“Some friends play at friendship, but a true friend sticks closer than ones nearest kin.” -Proverbs 18:24
For much of our marriage, I have confided in Josh many times how I have felt like I don’t have any close friends. No on that I felt loved and supported by. No one that I could express my darkness and lightness to. It was a very isolated feeling. I’ve prayed for years about it. I would put myself out there and join different organizations, activities, groups, etc; trying to find this group I know was waiting for me.
I have been through a lot of heart ache with friendships in my life. I’m a giver, and I attract takers. I believe relationships need to be maintained at 50/50. And as life fluctuates, so does that percentage. Sometimes you’re down and you can only give 40%, it then becomes your friends duty to step up that 60%. And vice versa. Nobody is at 50% all the time. That’s life, it gives you curve balls.
I’m repeatedly telling people, I will always remember those who walked this journey with me, and those who exited the road. This journey is by no means easy for anyone. I have strangers who hear our story and weep in front of me. It is a grief that many parents can relate to, even if you haven’t lost a child. You might have come close to loss, you might be that parent who stresses about the horror of this world and imagine the things that could happen to your child. Whatever it may be, if the people who don’t know me are willing to carry a burden they have no connection to, why then can’t my close friends?
This is a thought that has plagued me for months. During the remainder of my pregnancy and the days/months following. I think back to the efforts I made on my part to maintain these relationships with my friends, even with everything I was going through. I wanted my friends to know I was apart of their lives even through my pain and sorrow. Several of my friends have young children, and I did my best to try and help them not feel uncomfortable around me. My key point here, is that I tried. I constantly tried. I put my journey aside, and tried to keep the goal of, my friends are important and my life isn’t the only life that mattered. These people mattered to me, and I wanted to make sure they knew it.
Despite my efforts, not every friendship stayed. Some got off the highway. For fear, uncertainty, pain, etc. Everyone had their reasons I’m sure, they always do. Am I bitter about it? Of course. Am I angry, heck yeah. Do I understand it, well… to an extent. Unless you have walked this journey, you truly do not know what to say to a person. Sometimes the things you think, come out so so stupid. I know I’m being blantanly honest. But it’s a truth everyone needs to hear. Sometimes what you say, does not help. It’s so dumb all I can do is look at you like a deer in headlights. I understand that people don’t fully understand. I get that people didn’t know what to say, so they chose not to say anything at all, because they didn’t want to hurt or offend. I understand that the pain I was going through was too unbearable for them. But, we didn’t have to always talk about Logan. I do have another child live and well, I have a husband, work, life etc still going on in addition to Logan’s journey. A quick, “hello” text would suffice. Come sit with me and watch a movie. I could’ve used a friend when taking Logan’s nursery down and returning it. That was a very hard day for me. It’s truly the simple things that these friends could have done.
“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrows.” -Jeremiah 31:13
There has definitely been a lot of mourning. But, there has been a lot of comfort and true joy since Logan has passed. This beautiful child has left such a legacy. In 14 days, he has changed me as a woman, a mother, a friend, and a christian. I have been blessed through this whole journey in one way or another.
I have made friends along this journey, with other loss moms. With varying stories of loss. Some with similarities to mine, and others not. But loss nonetheless. While these other friendships exited my highway, new ones joined in. They don’t mind my cross country journey. They aren’t here for the short run across the city. They’re here for the long haul across the country. Visiting every nook and cranny this highway has to offer. I have read in many support books how this is a common trait in a loss journey. So I try not to take offense, even though it does hurt.
Last night I attended a meeting for an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS).They provide pictures at no cost for families after loss. They are a non-profit organization. These pictures most don’t understand, but they are they only memories we get to keep. You look at the pictures of your newborn periodically through the years as he gets older, reminiscing. These will be the only photos we get to reminisce on. I did not utilize their services, as I wanted the whole birth photography experience with Logan. I didn’t want to miss one second of his life. But I know at least one of the photographers for the organization, and she is a beautiful creature with an honest soul.
I carpooled with a loss friend of mine because there were going to be a lot of people at this meeting and we wanted to save space on parking. The presence didn’t feel awkward at all. We’ve only known each other since our boys have died, but it felt like we’ve known each other a lot longer. There were no walls to break down. When we got there I saw several faces I recognized, either from Bridget’s Cradles work nights, other loss moms, or people who have followed my journey. We sat up front, well because there was a couch lol and nobody else sat there. But I didn’t feel uncomfortable. If anything it felt like I spend loads of time there, when in reality I’ve only been in Tiff’s studio once. Another loss mom friend of mine sat next to me. Most people don’t know me as Brandy. I introduce myself and I’m just any ole person. But when I say I’m Logan’s mom, it always surprises me how many people know who I am. Boy does this kid have a legacy. And it makes me SO proud.
I realized last night, that for the first time, I really felt like I have a good group of Godly women, who love, support and understand me. Who truly care about me. Accept me for my darkness as well as my lightness. I could tell them my about my deepest rabbit hole and would not be met with judgement. But love. Comfort. Encouragement. I left that meeting feeling whole. Logan did that for me. If Logan did not travel the journey he had, I would probably have never met these women. And if I had, we wouldn’t have the same experience and knowledge that we do. What a beautiful gift my son has given me.