Met a friend of a friend tonight. We were having girls wine night and just like the usual niceties, we asked one another how we knew our mutual friend. We then got to the “so, how many kids” question.
I said, “just one” careful not to have it sound like a question.
How can you tell a complete stranger you actually have two, but one died?
Conversation stopper- that’s what.
Thankfully, our friend comes back into the room- saving me from other strange questions I’m not totally prepared for.
Then- they all started to talk about their daughters and their siblings and talking to them about periods and boys and student driving. They talk about when they all went over the edge…”did you handle two kids better than three?!”
I felt like the odd one out.
The woman who did have a daughter but now doesn’t.
The woman who won’t ever experience what it’s like to have two kids.
The woman who will always wonder who her daughter would have been.
The woman who won’t get to give her daughter the things she didn’t have growing up- like the birds-and-the-bees-talk and buying her a real bra just so she could feel like the other 12 year old girls in her class.
The woman who sits quietly listening to her friends talk about their daughters silently wishing she could vanish for that tidbit of conversation.
The woman who will watch her friends’ daughters marry and have their own children.
The woman who will never relish in her own daughter’s beauty and innocence at prom.
The woman who can’t talk about her daughter in the same way others can because she is no longer living.
Though it’s not as raw as it was in the beginning, I feel like I’m navigating this other side of how to live with the loss and how to incorporate it in your life- because not doing so would put you deeper in denial and pain.
It’s hard to face these secondary losses when you least expect them.
I automatically turn my head away from pregnant women roaming the aisles with their pregnant bellies. Not that I hate these women because they are pregnant, but I just started doing this a bit ago. I’d either look and notice her swollen belly and look the other way while we’re passing each other or I’ll see one and just follow her silhouette and sort of admire the little miracle.
I’d then remember for a moment how it did actually feel to have Lea inside of me. Then, the rude awakening that it was all in the past. That isn’t my life now.
All I can show you are my stretch marks and my linea nigra.