Although I felt miserable when I wrote my earlier post and was pitying myself a lot, the response I’ve gotten was not at all what I expected. People apologized – and now I feel guilty for making anyone feel bad.
Yes, it’s hard for me – sometimes – to not be asked how I’m doing or to see generous offers of help for other families who have obvious struggles. But most of the time, I feel pretty great. When those miserable moments come, I do get caught up in a negative mindset and it seems like the world is conspiring against me.
I’ve posted about things that are helpful and unhelpful to say to a grieving parent, and to me specifically. It was pointed out to me that this might suggest that there is a right way to help, and that you can mess up. No one wants to say the wrong thing, so people often stay silent.
Let me clarify: no matter how inadvertently insensitive your remarks might be, I will be so grateful that you said something. I understand that you mean well. Even if you say something horrible, I’ll be glad you said it. Really, truly. It hurts more to have this entire experience be unacknowledged.
Sometime between the ultrasound and Christian’s death, a woman in my ward stopped by to offer support and a small gift. I hadn’t ever met her before, and I appreciated her reaching out to me. I mentioned this in church recently and was surprised at the number of people who echoed, “I was thinking of you. I just didn’t know what to do or say.”
It was in this context specifically that I felt isolated. Because no one was sure what to do, it seemed like no one did anything. (Exaggeration. I had friends and ward members who were very involved and considerate.) And, to be fair, a large part of my misery may just be that I was not privy to the discussions of “How to help Mika” as I am to the discussions about helping other families. So what I perceive as a group effort and shared concern for others might have applied to me just as much.
Anyway. This is also a rambling, incoherent post.
To summarize: I didn’t mean to make anyone feel like they’ve been a bad friend. Sorry.
Also, saying something to me is always better than saying nothing. I promise.