I remember the last time we hung out together, I had made the offhand comment that you seemed to be leading a pretty good life. You told me then your father was sick. It reminded me how it’s so easy to judge, and also that we almost never know. Some months later I saw on Facebook your father had passed. I meant to say something. I wanted to apologize. I wasn’t actually scared of the awkward situation then, but I did let life get in the way. It’s now been four years. Longer? It’s hard to know. Time passes differently on the outside.
Almost three years ago, we both were pregnant. I didn’t realize at the time how closely we aligned. I think I thought about saying something then, but I didn’t. No excuses this time. And then your son was born, and my son died.
I don’t know if I realized the proximity at the time. I had gone off Facebook for a while. I wasn’t aware of much. But I saw you posting photos sometime later. Sometimes it felt like looking into an alternate reality. And then his first birthday, and I realized it was shared–my Adrian; your little boy. And only one was alive.
I saw you posting again this year. I see your pride in his beauty and his growth. And I wonder if you saw anything of mine? This was the first year I published my writings on my personal page. And I see you also have a newborn daughter, and she is almost Peanut’s age. And again, things feel awkward and also surreal.
I think about reaching out to you. I’m not sure what I would say. “Congratulations on your living child” feels crass. And I don’t know what else has happened, if you feel any hidden pain. If Adrian’s loss affects you, too. If you also have a half-written message, just waiting.
I miss you.
Miranda’s Blog: A Letter to My Son on His Second Birthday
Write Your Grief: Someone Else’s Birthday