I was 5 months pregnant with Adrian when I found out my cousin had a new baby girl. We weren’t close, and I hadn’t actually been aware he and his girlfriend were expecting. She was adorable, though—the cutest cheeks and so many chubby baby smiles. I looked forward to meeting her. She and Adrian could have been friends.
I was 7 months pregnant with Adrian, when I found out my cousin’s baby had died. At that point, it was the heartache a parent can only dream of.
“I’ll send a card,” I thought.
“Maybe I’ll write a letter.”
And then it was 2 months later, and I hadn’t done either of those things. And I felt guilty, and also a little scared. “What if it hurts them that I’m bringing home a baby soon?” I wondered.
And then not long after that thought, Adrian died.
And I hate to say it, but sometimes you don’t understand the impact of your actions, or your failure to act, until the same situation happens to you. And when some of my own friends disappeared like I disappeared on my cousin, I understood how much it was hurtful. And I was filled with regret.
I should have been there in those early days. I should have stayed, like my good friend Ali* stayed for me.
I should have done these things, and I am thankful that my cousin forgave me for not doing them. Because he and his parents have been amazing supports to me.
But the lack of being there in the beginning is still something I must live with.
Notes for the Support Team:
It’s easy to disappear in times of tragedy. It’s hard to live with yourself afterwards.
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.