Loss of a loved one

Last week the father of
a longtime friend of my husband
and of course a friend of mine now too
died.

Cancer.

Although not unexpected,
still very sad.

Sad, as well, was my internal response to
hearing the news.

I write this
despite my shame in my own feelings,
just because I believe in being
honest on this blog.

Grief does strange things to a person,
and as I’ve said before,
it doesn’t always bring out the best in me.

In some ways,
I’m more compassionate
and sensitive,
grateful and loving…

but maybe that’s just
motherhood,
and not grief at all.

But what comes next,
I think,
without trying to make excuses,
is a result of my anger and grief.

You see,
this friend
didn’t come to
Malou’s
funeral.

He didn’t send a card.

He didn’t say a word about
Malou
when we saw him two months
after her death.

I talked about her,
and he pretended not to hear.

So what did I think
when my husband told me
this friend’s father died?

I thought (to myself)
maybe we should
not go to the funeral,
not send a card,
and never allow our friend to talk about his dad.

After all,
maybe that’s how he thinks he’d like to deal
with his grief?

But I won’t do this.

Of course not.
Because I know this friend
just didn’t know any better.

Maybe, unfortunately,
he knows now.

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Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 17:11  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been through similar things, and it is tough. Especially when (and I’ll say the thing you’re not supposed to say) at some point, we expect to lose our parents. Not like that, and not when we’re young, but they are supposed to go in that order. Babies are not supposed to die. We are not supposed to bury our children. You’re a good person, and I hope your friend realises it.
    xo
    ps: thanks for your comment at my place. I am hoping your pregnancy is going well.

  2. I can really relate to what happened with your friend. I have so many friends that have ignored me since my loss and I’m really struggling with whether I will continue a relationship with them or not.

    I lost my father last year and then Ella this year. I am much more sensitive now and truly understand grief-as I don’t think I did before. I too would still send a card.

    I thought about you tonight and your sweet Malou, so stopped by your blog tonight to see how you’re doing.

  3. It is funny how different people react in different situations. I think some people just do not know what to say, especially after a death, so they choose to ignore the whole situation. Sometimes I think it is better just to confront the person and say straight out that you want to talk about Malou and ask why they cannot. She was your baby and is part of your life so why not? If they feel awkward just ask them to listen to you if you want to mention her. I do agree with you that you feel things differently after you have been through tragedies of your own. However, it is great that you are still doing well and I continue to pray for you all every day.
    Hugs.

  4. Hi sweetie! I just wanted to say that I love you and think of you, Tom, Malou and your little one on the way often.

    One of these days I’ll get the time difference right and catch you on the phone.

    Lot’s of love, Tammy and Andrew xoxo

  5. You need to remember that everyone deals with grief differently. Some people like to talk about it while others do not. A friend of mine never mentions her fathers death. It is just something they don’t want to discuss with others and I think mainly because they don’t feel that others understand. it was very hard for me at first because i wanted her to open up to me. Made me think we weren’t as close as I thought. But really she just wanted to “enjoy the time spent with me rather then dwell on her loss and sorrow”. It gives her a few hours to not be so sad. So now i have learned that it is a very hard thing to talk about with a friend or family member who has lossed a loved one. You never know if people dont to discuss it or if it is better off to just not say anything because in thier case it offends them Then there is you who want people to discuss remember etc.

    As for your friend who lost his dad, his loss may have reccently taught him to be more empathetic with others in a simuliar situation. Maybe he hasn’t experienced a hardship or death before this and therefore it makes him seem unsympathetic. You can’t hold it againest someone who has never been in that situatio0n. Rise above the things he did not do and show him what you have learned through your loss and he will probably respect your kindness and empathy when you reach out to him.

    Sadly enough too, there are people out there who are a bit selfish and only think about themselves. I have friends whom I love but sadly enough I know they wouldn’t be the first ones in line to help me out. But I look at there other qualities and I have fun with them so I can’t hold it againest them. On the flip side there are people who go out of there way to offer support and are just so geniune that it makes your heart melt.Some people will do the nicest things and you barely know them. We all have strenghs and weaknesses.

    Bottom line is we need to do what we think is right and not worry about what others do and don’t do, say and don’t say etc.

    Yes, agian another polly anna comment from your cousin who always tries to look on the bright side. Boy, I bet I piss a lot of people off…..but I am not going to worry about it.

    Love you and am so excited your pregnancy is going well. Keep me posted.

  6. Hi Beck.
    Thanks for your nice long message. I always appreciate what you have to say because I think you have such good insight and a good outlook – and I know life hasn’t always been easy for you. So keep ’em coming – I need your perspective. 🙂 And this came at the perfect timing because we are just about to see this friend, and I realize this is a good time for me to let go of my disappointment about how he treated me after Malou died and just try to be a good friend to him.
    Love you, Steph


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