These days, most of my time on Facebook is spent in the various support groups I belong to, because once you’ve lost a child, so many social media posts seem just vapid and pointless. Also, it’s hard to stomach the inevitable pregnancy announcements and updates, when people are cracking jokes about labor and gushing about how their baby is a size of a grapefruit, and I just want to comment, “My baby was the size of a bowling ball, and HE DIED. Also, I DELIVERED A DEAD BABY.” You’d think the loss of your full-term baby would be enough to let your circle of friends and acquaintances know that stillbirth is a thing, but no, apparently most women will just blissfully go about their day thinking it will never happen to them.
Hence, in the two years since Luke died, I’ve whittled down my friends list quite a bit, removing people who have consistently failed to acknowledge my loss in any way, or who have shared insensitive posts, or who have otherwise just proven difficult to tolerate.
There are some people, though, whose names give me pause every time it seems like a good time for a purge. They aren’t adding anything to my life, and in some cases have been downright hurtful, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to push the delete key. These include:
• Family members who have never once acknowledged my loss—but they are nonetheless family, and they live far away, and this might be the only way I will ever know what is happening with their lives
• An old college friend of my husband’s, who has basically done very little to support him, and whose wife said to my husband’s face, in response to a blog post I’d written about all the ways people weren’t there for Zack, that anger is just a stage of grief and he would have been angry no matter what they’d done
• An old college friend of mine, who now lives in another country, recently got married, and is now pregnant, and has never acknowledged Luke’s loss, despite the fact that we were once close
• Someone who I’d unfriended at one point years ago for unrelated reasons, but whose friend request I’d recently accepted, only to run into her in the gym and have her say, “I saw it was your son’s anniversary the other day.” (Birthday, but whatever.) “I didn’t know what to say.” (Ummm, I gave everyone a script on what to do. I told people to take a nap, for f’s sake.) “But I’m glad you had another one!” (F you. Just f you. He’s my baby, not a totaled car that my insurance thankfully colored.)
So I wanted to put it to you, blog readers and baby loss moms: Who from the above list would you keep, and who would you delete? Is there anyone on your friends list you can’t bring yourself to delete?