What, I might lose some friends? Line up, everyone. Let me count you so I know who goes missing.
Yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Apparently the whole month of October is appointed as an awareness month for this issue, which is great, but October the 15th is the special day appointed for memorial and acknowledgement for those of us who have lost little ones.
This is delicate. For anyone.
I have not made a secret of the miscarriage I had in 2008. I don’t bring it up often, but it’s there. I acknowledge it. I think about it more than I ever thought I would. I don’t say that in a macabre way, but it’s true. I think about it enough to know that Lucy’s brother (at some point I apparently decided he was a boy) would be about four now. When I remember him I don’t think about the pain and the terror and how certain I was that I was not going to live – I think about how much he might look like his daddy. I think about T-ball and Transformers. I think about how much would be different today.
And then I don’t think about it for a while. It’s how I process.
But yesterday, since it was an appointed day, I thought about him. The him that never really was.
Some local people had put together a vigil/memorial service type thing for the evening. I decided to go, because I wanted Josh to take pictures and I never really go in for stuff like that. I took a sedative in preparation for being around people.
I didn’t really know what to do initially, but I went to a spot where it looked like stuff was happening. I signed a book on a lovely little table, I got a lapel pin with an angel, I got a piece of paper to write on – which I would later attach to a balloon. The sentiment was lovely, and I could tell that the people in charge were well-intentioned.
Except they were obnoxious. They were loud and they were oblivious and they totally killed whatever mood there should have been.
Whatever, man. I live and let live.
The chick in charge (who, incidentally, I used to work with at McAlister’s Deli and is now apparently a pediatrician? Good for you, girl. Your pants were awesome.) took a microphone and welcomed everyone. She went over why we were all there and what was going on.
Then people started talking. It was almost like being at youth retreat, where folks would find their way to the front and get all emotional and you could tell they were so sincere and it just pissed you off because people weren’t paying attention to the sincerity. No? Just me?
Well, it was like that. These women were spilling their hearts out – their loss, their mourning, how they still hurt – and Suzy Sweet Sixteen five yards away from me was texting with Johnny No Nads about letting him get to second base (fine – I made that part up, I don’t know what they were talking about).
It made me so angry.
I was there to mourn a loss. To remember a time my life changed forever. To think for just a few minutes about what could have been. And I couldn’t do that.
There were Bible verses and prayers. Whatever makes it easier, I guess. I just wanted to leave before I vomited from everything I felt.
The talking ended.
We let the balloons go. I watched a jillion pink, blue, and white balloons – all with little messages attached – disappear into the night. So many emotions. So much hurt attached to every string.
It was the one moment that was just as I’d expected. Everyone simply stood and watched as the memories flew upward into the sky. It was worth it for that moment.
I appreciate what went into the evening. I am grateful that there are those who know how I feel, even if I’m sorry that has to be true.