Go ahead, unfriend me.
Don’t think I won’t notice. I’ve seen your posts too, the ones that give platitudes like, “Avoid negative people,” and, “Do not allow toxic people to turn you into one of them.” I know if I were to confront you, you’d say something about how you need to take time for yourself, about how dealing with me is exhausting and about how my grief is just too draining right now. I know you’ll say something about how it has already been six months, or a year, or whatever since my child died and about how you think I’m just not coming to terms with it. So do it. Unfriend me.
Grief lasts far longer than you anticipate. Some would argue it even lasts a lifetime. I know I’m not as happy as I used to be. I know I talk about my child a lot, and that it makes people really uncomfortable. I can see your reaction, how you look away, try to change the subject and avoid looking at me. But what I need you to understand is that this is NORMAL. Read that again: N-O-R-M-A-L. The space in my heart that my child takes is still empty and always will be. Having another baby won’t solve my problem. Whatever I find that heals me, and it is different for every person, I guarantee it won’t be on your timetable.
Do you really want to be a positive person? Do you really want to make a difference in this world for good? Then stop running from ‘negative people.’ Don’t respond with platitudes or cutesy sayings that fit in a meme. Instead, try giving more hugs. When I’m sad, hold me, pass me some tissues and be a shoulder to cry on. It isn’t your job to ‘fix’ me or to make me laugh again. The only thing you need to do is be with me in that moment and know that when I am ready to laugh again, I will.
If you can’t bring yourself to just be with me, then unfriend me. I don’t need negative people in my life either.
This post first appeared on Still Standing Magazine.