Meeting an old friend

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Like most people I love bumping into people I haven’t seen for a while.  Someone I used to speak to or deal with all the time perhaps through work or a project and who has simply drifted away.  Now in these modern times, thanks to social media, quite a lot of these people are still kept up to date on the happenings in my life, so they are aware of the sadness of recent times, however there are occasionally still a few that slip through the net.

I met up with someone recently who I hadn’t seen for 5 years and initially I was so pleased to have ran into them, eagerly accepting the offer of a coffee in a nearby café.  Then as I waited for them to get served with our brews my heart sank, as I realized the conversation I was about to have with them and could forecast the surprised look then sadness before there would be pity and sorrow for my loss.  Yes they would be sympathetic and the usual comments of “I’m so sorry” and “how have you coped” would be expressed.  They would mention their kids and how they couldn’t imagine the pain of ever losing them and our entire conversation would take a different turn.

He brought the coffee and tea back.

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I secretly challenged myself to see how long I could last before I would have to deliver the bad news to him. I asked him lots of questions, first about what had happened in the past 5 years in his life. He told me about his children growing up and how they were doing at school. About their different personalities with so much joy and passion proud of the people they were becoming.

Then he asked “what about me” and I told him first about the happy things; our house, getting married, travelling the world and our three children, Violet, Arthur and Aurora, then about the loss of two of them. I finished on a happy note talking about Violet’s fund, Aurora and our hope for the future.

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Me and Aurora upset as she had to have her coat on.

I’m now adept at delivering the proverbial sandwich with the shitty grief filling in the middle.

It’s very easy for me to simply avoid catching up with people and avoid setting dates to meet up for fear that I’ll have to have the awkward conversation about what has happened in my life.   Don’t get me wrong I’m getting better at delivering it now but somedays it is still very hard for me having to relive it over again along with the associated emotion.

I hate being thought of as “that girl” and “oh poor Sarah” as that’s certainly not me.  My loss doesn’t define me as a person.  Yes it may have shaped me into the person I am today and yes I feel the affects of that change every second of every minute but I’m still me.

I just wish I could hand that old friend an overview of what’s happened instead and say “here’s an update on me please read it and then we will grab a coffee to catch up”.  That way I don’t have to relive anything repeating myself and having to observe their reactions too.  It’s a little weird though and cold I guess so not me.

What do you think?  How would you tell people if you were me?

All suggestions welcome!

Love

Sarah x

When baby news upsets me

I was so excited to meet my brand new nephew yesterday who is absolutely gorgeous and I’m so pleased to see my beautiful sister healthy too, but friends I spoke to afterwards were concerned about it upsetting me and contacted me to check I was ok, which is lovely of them to care but prompted me to write this…

After having lost my little girl at 15 months and then a baby boy that never made it to full term, bless him, people seem to think that because of this I’ll get upset if they dare to announce a pregnancy or if they announce the birth of their new baby.

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Violet at approx 10 weeks old

I have gotten upset occasionally, usually if the baby boy was born close to Arthur’s due date and/or been given the same name but even this doesn’t last very long at all.

I’m always happy whenever someone announces a pregnancy that’s healthy and the birth of a new baby, especially if it’s a close friend or family member, as I love to see other people happy and there are always baby cuddles available.

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Arthur at 16 weeks of pregnancy

What really upsets me is when I watch the news and hear of a baby or child that has been abused or murdered by their parents or family? That is what I find really upsetting, as we’d give anything to have our daughter or son healthy and with us, so when I read that someone has actually intentionally injured or killed his or her own child I find it abhorrent. That is the baby news that really upsets me and makes me so angry.

Our daughter was so well looked after yet she still got sick and died, from we think a lung disease, and my son had severe brain damage, yet I looked after myself in pregnancy, didn’t drink, smoke or do any drugs other than a pregnancy multivitamin! When I see pregnant women smoking and drinking alcohol that upsets me or women chain smoking blowing smoke over a pram and toddler that angers me too. Violet was never exposed to cigarette smoke. I feel sorry for children that are and want to shake their parents to say “do you know what it would be like if your child died?” That is when I get upset about someone else’s baby or child.

Thanks for caring about us though and we really appreciate it when people are so thoughtful to let us know about pregnancies, new babies etc before they then announce it to anyone else or put it onto social media, as it is lovely to know you all care and are still thinking of us.  Thank you.

Love Sarah x