Living With Grief

My Best Friend

Going nuclear (figurative): To get extremely angry and start behaving in a forceful or irrational way

I am quite frankly, stunned, at the number of ‘my best friend’ stories amongst the bereaved mothers club. Best friends who we grew up with, who were our bridesmaids, who we were bridesmaids to, who we’re godparents for etc. who just disappeared when our babies did. Every single one of us has so many of these stories.

It reminds me of the ‘My Best Fiend’ books growing up, did anyone else read them? How similar the word fiend is to the word friend. Just one typo away.

So, today, when I am so upset beyond words, so very heartbroken, I am going to do the one thing I shouldn’t do: I am going to blog about it.

Please know that this is not one person, but an amalgamation of many people.

  • My best friend read my entire blog, which was basically like reading my diary, hearing my heart break and said nothing.
  • My best friend (who has barely spoken to me since Summer died) had a baby girl last week, and text me 12 whole words to tell me the news. Two of which were “Hi Anj”.
  • My best friend who had no idea I had been writing, saw that I had launched a BABY LOSS BLOG and said “Congratulations – real “news”, so rare these days!”
  • My best friend read my whole blog when I launched it (approx. 20 blogs) and said just three words: “thinking of you”. Never heard from her about it again, no idea if she’s still reading.
  • My best friend was sent a photo and a video of my baby girl. She saw them, waited until the next day, said “there are no words” and that was that.
  • My best friend said nothing to me for 7 weeks, then sent me flowers for my due date (I gave those flowers away).
  • My best friend said “I haven’t read your blogs, I want to support you in person”, but then didn’t follow up.
  • My best friend said she’s been reading my blogs but has been too tired to send me a message about them.
  • My best friend barely spoke to me but then sent me STUFF (still no cards or words) in the post which, I think, was supposed to somehow make me feel better.
  • My best friend said everything, except sorry.

Can you see how silence breaks the heart? You have broken my heart.

My baby died and you said so little. She was not a bunch of cells. She lived for an hour and she has a birth certificate. It breaks my heart that I have to convince you that she was real. She was real. Like your children, she was real.

I know you have your reasons. I have spent so many months trying to think of your reasons, crying about you. I have mourned for us.

I am sorry if you think I just killed our friendship. You might not be able to forgive me for this, but that’s ok. I’m not sure I can forgive you for your inaction either. I am sorry for using this medium, but I needed to have this said.

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(14) Comments

  1. I’m sorry it’s been so tough with friends. I have definitely experienced some thoughtless behaviour but also some silence and been told people are tired of tip-toeing around me. People don’t know what to say. I’m not making excuses, well I guess I am a bit. Most people struggle to relate to something they have not lived through.

  2. Stephanie says:


  3. Brea says:

    I experienced this secondary loss recently too.

    My best friend tried to make my grief about her. She guilted ME for not reaching out to her more. She has never said Lex’s name. She has never asked about him. She has never said anything to me about my loss or his life. The final straw was when she said, “I know you’re avoiding me, so if you’d just let me know when you’re home, I’ll bring you your birthday gift and leave it on the steps. You don’t even have to talk to me.”

    Once again “me” came up in that message too often. I don’t want your gifts. I wanted you to give a crap about someone other than yourself, and how you look on social media for the past year.

    As I started looking back on our friendship, she’s always been this way. Over-dramatic on Facebook. Talks about her “tribe” behind their backs. Doesn’t actually care about anyone’s feelings. I don’t need that negativity in my life.

    My other best friend checks in every single day. She often messages me telling me she misses my son, even though she never met him. She tells me she loves him. She speaks his name. She remembers important dates. She’s always a phone call away if I’m having a rough day. And I’m there for her. I love her daughter like my own. I help her with her emotional hurdles as a mother, wife, and friend.

    I see such a huge difference in the relationships. And the second one is the kind of friendship that I want to cultivate and work for. That’s the kind of friend who o want in my life forever, the kind of friend who may not have any words, and may feel awkward, but will sit with me in the pain; a friend who is there for all the good times and the bad. A friend who actually loves me, and my son.

    1. Jo M says:

      I love your 2nd friend. Your 1st friend can get lost!

  4. Laura says:

    So sad, so well articulated. I don’t get much beyond a blind rage! I’m sorry this has happened to you with close friends, and hope you can find a way back to them, if you want to. Some choice ones of my own experience (which sometimes even make me laugh, now):

    -‘Ah well at least you didn’t feel it kicking’ (speechless, didn’t speak to her again)
    -‘I thought you’d have problems, given your age and lifestyle’ (to clarify I of course wasn’t living the life of our university days whilst trying to conceive 🙄)
    -‘I didn’t send you flowers because I thought it would remind you of it all’ (lalalala, what a lovely day…ohshitflowersohyesihadamiscarriage)
    -‘My mum had several miscarriages and she just got on with it’ (I bet she didn’t)
    -‘But it’s not like an actual baby, imagine your child dying at 2 or something’ (It’s not the Grief Olympics, there doesn’t have to be a winner)

    Even just the quoting of statistics is seriously rude, in my opinion. Nobody does that if your dog dies.

    1. Karen Palmer says:

      Anjulie, I’m so sorry that you’ve been let down so badly. So many hurtful behaviours listed there. And I hope some of your friends are reading and are able one day to repair what they’ve broken. Because although I know you’ve been hurt enough and don’t want to open yourself up to more hurt, I’m also wondering if there’s a place for forgiveness for those who look for it.
      If they genuinely didn’t get it but now they’re beginning to, and that’s part of their journey.
      And so I hope this blog post is the beginning of more tears – not yours but theirs. And of opened eyes, and deeper friendships xx

    2. Jo M says:

      The comments that were said to you are insane! 🙁 People can be so clueless!

  5. Mama,

    Me too. And I hate it so much. This is an overwhelming amount of unforgiving loss and grief. My best friend is having her 3rd between Eliots due date and my birthday but got upset at ME for backing away.

    It’s absolutely heartbreakingly wild how people can make this about them and their own discomfort. I am so sorry you are dealing with it. It’s so hurtful. Thank you for writing about it.

    Much love from this side of the pond to you and to Summer.

  6. Much love to you. Goodness isn’t it just so so sad that so many people feel this, so many comments. I’m putting my hand up and saying me too 🙋🏽‍♀️. It’s like we’re mourning a second grief. Sometimes I feel they are ticking a box, especially those that ask how you are, then you reply, but then you get not reply – why then did you text me? To tick the box to say you maintained contact and were there for me. I don’t need a fake friendship. Why say “I wish I could see you” what’s that about, why can’t you see me?? What is stopping you – you have a car, I have a garden! There are “no words” for the way they have made us feel.

  7. Karen Palmer says:

    Sorry – I replied in the wrong bit again 🤦🙄xx

  8. Jo M says:

    These comments from your former friends are disturbing! I don’t know what’s worse, getting horrible comments or getting nothing. And I keep going back and forth on it. In the first few weeks, I got nothing from a lot of people and it was incredibly painful. But at this moment, 3 months later, I am so set on fire by people saying the wrong things, that I wonder if hearing something back in the beginning would have been better than nothing at all.

  9. Melanie says:

    As I am one of the Best Friends referenced in this post, I feel suitably ashamed, embarrassed and heartbroken. I am sorry, Anj. I am sorry that I have contributed to you feeling this way, when you already have so much you are dealing with, having lost Summer, BoC and MyBaby, which I cannot even begin to fathom.

    But most of all I am sorry that text has the possibility of being interpreted in a completely unintended way. My silence at times has been shameful. But – as I can see from your post – some of my actual messages have been hurtful. For this, I am sorry. When text messaging had served us so well before, especially since I moved to Australia, it appears to have damaged our friendship now.

    My only hope is that the damage is not beyond repair. We will of course talk privately about all the details, but I wanted to express publicly how sorry I am to have hurt you in this way, and to ask for your forgiveness and patience as I try to support you as a best friend should x

  10. Kim says:

    This blog, and your response Mel is truly what friendship is about. ❤️ If you can’t be honest, then what kind of friendship is that? And it’s how that friend responds which is key… you Mel are a truly special person! 🌟

  11. Asma says:

    Im so sorry you’ve been so let down by some of your closest – I thought it might be helpful to give the perspective of a friend looking in and not knowing what to do – there have been times when I knew i should say something, anything – and i wanted to so desperately- but I couldn’t find the words – my silence in those instances isn’t because i don’t love you and summer – but because i do. We all have different ways of showing love. But as so many people have picked up on, the best friends are those we can be honest with and say – actually this isn’t what i need right now – and move forward to build a better friendship. And i hope that if You and I are ever in that boat – you never feel apologetic about Pulling me up in it – publicly or otherwise.

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