I'm A Crappy Friend Since Losing My Baby

by Darla Barar
SolStock / iStock

I want to apologize to everyone. To all of my friends and family members who have had to be around me since the loss of my daughter last year.

The loss has made me a shitty friend and generally a drag to be around. I know that. Many days, I’m still sad about the loss of Cate. On the days that I seem okay, I still bring her up with regularity, as though she’s still here. I know that makes you uncomfortable.

It especially makes people uncomfortable given the circumstances of our loss, which I speak out about at length. Most people don’t want to continually hear about my advocacy efforts. I know that.

So yeah, I’m kind of annoying. I’m either sad, faking my happiness, or talking ad nauseam about something that most people don’t want to hear about. My life has become my infant daughter and her twin sister whom we lost. I’ve dived into politics headfirst. I research legislation, write blogs and articles, send letters to my representatives, and have generally become the person I used to never give a second thought.

I don’t ask you about what’s going on in your life nearly as much as I should. In my head, I play the pain Olympics even though I know I shouldn’t. You’re going through something? Well, I lost my child.

That’s bullshit, and I know it. You know it. We all know it. Deep down, I do genuinely care about what you’re going through. I hope you know that.

But I’m also not sorry. The infertility my husband and I experienced, followed by a loss many people cannot even begin to imagine, has changed me irrevocably. The very core of my being is so different from just over a year ago. My focus has changed because of the things I’ve seen, heard, and felt.

Being told that both of your children could die if you sit idly by and hope for a miracle wrecks a person. You make a choice, and you live with that choice for the rest of your life. No room for regrets even as you carry one healthy child and one dead one for 13 more weeks, just hoping you can get through each hour without breaking down for good this time.

I’ve become a very selfish person in the aftermath of my recent experiences, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I hope we can get back to a give-and-take relationship that works for all parties.

Please tell me about your struggles, your triumphs, your vacations, and the silly thing your cat did the other day. And please listen to me as I drone on about the bill that’s up for debate on the floor, the fear I feel parenting my child who may one day hate me for what I did, and the crazy thing my dog ate last week.

I love you. I miss you. I promise to try harder.