Another part of the journey of grief…Losing friends after child loss.
You lose a lot of friends after child loss. As if you aren’t facing enough from the death of a child, dealing with relationships along the course of grief can be something unexpected and add to your sorrows. There are various reasons, some of which are due to the bereaved parents, but many are not. For some, I think friends fade away because they just don’t know what to do/what to say/how to act.
Perhaps they feel guilty if they have children still living? Perhaps they don’t realize what a help they could be? Perhaps they can’t handle the change in you?
One thing is for certain… We aren’t the same. We never will be.
In the chaos of grief, the additional loss of friends stung my already wounded heart. People I expected to “be there” for me weren’t. It disappointed, saddened, and sometimes even angered me. I remembered and evaluated times I’d helped them and wondered why they didn’t come through.
At one point in my deepest grief, I recall going through the ledger of attendees at our son’s funeral. I kept a mental list of those who didn’t show. At first, it hurt. Then, I avoided them altogether.
Before I go any further down this path, I should say that we were blessed with many friendships along this journey. Some from old and dear friends, many from unexpected sources. There were numerous times we were speechless of the outpouring of love shown to us.
There are numerous stories I could share of things friends said, who meant well but made a mess of things. Or of those who used my son’s death almost against me, or to somehow benefit them. Or of those who were just simply insensitive and uncaring.
Or of all the hurtful moments of missed opportunities, missed comfort, missed healing, because friends just didn’t show, call, or come around. I’m sure we’d all have stories like this to share.