I am still having such a hard time coping with my feelings around my friend’s pregnancy and childbirth experience – or rather, not her experience but how she talked to me about it. Every time I’ve had a moment to myself, my head starts swirling with it all again, and I feel the anger build up in my chest. I hate feeling like this. Hate resenting a friend and especially hate feeling like I have no interest in meeting her new baby, who is after all innocent of everything. I spent my time this weekend enjoying my own family, holding them close. I remember after Anja died, I felt like R and E and I closed ranks on the world, became our own small but powerful team. I feel like that again, now: it is us against them, or at least, we shore ourselves up against them and the pain they can cause us. I have been thinking about how the non-bereaved think they take care of us, but how often it is in fact us taking care of them. If they knew all the care we take on a daily basis to shield them from the absolute depths of our pain and trauma, how much we don’t say to them or don’t tell them about what we really feel, what we really experience, what we really fear…

I try to count sometimes how often I think of Anja in an hour. It’s impossible. I think of her constantly. She is everywhere, all the time. This is the truth that can’t be communicated to the non-bereaved. She was not just the bad thing that happened to our family two years ago. She was – is, always is – our daughter, and just as E and M are part of every breath I take and every thought I think, so is she. If my friend could understand this, could she say the things she said to me? And since she can’t understand, do I have to forgive her? And why, why, why, the childish part of my grief wants to scream, does it always have to be me that has to forgive? To teach others how to care for me? To show them what hurts and what helps? Why, when my baby died, do I always have to do all the work?

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A field of daffodils, and she is in every one.