I have a situation coming up that I would like some guidance from the readers….
My oldest friend S, after years of health issues and being told she would never have a child unless she adopted, was delighted to discover that she was unexpectedly pregnant. Her and her husband were over the moon and all of us were happy that such a wonderful couple would finally become parents. Eight and a half months into the pregnancy, I got word from her at the hospital to say that tragically, she lost the baby. Over the next few week, the details of the loss came out, which I won’t go into here. Naturally S was devastated and very angry about this. When she and her husband finally broke the news on Facebook (as all the friends don’t live in the same town as S, it’s easier to use Facebook to reach out as a group), the outpouring of support they received was wonderful. It was a testament of just how well they are loved by all.
About less than a month after this, I got news of my own…my brother and his wife were expecting their first baby! I was really happy that I would become an auntie! However, as it was so soon after S losing her baby, I decide not to say anything to her about my brother’s news as I felt it would be rubbing salt in an open wound. Fortunately, my usually tell-everyone-everything-on-social-media brother and sister-in-law had already decided to play down the baby news on Facebook until after the baby was born.
Well, baby M was born a few months ago and he is a cutie! Now that baby M is here, my brother is posting pics on Facebook, my mom and sister are commenting on the pics, and me…has not said a word on Facebook. Why? S is on my friend’s list on Facebook and I still haven’t told her the news. I did pull my brother aside and explained the situation so he and his wife understand why I’m not commenting on Facebook about baby M, but with my sister now posting pics of her and baby M, (while sister and S are not friends on Facebook, they live in the same town so they could have friends of friends) it’s only a matter of time before S gets wind of the news.
Since losing her child, S is grieving, but moving onwards with her life. I know that she’ll never be over losing her child, but she’s moved along so that the anger has calmed, she’s finding peace with herself and she’s living her life. While it hasn’t been a full year since she lost her child, I think I need to break my news to her. I will be going home at Easter to see my family and S lives in my home town so when I go home, I always visit her. I will need to tell her in person. How do you suggest I have this conversation? 0227-13
There is a time to grieve with those who grieve and a time torejoice with those who rejoice. I think you have done an admirable job of being kind to your friend to allow her time to work through her grief. But life does go on and people around S will have babies and at some point it becomes S’s turn to rejoice with those who rejoice or to at least be happy for them.
I would caution against making the announcement to your friend in a face to face manner as you intend. There seems to be an element of drama to doing it this way that is unnecessary and really focuses the news to her specific situation that, to my thinking, may actually accentuate her grief rather than mitigate it. I think a conservative announcement on your Facebook wall to everyone, such as, “Meet my new nephew, Jeffery XXXXX. I am delighted to be his aunt.” Then when you do see your friend, wait until she asks if you have any photos and share them with her. You do not seem like an insensitive person who would ramble on and on and on about your precious nephew. That is where people fail to be sensitive to others by making the topic of conversation all about themselves without any regard for how others may be affected.