Undertow

18 Aug

We all have those friends.  You know, the ones you love beyond measure but don’t stay in touch with very well?  Things get in the way… life gets in the way, and suddenly before you know it months have gone by without a word between you.  And yet, as a measure of your friendship, it never seems to change.  No matter how many minutes or days or weeks pass, something remains between you and when you reconnect it seems like you’ve never stopped.

Yesterday I got an unexpected phone call from a number I didn’t recognize.  I don’t usually answer that kind of call, but in the moment I was distracted and picked up the phone.  It was a friend on the line, someone who I rarely get phone calls from.  There was something in her voice that grabbed my attention, and I felt a tension spring through me.

She said she was calling about a dear friend of mine, the girl who had introduced us in the first place and who was expecting a little girl on October 8th.  The baby was gone.  A checkup, routine and unremarkable…. a heartbeat, gone forever.

I felt something break inside me at the news, and a flood of grief was unleashed.  The grief ran through me, in waves and rivulets, forcing a stream of tears in its wake and rendering me momentarily incapable of coherent though.  She was calling to ask for my advice, to ask what could be done and how she could help.  Her request, humbling in its simplicity, steeled me to the news and put a stopper in my own grief, for myself and for my precious friend.

A friend in need… and so I dredged my mind, sifting through the memories and the pain with a sense of detached purpose.  I talked about what my friend could expect when her precious, still daughter was delivered.  I talked about the things she might need both immediately and long term, and I talked about the kind of support I thought we should offer her.  In my heart, I cried for her.  I am crying now.

Loss is powerful.  Loss brings to the surface every sadness and death you have survived.  Loss brings us together, and so today I will drive to be at her side.

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7 Responses to “Undertow”

  1. Brandi August 18, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Oh, H… I will be thinking of your sweet friend today. I’m glad she will have you there by her side. I’m so sorry for her loss. 😦 Her sweet baby girl will forever be remembered and playing with Aodin… waiting for us.

  2. Aunt Becky August 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Sending you and your friend love and light. I’m so, so sorry.

  3. Barbara (burble) August 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    Oh what a sad phone call. I’m so very sorry for your friend but I’m glad the other friend reached out and asked for advice.

    xxx

  4. Brandee August 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    I read this this morning and have been praying and thinking of her, and you, all day. You are such a good friend to be there for her and grieve along with her.

  5. CLC August 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    I am so sorry. I can’t imagine getting that kind of call. I still can’t imagine it happening, yet it has happened to both of us. My heart breaks for this friend of yours.

  6. Rainy Pete August 18, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    It’sa good thing she had you as a friend. not only are you a wonderful person but you have the benefit (yeah, seems wrong to call it a benefit though) of having endured a loss like this yourself.

    Has she heard of NILMDTS?

  7. Jaime August 21, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    Oh no, another one.
    Terrible, my heart is so broken for her. When did childbirth become such a scary terrifying thing. Another member in our club of broken hearts.

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