I hadn't made my pregnancy with Charlotte public knowledge before she died. I had told several people as I saw them, but for the people I don't see as often the news was not shared. I was going to go public on facebook after our big ultrasound...within a week of her death.
But that's neither here nor there.
The point is, there were several people I held as friends whom I had not told. It's very difficult to tell someone your child died when they didn't know that child existed. That being said, about a week after her death I decided to share the information with these people. I didn't go facebook-public, but I wanted to tell the people whom I actually considered friends. Charlotte, though not physically present, is now a part of my life and my family, so it seemed dumb to make it seem like a secret.
So I sent out a message to those friends. I did not have the strength to tell people in person or in my own voice. I still cry now when I talk about it...a week removed I couldn't even form the words. Here is the text of that message:
On Sunday, July 22, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl we named
Charlotte Olivia, who was too beautiful and perfect for this world.
Mike and I are grieving, but we're doing as well as we can and are
trying to live our lives as normally as possible.
I know that I
hadn't told any of you that Mike and I were expecting our second child,
and I debated sharing this news with you all. After a lot of thought in
the last day or so, I realized that I am proud to be Charlotte's
mother, and I don't want to keep her a secret.
appreciate your thoughts or prayers, and I don't mind answering
questions about Charlotte's short life if you have any. I just ask
that you please try not to say any of those silly placating things we say when we
try to make one another feel better. Well wishes and condolences are welcome.
I sent this to eight people. Two of them gave fairly heartfelt messages of sympathy and offered to get together to talk (though that never happened...but at least they offered once). Four of them sent me brief "I'm sorry" texts or messages. Acceptable, if somewhat limited, responses. Two of them said nothing.
Really? Nothing? Not an, "I'm sorry" or a "That sucks" or a "I'm thinking of you" or anything? Really? Nothing?
I thought last week...which is two months later...of sending these two people a message saying basically that their lack of response was incredibly hurtful and insensitive...but I realized that it would serve no real purpose. They clearly should not be counted among my friends if this is how they will treat me in one of my darkest hours. I also thought of sending them a message basically saying that I have no interest in talking to them anymore and then severing ties. Again, I realized it would serve no real purpose, as I'm fairly sure these women have no interest in preserving any ties we might have had.
Still, regardless of whether or not these women like me or care at all...doesn't it seem like it would be basic human dignity to provide SOME form of response?