Guest post by Angie Williams
I am the type of person who has to have a bunch of people around her at all times. I have a lot of friends, some I know in real life other just from Facebook, Twitter, my space, and through the Aerosmith fan club. I am still friends with a handful of people I went to grade school with, and from my small town. I have met new friends from my mommy groups, from the pregnancy group I was in, my subsequent pregnancy group and of course from being a bereaved mother.
After our loss, (I do hate this term – I did not lose my daughter like I lost my keys or purse but for lack of a better term I’ll use this) I found myself combing the internet looking for answers. I needed to know I was not alone in the way I was feeling. I read everything on stillbirth, pregnancy losses after 35 weeks, placental abruption (which is one of the things they said it could have been) and found Unspoken Grief. It was a great place for me to vent and be invisible. Of course that defeats the purpose of breaking the silence, so I did come forward.
There were a lot of great blogs out there, and I found myself devouring every word. I continued with blog postings, and more often than not they were dark and depressing. I changed my logo to a broken heart, and worried about hurting others with photos of Leia.
I will never forget the friends who encouraged me to share my feelings, share photos of her with the world. Those who sent cards, flowers, angels, letters, and checked in on me I will always love. I had been writing for only a few short months but had gained a good size following. There was an outpouring of affection that blew us away. Strangers sent us packages, and wrote beautiful poems for our daughter.
I made a facebook page for my blog mostly as a way to get more followers. I also felt like I needed to get my story heard.
I never once thought of other people’s feelings during the first months of my grieving process. Why would I? I was too busy being selfish for a change, and had every right to do so. Apparently I was supposed to take each and every one of my friend’s feelings into consideration before I posted about Leia.
I was told things like:
– You need to move on
– Your daughter wants you to be happy
– I don’t like to hear about your dead daughter
– Why would you want me to like a page about a dead baby
– You didn’t even know her – it’s not like she was real
– Why don’t you call me anymore?
– Stop involving everyone in your grieving process
– This is a private matter between you and your husband I suggest stop blogging about it
I was very upset by the last one, and publicly posted his comment. I asked everyone on my Facebook page (over 1500 friends at that point) if they honestly thought I should stop blogging about Leia. Of course every comment was positive except when it came to bashing the person who told me it in the first place. My friends ripped him apart, found his public page and harassed him until he apologized and asked me to call them off. Then I felt terrible because I had shared it with people. One more thing for me to worry about that I need not too.
In the end I removed the comments, deleted my post, and started blocking people from my person page as well as the blog page. I scaled down my list to less than 1000 (now it is 600) and ‘broke up’ with the naysayers who made me feel horrible in the first place.
Of course none of this happened overnight. It took weeks for me to get the courage to do this. I did what if thing – what if I run into this person and it’s awkward? – What if they text me and ask why I deleted them? – What if they comment on my blog?
I have never felt like more of an adult than I did the day I realized that life is too short for the what if’s. That cutting people out of my life doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Surrounding me with people who love and support me is way better than people I am afraid to delete.
Have you ever found yourself in the similar situation? Where you felt like you needed to break up with friends for whatever reason? How did you handle it? Did you feel guilty?