Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Lost friends, lost worlds

I have found a friend here. She's a woman who has also had a stillborn baby. We were talking about the amount of friends that we've both lost since joining the Dead Baby Club. She said, 'I do miss those people.' I had a think about this. 'I don't miss them,' I said. 'Because after all I could ring them up any time and they might even be pleased to hear from me.' So it isn't the friends I miss. What I miss is the world in which those friends seemed relevant. I don't know why they aren't relevant any more but they just aren't. Perhaps it is because those friendships were largely based on the idea of 'having fun' and that idea has gone from our lives. A while ago I met a woman who I used to be quite good friends with in the supermarket. She was pleased to see me and said, 'You must come around.' I said, 'Yes, why not, that would be good.' And for a moment I remembered what it was like when I used to go around to her house and I felt sad for that whole world that I've lost ..... But there wasn't a moment when I considered calling her up and fixing to visit her. There just wouldn't have been any point in doing that. I wonder what she thinks. Is she completely mystified? Does she just think I'm a total bitch? Or does she partially understand? I've really no idea. I'm not that interested. Maybe she feels sad. Ah well, someone else can take a turn at feeling sad. She has three live kids and functioning marriage so I can't really spare much sympathy for her. What a horrible, horrible approach to take - but that's how it is.


Anonymous said...

It is a very shitty approach. But then, I have exactly the same thoughts...
I try to have perspective and remember that we don't know what's happening in other peoples' lives, but they all seem to be damn well better than mine. How do they get to have their babies so easily?
Wishing you all the best Alice. X

Z said...

I have one friend whose husband died suddenly who has become so bitter that she hardly wants to know her old friends any more, even six years later. She is angry and I can see behind that to her pain as my mother was terribly bitter when my father died. She couldn't bear to hear anyone complaining, however casually, about their husband. "She doesn't know how lucky she is" she'd say to me.

Maybe your former friend realised that you have to make new friends now, people who understand you. Maybe she knew that you weren't going to call.

c. said...

I miss my friends in a way, though I'm less than motivated to have them back in my life. Like you, I miss the time where these friends were relevant in my life, when I still lived in a bubble of ignorance and protection, when bad things happened to other people and not me. They are still there, living in that bubble that keeps them safe from all the really horrible things in life. And here I am, standing outside of it, wishing I could be back with them, but not really.

Tash said...

"So it isn't the friends I miss. What I miss is the world in which those friends seemed relevant."

You nailed it. Kinda like looking in a catalog and realizing that you don't really want the clothes, you want the lifestyle that comes along with them.

You're absolutely right. I sit and look at the lost pile of friends, but I could pick up the phone or email any of them really and I'm sure they'd be relieved to hear from me. I guess I get pissy thinking that it's my responsibility to pick up the damn phone and break the ice.

I'm so, so happy that you've met this friend.

Krystyna said...
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Anonymous said...

I have never been pregnant nor tried to have a baby, so I cannot begin to imagine any of the pain that you live with daily. I am so sorry for your losses, even though I know that cannot help in the least.

I wanted to let you know though that you have helped me understand my family's relationship with my aunt, and for me to accept and not mind what I previously thought was her 'difficult' behaviour.

Over twenty years ago, my uncle and aunt had a baby, my cousin, who died when he was 12 hours old. I was very young at the time, just old enough to understand (my sister too young for that), and when they adopted their subsequent two children from the outside their family looked 'perfect' and 'complete'.

My aunt has always tended to opt out of family events, not turning up (due to a 'headache') or leaving early due to the same. It makes things....difficult. We have often felt we are not good enough for her (she comes from a different social background).

Your blog has helped me see my aunt in a different light. I think about my lost cousin all the time. I miss him. I wish I could say this to my aunt, to say that I'm sorry, that I care even though I can't possibly understand. I want to apologise for the fact that noone ever asks her how she is. But maybe I'm reading it wrong and she has spent the last 20 years trying to forget.

Hopefully one day in the future I can send my aunt and uncle a letter, to say all of this. But for now, I can only say this to you.

It's no consolation, that your words have done some good, but they have regardless. Thank you.