Friday, May 27, 2011

To share or not to share

To share or not to share Miles?
That is the question that is weighing most heavily on me right now.

It starts simply enough...
Mitch plays in a work softball league that has games twice a week.  I go to all the games (just to cheer though I'm already trying to get recruited to play next year when I'm not 8 months pregnant!).  And I sit in the dugout with the team because I'm normally the only fan and this way I can chat with the players. These folks are his work colleagues...they know each other and we're definitely friendly. Yet many of them started working with Mitch right after we lost Miles. Since we generally only see each other infrequently and typically in settings were all the conversation is rather superficial, I have never spoken to them about Miles. In fact, I don't even know if they know. It's so bizarre. And so uncomfortable for me.

It's fine if strangers don't know about Miles. Fine. But as strangers/acquaintances start to know Mitch and me better, there comes a point where it's just uncomfortable for me for them not to know about our sweet Miles. It feels like I'm hiding Miles or something. It feels fake. Basically it feels like these new friends think they know me (even at a very basic level) while I think they don't know me at all.

Mitch reminds me that in these situations no one talks about anything important. And it's not like I know anything in-depth about their lives. That's all true. And he thinks he's better adjusted about being around people who know nothing about him (that's a good and sad thing, I think). There's some truth to the fact that, especially as a currently unemployed person, essentially I don't hang out with people who I don't have some level of deeper connection with.

So then what's the solution? I need to get "used" to being around people who don't know about Miles and believe this pregnancy/baby to be my first? I need to get "used" to talking about only superficial things? Or do I spill my guts? Do I become the person who tells every intimate detail about my life?  And what if that leaves the other person in shock saying, "Whoa, well, it's time for me to go play right field?" Have I really been true to how I feel and made myself less uncomfortable?

I definitely believe that I honor Miles by speaking about him at times and by protecting him and his story at other times. Some situations are rather clear cut. Others leave me really uncomfortable. I'm learning, I think, that not only is grief oftentimes very private but so is a full understanding of who I am as a person. Sure, maybe it's always been that way but now it's just so very noticeable to me and very, very hard.


  1. I think if it comes up (the pregnancy being your first, first baby, etc), then I think it would be fine to talk about it with these people. I imagine it would be really awkward for all involved if you just blurted it out. But I think if the topic presents itself and you're bothered by them assuming this is your first pregnancy/baby, then I think you should say, "You know, shortly before you guys started working with my husband, we lost our first son, we've been working through it..." They probably won't have much to say after that (people feel weird about asking what happened or asking too much about any of it, but alot of times they also don't know what to say). But then they'll know, it will be out there, and they'll know about that sweet little boy who already made you parents.

  2. I always felt like I had to tell everyone the truth. In my mind, if I didn't then I was denying my daughters existence. But I learned from a friend who had been through it too (and now going through another loss) that sometimes it's ok to not tell everything. Like you said, we don't know other people's little details. But I understand that you feel like you are hiding him. I have just come to learn that I can feel when it's a time to share and then I can sense the times that it's ok to say as little as possible. One time when I was pregnant with my second daughter, an old friend of the family asked if it was my first and I hesitated and said yes. I felt it wasn't a moment to share. But my sisters were standing there and spilled the story. It does create awkward moments and it makes you feel bad when you realize the person feels like an ass for asking. I just wish people were more aware of the fact that people lose babies and that asking those personal questions about how many, is it your first, yada, yada, yada.....should be as bad as asking a woman her weight. I guess just pick your moments. If you feel like you want to share then share.