I had a very insightful post shared with me yesterday that perfectly embodied a lot of thoughts I have had but haven’t been able to put into words. Read it here.
I struggled with this dilemma a few days ago. My husband and I recently reconnected with a mutual friend who we hadn’t spoken to in a while – so long, in fact, that he didn’t know I had been pregnant at all, let alone everything that had happened since. We were uncertain about whether or not the news had reached him until he said a few particularly crass things – in jest, as that was the way he approached humour. Still, it became apparent to me that he didn’t realize what had happened when he told me, jokingly, to ‘get my shit together’ – that is not something that you say to a bereaved parent, under any circumstances.
My husband and I deliberated whether or not we should tell him about Brock. On one hand, it was really refreshing to have someone in our lives who didn’t know. Sometimes, you need someone who will just talk to you casually, and his demeanour was a refreshing return to a more normal way of life. I find that almost everyone who knows, even now, still has no idea how to treat me. Perhaps, more painfully, I find that a lot of people are outright avoiding speaking to me; it’s not up to me to speculate as to why, and I do not blame them, but (as I’ve previously mentioned) I would really love to just be treated like a normal person once in a while. At the same time, we realized that it might be insulting to not tell him, and that he might later feel guilty about his conduct around us.
In the end, we decided to tell him, but also made it apparent that we hoped he wouldn’t let it affect his behaviour around us and requested that he make an effort to continue treating us normally. He was our only bit of normalcy in a giant sea of pity and awkwardness, and we cherished that, so it was hard to jeopardize that relationship by informing him. I do feel like he might be censoring himself somewhat now, and I mourn the fact that he’ll never be in the ‘don’t know’ category again, but at least I feel morally balanced.