Have any of you dealt with someone who really should have been there for you during the loss of your child, yet chose to be completely absent? We all know that child loss is taboo, and sort of expect certain friends and acquaintances to focus their energies elsewhere, but there are some people, who above all others, should stick around.
I write on here often about our incredible family and friends, and it is true, we have been blessed... for the most part.
But then there is that one couple, a couple, who for reasons of anonymity on this blog I won't give specific title to but we will just say that they are of very close blood relation (aunt/uncle, brother/sister, grandma/grandpa, type close). This couple has chosen complete absence from our lives. There was no call. No card. No attendance at the funeral, or bouquet of flowers. Nothing except a few text messages sent in the early days that even acknowledged that Peyton had died. A few typed keys, and pressing send. That is what our child's life meant to them, and it sucks.
We have seen this couple only once since Peyton's passing, at a family gathering. This was yet another opportunity for them to offer their condolences, and they chose instead to poke fun at hubs for having put on a little bit of weight since they had seen him last, weight that had come about as a result of his grief, rather than ask how we were doing, or tell us they were sorry for our loss. I could tell you that this left us angry, but mostly we were hurt.
Yesterday I posted a status on FB about some of the goings on in the world, and received an argumentative response from one member of this couple. Okay, I am as open to debate as the next person. Friends and family rarely agree with my political views on anything, so I am used to opposition and that is fine, but this really bothered me. Like really, DEEPLY, bothered me, that the first contact from this couple would not be to see how me and hubs are doing, or ask about Doing Good In Her Name, or IVF, but instead to argue with my opinion on an issue.
I have to say that honestly the politics involved really didn't matter all that much, what threw me over the edge was a final line, one snarky remark insulting me for not having properly spelled this person's wife's name. Excuse me? Really? Our child died and you said nothing, and THAT, a freaking typo, upset you?
This comment was like a spark that blew the top off of 18 months of resentment, and I responded with something to the affect that I was disappointed that of all the things going on in our lives these last 18 months, my opinion on a current event was the only one worth reaching out to me over.
I left the comment up just long enough that I knew they saw it (a few minutes or so) and then deleted it, deciding that my feelings towards them didn't need to be put out on display in front of FB people I don't know. They were my intended audience of the message. The message was received. Delete. Could I have taken the high road here? Of course. Should I have? I am still unsure.
In an email chain that started last night, the wife told me that she was "disguisted" with me, saying, "Good luck to you because if you're willing to go there that quickly over something so petty - you are going to need all the luck you can get." She had completely missed the point of my message, and went on to provide me with a list of reasons, most all my fault in her mind, as to why they couldn't reach out to us after Peyton's death. Here are some of the highlights.
*They don't have my phone number
*They can't respect the way I have handled my grief
*My lack of compassion and consideration for others
*I am selfish
And my personal favorite:
*We only gave them a few days notice for Peyton's funeral.
In one message, the person insisted they had reached out repeatedly (I didn't realize texting now constituted reaching out to a blood relative over the death of their child), and then in the next wrote, "Have I reached out to you directly? Nope and it's because I'm not going to support you in this." The "in this" being my inability, as stated in one of her other messages, to get over Peyton's death. She told me, "Another reason I personally have not reached out directly to you is because I don't coddle. I don't. I'm that person you rant about on your blog who believes there comes a time to stop being selfish and step back out in the world." I guess I didn't realize that sharing my feelings in this space, and being open and honest about this journey made me selfish.
So all of this back and forth leaves me wondering, do I care? Really? Do I care about the opinion of a person who, though a close relative, found my daughter unworthy of mention past a few text messages? A person who, when called out on this, chose not to apologize but rather to throw my grief in my face, using terms like, "martyr" or "brass, self centered and arrogant"?
Honestly, I'm not sure anymore that I do.