surprising her with my news on her happy day - also knowing that at that point the cat would be let out of the bag to the rest of the gang - which was ok with me. Well, I got there and the "friend" was sitting on the edge of my roommate's bed and I said to the friend "Hi - it's been a long time" and I hugged her first and the roommate said it HAS been a long time and I patted my stomach and said yeah at least 5 months. The "friend" said nothing back to me and moved to a chair and sat silently with her arms folded and then I sat on the bed. The new mom and I chatted about her delivery for a long time and then she turned the subject to me and asked about my pregnancy and said she was surprised I never mentioned it but that she understood, then came the one sentence the "friend" DID actually utter to me. She said "It's a little disturbing that you wouldn't tell any of us" and I said, "well, it's not like last time at all, there are a lot of fears and worries and we are choosing to just let people find out when absolutely necessary." The roommate was like, "whatever works for you, whatever you need to do to get through it" and the "friend" just sat there in a huff and never spoke another word to me. I said bye to her when I left and if she said bye in return it was under her breath and inaudible to me.

The next day I emailed this person to ask her why she didn't speak to me last night and what I had done to make her so mad. She wrote back saying that although she doesn't know what I went through, (notice - I WENT through it - I guess I am not still going through it) she doesn't know why I would close the door on all my friends. She went on to name all the people I have "cut off" and couldn't understand why I had not attended any of the social gatherings I have been invited to and said the last time anyone saw me was at a birthday party in April and even though she wasn't there she heard, I didn't stay long and had nothing to say to anyone.

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I wrote back and said I didn't expect anyone to know what we are GOING through. I hope to God none of them ever has to know what it is like to bury your child. It is a very painful struggle every single day. And that after the funeral we found the phone and the doorbell stopped ringing, and we have pretty much just relied on each other to get through each day. We figure if someone is really interested, they will let us know by calling or coming by, otherwise we are simply not going to force people to have to watch us go through this if they aren't up to it. I also said that others in the group told me they have stayed away because they thought we needed space, so why are they surprised when we didn't reach out to them? Why didn't they just assume we are taking the space they are supposedly giving?

She never wrote back so I sent her the BEREAVED PARENTS WISH LIST which was given to me by a friend in my support group (posted belowthis entry). The friend never responded to this email either, so I called and asked her to please tell me why she didn't respond and why she was obviously so mad. She said she was too busy to respond and that she wasn't mad at all; my email and the wish list cleared everything up for her, she was totally fine and understood everything and at the moment she was at the store but would call me by 7pm that night. She never called, SHOCKER. But the next day I got an email from her going off on me for all the times I had not been there for HER since our loss - she cited me for not calling to see if she was ok when she broke up with her boyfriend or offering to help her move out of her boyfriend's place and not calling to check on her now that she is living alone. All I could do is sit there with my mouth open. Sorry I didn't help her move when I had JUST GIVEN BIRTH and sorry I didn't call to console her about breaking up with a guy she had broken up with 4 times already. And she is FORTY YEARS OLD so if she needs a babysitter and is not ok living alone then she needs to seek help. OH and she also said that everyone in the group knows someone who has died and they didn't cut off all their friends. So NOW I am done!!! I will take a page out of her book and not respond. It is so very crystal clear to me that my best interest is nowhere on her radar and I really don't need a relationship with someone who obviously doesn't care about me and is only in it for what SHE can get out of the relationship. I am glad it is finally over and I am so much better off now that she has revealed her true colors.

I have been trying really hard to just push this out of my mind and focus on the baby, but it's hard. Luckily, the doppler began working really well this week and it has been very easy to find the heartbeat, so when I feel like I need a reality check, I just listen to my daughter's heartbeat and that always brings a smile to my face and makes me feel all better - for a little while.

A BEREAVED PARENTS WISH

I wish my child hadn't died. I wish I had him back.

I wish you understood that I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again. Grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him.

I wish you knew how much you mean to me even if I'm not showing it as often as I used to.

I know you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child's death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know those things through a phone call, a card, note, or a real big hug!

I might want to stay home instead of accepting your invitation to go out and I wish you wouldn't take it personally.

I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in a short period of time. I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over.

I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time.

I wish you knew that I don't want to have a "pity party", but I will go through phases of feeling sorry for myself

When I say "I'm doing okay", I wish you could understand that I am just saying that to make you feel better and I don't "feel" okay.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected.

I wish you could be be patient with me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

"Take one day at a time" is excellent advice, but I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.

I wish you knew that if I seem rude, it is certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me is too much to handle in my emotional condition and I may react strangely sometimes.

I wish very much that you could understand my loss and grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT... I pray daily that you will never understand because there is only one way you can understand this.

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