When a friend falls apart

At first, you feel shock. Massive, gut wrenching, pull your heart up into your throat shock. You don’t believe the words you are seeing, or hearing. You don’t know what to do with the information that a baby is dead. A friend’s baby. A baby you saw on Facebook the day before- happy, smiling and dribbling. Then relief. As you think of your own baby, asleep upstairs. Asleep. Then huge, deep, leg shaking relief when you pluck your warm baby from her bed and yes! she is sleeping, only sleeping.

And then.

bubblesAnd then. Then guilt. Guilt follows relief. Because your baby is alive and your friend’s baby is not. Because you were relieved that your baby is alive, and breathing and warm and real. Guilt because you no longer know how to look at your baby without feeling so lucky and so so so relieved.

And then what? And then you are lost. In a world where pain and hurt and anger and death is all around you and you don’t quite know what to do or what to say or how to say what you think you want to say. And in the end, maybe you just need to say something. Maybe you just need to be there.

Almost eight months ago, my world was a whole lot more simpler than it is today. That is not your fault; that is just how it is.

Eight months ago, I didn’t have a friend who’s baby died.

I don’t walk in your shoes, I walk beside you. If you want me to.

I don’t know, I can’t know. And I am sorry about that.

For you

If I say the wrong thing- and often I worry constantly that that is what I am doing- then please know that I am sorry. There is no rule book out there that tells you what to say or how to say it when a friend tells you her world is falling apart. There are no words to pluck from previous conversations to guide you through the torment of watching a person you care about float to the ground in tatters.

Sometimes, you want to scream and cry and shout and be angry and you think you can’t but you can. You think you’re not strong, or brave or inspirational. The people that tell you that you are, are all people like me. They are not bereaved mothers. They don’t know.  But they truly believe those things about you; those claims that you dismiss as wrong. They do not know that you aren’t strong; you’re simply existing in a world that has been created for you, despite you, in spite of you. They want you to know that they would not even be able to rise from their beds if they had to face what you face each day… but then how would they ever know that is true?

When a friend’s baby dies, the world goes a little wonky, and sometimes you stumble a little. Sometimes you fall. But you get up again. Because it’s your friend. It’s a friendship that is so important to you and because you want to help. You care. You grieve too. You stumble, but you keep going. Beside her.

 

37 Comments

37 Comments on When a friend falls apart

  1. jennie
    September 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm (2 years ago)

    It is beautiful
    Sad but beautiful
    And so you know, you are a huge part of why I get out of bed each morning and how I am so strong
    You are a true wonderful friend and I would be nothing without you
    Thank you
    jennie recently posted..Has Loss Made Me Less Compassionate?My Profile

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:46 am (2 years ago)

      I’m glad it was ok to write this. You are a good friend to me too and I hope you know that. xxx

      Reply
  2. Baked Potato Mummy
    September 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm (2 years ago)

    You are a very special person Susanne.

    I am sure that this post was so very difficult to write. I couldn’t read it without tears.

    You have managed to put into words some of the things I think each day and can’t pin down. I’m always worried that I’m going to say or do the wrong thing, or not do or say the right thing. But I feel its more important to do or say something, than walk away, because Jennie is my friend and important to me.

    Thank you for being you xx
    Baked Potato Mummy recently posted..Flying Solo (with a Toddler)My Profile

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:45 am (2 years ago)

      The same goes for you! You are an incredibly strong person and I’m glad she has you. Can’t wait to see you both soon xxx

      Reply
  3. Lauren
    September 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm (2 years ago)

    This is beautiful, and has had me in tears. Your support towards Jennie and her family has been amazing, it’s clear to see you are a fantastic friend. I am in awe of you x
    Lauren recently posted..Why I Snap {Feat Bex: Mummy Adventure}My Profile

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:45 am (2 years ago)

      Bless you. Thank you xx

      Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:44 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you. It was so hard to write but thank you xxx

      Reply
  4. sara
    September 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm (2 years ago)

    This is so beautifully written. Xxx

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:44 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you xxxx

      Reply
  5. ruth davies
    September 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm (2 years ago)

    I am not able to find some proper words but I think your post is heart breaking. True. Sad. Beautiful. X
    ruth davies recently posted..Am I Naive To Expect Honesty?My Profile

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:44 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you lovely xxx

      Reply
  6. stephstwogirls
    September 26, 2013 at 10:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Having been through this with a friend of mine a few years ago, I do understand how you feel, and reading your post has brought the tears back. I constantly worry that I am saying or doing the wrong thing. I felt the guilt when I realised my toddler girl was still alive. I still check my girls every night before I go to sleep, wait to see their chests rising. Things changed for me too back then, and I know I can’t complain about it, at all. Emotionally but beautifully written. Hugs to both of you x
    stephstwogirls recently posted..Baking for National Cupcake Week and Macmillan CancerMy Profile

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:43 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you. And hugs back to you too xxxx

      Reply
  7. zoe
    September 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm (2 years ago)

    Beautiful but sad words……you are a real friend and Jennie is a remarkable woman….life can be so, so cruel……..you have helped put a little sunshine back.

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:43 am (2 years ago)

      Yes life really is cruel. Thank you for your lovely comment xx

      Reply
  8. Suzanne
    September 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm (2 years ago)

    What a post and what a horrible position to be forced into. You seem to have risen beautifully to the challenge. I have been in the same position as you and in fact tomorrow is the 9 year anniversary of the death of my friend’s 2 children. Just tragic and such mixed feelings as an onlooker. As a friend. Take care and keep be strong, I imagine you are a lifeline for Jennie.

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:43 am (2 years ago)

      I’m so sorry, I do remember you telling me about your friend. Such a difficult thing, to witness a friend suffering. xx

      Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:42 am (2 years ago)

      Oh thank you! xx

      Reply
  9. Richmond Mummy
    September 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm (2 years ago)

    So beautifully written and so heartbreaking. What an incredible friend you are, you must have very strong shoulders and a big warm heart. I hope that someone is being just as good a friend to you, because no doubt you will need to lean on someone too xx
    Richmond Mummy recently posted..Colgate Oral Health MonthMy Profile

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:42 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you xxx

      Reply
  10. Fiona Napthine
    September 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Beautiful and so sad. Your friendship is amazing – I am sure Matilda made sure her mummy had a friend that would be there for her always x

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:41 am (2 years ago)

      What a lovely thought. Thank you xx

      Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:41 am (2 years ago)

      I really hope so xxx

      Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:41 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you xx

      Reply
  11. Helen Braid
    September 27, 2013 at 11:35 am (2 years ago)

    Beautiful Susanne. In the worst of hellish days I am so thankful that she has you xxx

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:40 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you, what a lovely comment xx

      Reply
  12. mummiafelice
    September 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh my. What a beautiful, beautiful post. You are a very special person indeed. The strength of your friendship blows me away. You are amazing – I hope you know that xx

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:40 am (2 years ago)

      Bless you, that’s so kind. Thank you xx

      Reply
  13. Sam Hadadi
    September 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm (2 years ago)

    This post had me in absolute tears. What an amazing, incredible friend you have been. And what an amazing inspirational woman Jennie is. I am sure you have been a pillar of strength to her – one of her constants in a wave of uncertainty, fear, anger, hurt and pain. Keep doing what you are doing and remember that she will always appreciate a true friendship like yours x

    Reply
    • ghostwritermummy
      September 28, 2013 at 7:40 am (2 years ago)

      I hope so. Thank you for your lovely comment xx

      Reply
  14. Michelle @ Bod for tea
    September 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm (2 years ago)

    Beautiful, sad and honest words that show what a true friend you are to Jennie. The guilt, sadness, anger and not knowing what to say resonates so much for me xxx
    Michelle @ Bod for tea recently posted..Quotes of the weekMy Profile

    Reply

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on When a friend falls apart

  1. […] beautifully all the emotions that go with seeing someone you care about suffer, in her blog post “When A friend falls apart”.  I know that more people especially in the blogging community feel just as powerless to help, no […]

  2. […] Ghostwritermummy recently wrote this about how it has affected her. There’s not much more I can add. Suffice to say, I’m not the same person now, as I was before I read the news. I’ve cried more tears than I’ve ever cried before, but I’ve met some wonderful and kind people along the way. […]

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