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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Awkward Moment

So, Steve's friend had a housewarming party on the weekend. I don't normally see these people, they are Steve's pool friends and they only really get together to play pool. So, this is the first time I have met most of these people's significant others. I was nervous about going, but put on my happy face and off we went.
Everything started out fine, we had a tour, got our drinks and sat around in the kitchen. Everyone was really nice, the small chat was great. As the night went on people started to realize we would have to go soon, a few made comments about where Dayne was, the few that I assume knew what happened with Alexandra.
But then, that moment happened. The awkward moment. The girlfriend of a friend of Steve's commented, "I guess you have to go pick up the kids" after we said that we would be leaving in a few minutes. We both caught the comment, "pick up the kidS" Plural. We shot a glance at each other. I begged Steve, in my head "Please just say yes, please say yes, please don't make this THAT moment, we've gotten so far without having this moment. PLEASE, just smile and nod yes." Steve was not prepared for this moment, he had not thought about it like I had. He replied "Uhhhh, yeah, we have to go pick up the boy" to which this poor girl got a puzzled look on her face and said "Well yeah, because didn't you guys just have a baby?"
And there it was. That moment. Again, Steve and I glanced at each other and we both quietly said "No." I glanced back to Steve who I know was begging me in his head "Please don't say anything, please just leave it alone. Don't tell her the story. PLEASE, just leave it at no." And I turned from him, looked this poor girl in the eye and said "Our daughter passed away." I felt like it would be denying our daughter to not acknowledge her. I mean, if I deny her existence, what is the point in everything that I have done to keep her memory alive?
But my insistence on including Alexandra in my every day life, in everything that I do, had caused that awkward moment and I felt bad for that girl. For Steve, who acted as if he had heard nothing. For myself. And she responded with "Oh. I'm sorry." and quickly exited the room.
My life makes people uncomfortable. My reality makes people feel awkward. My "situation" is taboo, nobody wants to talk about it, to acknowledge it, to admit that the unthinkable is too sad for them to comprehend. Nobody wants to go there in their own mind, and I push them there by talking about Alexandra...and maybe it's not fair to them, but I just don't care, because it wasn't fair to me either and here I sit.


  1. I would have done the same thing. It would have been just too painful to not mention Jacob. Sure, it is hard for them to hear, but they should try to imagine the pain we live with every day.

  2. Oh, I hate that awkward moment. Why is it that so many of us can know exactly what you mean...why is it that so many people have this awkward response to our babies' deaths? I love you you said that if you deny her existence what is the point in all of this to keep her memory alive. I feel like that a lot too. I have also gotten to the point lately where I am kind of sick of that awkward moment and have found myself putting the story out there less to avoid it. It's so hard. People just don't understand. I think that all of us BLMs can help raise awareness of this, but why should the grieving parent even have to give a thought to it?

  3. I feel the same and I agree that you said it beautifully when you wrote, "if I deny her existence, what is the point in everything that I have done to keep her memory alive?"

    I too do not like making others uncomfortable by talking about Claire however the 30 minutes of discomfort they will feel in no way compares to the lifetime I will feel.


  4. I had an awkward moment this week too. I guess at least mine was through e-mail so the person couldn't see my reaction, nor did I have to say anything. But it was still weird. I hate it. I'm sorry you had one too :(

  5. After awhile, I think you get to a point where you don't really care what people think. (Or maybe that's just me.) It's not your problem that SHE was uncomfortable, if anyone should be uncomfortable- it's you- your baby died! I don't feel guilty about it, and I don't avoid bringing our daughter up to make someone else more comfortable...their comfort is not on me. Now, some days and some moments I'm not in a good frame of mind to talk about her or deal with it, but I refuse to feel guilty for making someone else uncomfortable.