21 weeks + 6 days pregnant
When we first lost Nieve I wanted to shut myself away from the whole world. I was so afraid of bumping into people I knew, of having to answer questions, of being the subject of people’s whispers. I wanted the Earth to stop spinning so that I didn’t have to keep moving with it.
For the first six months after we lost Nieve I surrounded myself only with close friends and family. I wanted to exist only alongside those who I could trust completely with my heart. They provided a space where I could be raw and real, without apology. There remained, therefore, people who I hadn’t seen for quite some time.
This weekend I attended a social event where I met up with people I hadn’t seen since before the loss. It was one of the first social outings I’d had in my post-Nieve life and even though I was surrounded by familiar faces, I felt lonely somehow and the communications felt superficial.
Not one person mentioned my bereavement. Not one. It’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me and yet the topic was totally avoided by every person I bumped into. I do understand that it’s a very difficult subject to approach and that maybe some people were waiting for me to lead the way but it made me feel invisible. One friend also appeared to ignore me the whole evening, perhaps afraid of saying ‘the wrong thing’ or of having to witness an ‘uncomfortable’ display of emotion. Perhaps he was giving me space but it made me feel like an unwanted burden.
I found that people were quick to grasp at the joy associated with the idea of my new pregnancy, whilst totally avoiding the tradgedy that has shaped my whole world. The conversations were light and felt purposely avoidant of the tradgedy that had struck my life just months ago. I resented it. I resented feeling like I was trapped in a space where my pain was unwanted. Forced to be artificially upbeat in order to ‘be good company’. I felt like I didn’t belong in this space.
Maybe I’ve changed. Maybe I used to be someone who could chat lightheartedly about shallow topics. Maybe once I was better at doing ‘carefree small talk’, but now it somehow feels ‘fake’ and ‘hollow’.Maybe now I just put more value on real connections with people. On being real, regardless of what that looks like.
I’m very lucky that I have a group of really close, amazing friends who I can be real with. Friends who I can have fun with but who’ve also held my hand through my darkest hours. It’s in these relationships where my energy is better spent.
These encounters over the weekend made me realise how lucky I am and made me realise what I value the most. I’m so thankful for the amazing friends who bless my life. I may have endured devastating heartbreak this past year, but in love I am rich.