When my baby died, I had no idea I’d lose many other people in my life too.
I’m not placing blame squarely on them. Relationship breakdowns are rarely like that.
I needed them desperately, and they didn’t know how to help.
Today I noticed a search term that lead someone to my blog that made my heart sink.
“child dies and friends dont call”
I don’t know who this mama was reaching out to the Internet for answers about why her friends didn’t call. I surely wish I could hug her.
I remember one of my friends calling for the first time THREE months after my daughter died. She said she just didn’t know what to say. There really is nothing, as we all know. But you call. When your friend’s baby dies you call. You drop everything and you go to them.
My best friend didn’t come to the funeral. I somehow found a way to sort of forgive her. But then on the one year anniversary of my daughter’s death I sent her a text and clutched my phone to my heart after. I asked her for her help. I told her I needed her that day. She said of course, she’d show up. I reminded her later. She said oh yes, she’d be there. That day and week came but she didn’t. Instead I saw on Facebook she took her little girl to see Santa. She didn’t even call or text.
I grieve for my daughter. I also grieve for all these lost relationships.
As people usually do, I’m sure they blame me. I didn’t answer the phone sometimes when they did call.
Once a friend said I didn’t answer the phone one day when he called in the morning to say he was going to be in my town and *he* felt like I was neglecting him.
Truth is, like most mornings, I was sleeping way too late after staying up until after dawn because I couldn’t sleep.
My daughter died.
I lost her, but I also lost them.
Because of my experience, I wrote a short eBook for friends of people whose baby died. I hoped it would serve as a look into our world. I hoped to answer the question, how to help a friend after losing a baby. We are all different. Our grief is different, but I just wanted somewhere for your friends to start.
I noticed I wasn’t the only one. When I saw posts from other baby loss moms days or weeks after their baby’s died praising friends and family, I’d so hoped they wouldn’t be victim to this awful second round of loss. But, almost always, later I saw hints in their posts that months down the line, they were too.
After your baby dies, you don’t have the energy to maintain a friendship. You need selfless friends who will hold you up, and keep the friendship going when you are unable, for months and years to come.
The ebook is always available for free as a PDF download here. You can download it and share it and print it and hang it on your wall. You can do whatever helps. (As long as you don’t change anything and share it as is)
You can also buy it on Amazon, or more importantly ask your friend’s to.
I know I often didn’t have the energy or the words to explain. I hope the eBook helps. I hope it is something you can email to your friend or print out and leave for her.
I wish it weren’t needed at all.
I’m sorry for all of our losses. Our babies. Our future. Our friends. Our family. Our innocence.
I’d love to have a discussion in the comments below. I’d love to hear from those of you that had good and bad experiences with friends after loss. This is a sensitive subject, so remember if you comment from Facebook, your friends might see.