Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Out of the Blue...

Today I found myself in a situation where I had to explain what happened to my sons rather unexpectedly. There are quite a few new teachers to the building this year and I have been dreading "the question," the about how many kids you have...but that is not how the conversation got started.

Standing in the hallway this morning with our new librarian, she called me Jennifer by mistake. She remembered my last name and was puzzled by the initials on my necklace and innocently asked. I kind of blurted out the short version of what happened and watched her eyes fill with tears and she reached out for me to give me hug. As she hugged me she said, "I've been there and lost two of my own."

My eyes misted over too...and instantly I felt ok. We said no more but both stood there with what I call the "grief smile," the look you get when you try, but can't, smile, holding back tears and somewhat grimacing. My first impression of her was that she was a little quirky and tried a little too hard to be chipper...I understand why now because I feel like I am filled with that same awkwardness most days.

This stranger is now a life line...someone who gets it. It is such a relief just knowing she is there even if we never utter another word about our missing babies.


  1. I'm so glad you were able to tell her your story. You know that she was just as grateful to find you as you were to find her.

  2. This is a quote that I heard a while back that has stuck with me:

    Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." -C.S. Lewis

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. I love it when a you think a conversation is going to go one way (badly) and it ends up totally the opposite, and you find a new lifeline. We often feel that we are the ONLY ones who know what we are going through, but you just never know who else is grieving for the same reasons. I had a similar experience with an old coworker who I worked with for years. She sent me a card after Love died, and explained that she lost a son at just around the same gestation 24 years ago and knows exactly what I was going through. That meant more to me than any of the kind words I received by friends and family who "couldn't even imagine" what I was going through. I'm glad you have a new friend at work who you can talk openly with, or at least share knowing hugs when you or she need it.
    Thanks for sharing this story!!


  4. I've had this happen on several occasions-- including today. A woman told me that she lost her daughter at 40 years old to a heart condition-- but that losing a baby you carried no matter how long they lived is still the worst grief a person can endure. She's right.

    At two of the schools I work at, 2 different women approached me after losing Andrew and explained their own stories of stillbirth. They never even SAW their babies. It wasn't allowed.

    It's a terrible reality... but glad you were able to open up about your boys.