A Letter to My Forgotten Mom Friend
To my forgotten mom friend,
I know you're a mom, others know you're a mom, but I also know you feel forgotten. Because I do too.
You engage with the world, show up to events, even smile and be present. People tell you, "wow, good for you for coming out," or, "you're doing so well." They have no idea by saying that they are actually measuring your grief.
Because you decided to smile instead of crumble, you get a pat on the back.
You stand there, watch other children play, and see the ghost of your baby following them around.
Smiling on the outside, but literally dying on the inside. Representation for every mom out there - proof of who they are. Yet, we stand there and get told "well done" for smiling.
Honestly, the world couldn't handle our transparency. Because we'd flip tables, scream at strangers, cry at every little thing and have panic attacks at every corner. This is grief. And it makes me mad, because it's been nearing 10 months and I feel that I have to live my grief in public in a way that doesn't ruffle feathers and that feels like a betrayal to my journey.
When you decide to come out of hiding there's not much to talk about because our baby died. So, instead, we get "how's work going?" But every other mom gets asked how their baby is doing. What's new, what's changed, what are they learning now?
The people who ask me the most about Lakelynn are other loss moms and a new friend who barely knows me but is bold enough to just go for it. While all this is going on our bodies are still postpartum. Hair is falling out, baby hair is growing in all wrong. Weight gain, weight loss, back pain, milestones but I only get "so how's the new job? Must be so exciting!"
Others get to celebrate in public. We mourn in private. Sometimes I just stare at people and think, "are they really that naive? Do they think I'm fine? Or do they just not care?"
Our culture doesn't engage with death because we don't know how to deal with it.
After a few months someone tells you it's time to move on...screw you.
Then people wonder why you never want to go out. Going out sucks, it's not safe.
It seems that only those of us who have lost can personally engage with one another on a deep level. The group no mom was to be a part of. Yet, the best group of women I've ever come to know.
To my forgotten mom friend....love you