We went to Trever's reunion picnic today. I was a bit apprehensive to be around so many people that I don't know, people that may or may not know about Abigail.
When we arrived I thought I would be fine. I was somewhat looking forward to seeing some of the people that I've heard Trev talk about. It didn't take very long before I felt uncomfortable.
I spent a lot of time introducing the kids, which left me full of conflict to not talk about Abigail. I just don't have a good answer yet. (Although someone left a comment explaining how she tells how many kids she has and I think that will be perfect in the future.) I just felt awkward. But then it got worse.
I overheard Trever talking to classmates at different moments about Abby. I could tell at least once that they brought up the conversation to him. By the time I walked up the conversation was over. With one friend he mentioned that she had given her condolences, and then I overheard them talking again about the service. But each time I talked with her, or with them there was nothing mentioned.
I felt left out, unwelcome in a way. I can explain it to myself. They don't know me, they don't know how I'm feeling, I'm the mom and thus it might feel a bit scarier to say something. It doesn't matter too much what I say, it still left me feeling uncomfortable, sad and vulnerable to myself. And really, they don't know Trever anymore either.
On top of that there were babies around. Most of them were at least a few months old. I don't think I've really been around babies during the last four weeks. My heart was magnetically drawn to them, but my feet were rooted in place. I'm not usually a baby magnet. I wanted to hold a baby so badly, but I didn't know any of the mom's and I was fairly certain I was going to cry if I got my wish. It felt like an unnecessary emotional burden to put on a stranger.
Luckily the kids wanted to go down and play in the river. Normally that is something Trever would do with them. It was such a blessing for me to have the distraction, the invitation to leave the group. I have never just sat and watched my kids for 2 hours before (I didn't have a suit so I was mostly on the sidelines). It was wonderful. No phone, very little conversation, very little distraction. I loved it.
I was able to sit there, my heart torn between the deep feelings of sadness and the intense joy of watching our three beautiful children playing together.
I'm reading a devotional right now focused on walking through grief. Last week there was a passage from a mom who had a child die at 9 months. She was sharing an experience with another mom who was anticipating the death of her child. She touched on how it feels when people don't acknowledge your loss. "How dare you add to my sadness by ignoring it."
Her sentiment speaks so clearly to my heart.
I know my loss is confusing to so many, that most people are at a loss for what to say. And I know that some people in my situation prefer the silence. For me, not being able to talk about Abby is like being in a secret prison.