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To the Friend Who Stopped Talking to Me After My Baby Died

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To the friend who stopped talking to me when my baby died,

You showed interest in my pregnancy. When the complications
happened, you passed along the message that you were thinking of me. After my baby was born and while he was alive, you contacted me again checking on how we were doing.

When someone else told you that my son had just passed away,
I never heard from you again. Not so much as a text message expressing your condolences, which would have taken 10 seconds to send.

Now, it’s been over a year since he died, and I’ve still not heard from you.

I’ll never know the exact reason why you stopped talking to me. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to be bothered with “negative people” in your life. Maybe it’s because you have a child of your own, and you feel guilty that your child is healthy. Or maybe I’m a living reminder of every parent’s worst nightmare and you just don’t want to think about this happening to your kid.

Maybe you just decided, right when my baby died, that you’re “too busy” to be my friend anymore. Maybe you’ve even decided that I am too much of a burden. Or maybe you know you should have said something, but you didn’t, and the more time passes, the more embarrassed and ashamed you feel.

Whatever the reason, your ghosting really hurt me. It struck
me as very cruel, because this was during a time when I really could have used a friend. It became a major topic in my grief counseling. And I found out that it happens to pretty much every loss parent. People that you’d think would know better seem to think child loss is contagious, so they shut out parents right
after they lose a child.

If you have a friend whose child has died, please don’t do this to them. It is not contagious and they will greatly appreciate the
support. One of the worst things you can say to a bereaved parent is nothing at all. If you disappear, they will notice and not in a good way.

Child loss shows you who your real friends are…and I am grateful to have learned that I have quite a few people who stuck by me and continue to show their support. And each one of them is worth their weight in gold.

Some people removed themselves from my life, which hurt, but it
also showed me how blessed I am to have a crowd of people who’ve had my back throughout this difficult time.

Photo credit: SnowMannn/Getty Images

Originally published: April 20, 2019
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