When Illness Makes It Bittersweet to Hear Exciting News From Loved Ones


“Well done!” I cry when a friend announces a job promotion.

“Congratulations!” I whoop at news of a new baby.

“Have fun!” I shout as a family member jets off on a tropical holiday.

I say each of these things with a beam on my face. Or, if by text, with happy emoji faces.

But you don’t know how much I’m hurting inside.

I don’t have a career. And the chance of me ever being able to have a baby is pretty much remote. And as for a foreign holiday, well, I can’t get much further than my bed.

Yes, I may have been this way for 12 years. Yes, I should probably be used to it by now. But it doesn’t mean it hurts any less.

I smile when I say these things because I care for you. Because I’m happy for you. Because I’m grateful for your support and I don’t want to lose it.

But please tread carefully. The last thing I want is for you to not share your news with me. I love hearing about your life. And I’m honored to share it with you.

But next time you have a new little one on the way, please be careful. Please tell me. Never be scared to tell me things. But just a little acknowledgement that you know your news will be bittersweet for me would be much appreciated. Just a few words to say you look forward to sharing the new arrival with me would warm my heart. Because, behind my smile, you don’t know how much I’m breaking inside.

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Photo via AntonioGuillem on Getty Images.


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