So many friends have disappeared. They don't know what to say to me or how to be with me. They make it about me but really it's about them. They have difficult things in their life and I am just another burden that they can't face. For that, I feel compassion for them. It doesn't mean I'm not angry about it, or that I could even stand the sight of them right now, but I also feel that compassion deeply. I didn't know it was possible to hold all these conflicting feelings at once. I learned it when he died. These people are toxic to me right now and I need to avoid them as much as they need to avoid me.
Some friends have been amazing. What makes those people so real, so able to be with me in my grief? Maybe a loss in their life or maybe they were raised to have open, giving hearts. I think of these friends as truly healthy in their minds - they are not hiding from anything, they haven't put up any coping walls. I understand why people sometimes need to make those choices to cope. It's not a criticism of those choices, it's just an observation. The friends who can be with me, their lives aren't perfect - that's not possible for anyone - but they are more than surviving the hard things in their lives - they are thriving. It's good for me to be around these friends. I am incredibly grateful for them.
Then there are the friends I have met because of Toren. Friends in loss. Why are these people SO kind, so understanding, so easy and fun to be around? Why can't they be totally horrible so that I could completely hate this place called Grief? That would make more sense to me. Instead, I look forward to getting together with my new friends, even though the only reason we met is that he died. That's confusing. How can I continue thinking, I wish I'd never met you?
This morning my anger was triggered by the world's ignorance about stillbirth and grief. It stops me in my tracks and makes it challenging to be fully present for my daughter. I hate that. The 'pure' grief is hard enough to manage. To know that the burden is on me as the grieving parent to educate the people around me is so incredibly frustrating. But once the wall of anger collapses and the tears flow, I can tap into compassion and gratitude. It's a gift.