Without further ado I will hand the mic over to my BFF-4-Eva (that's what our matching heart necklaces say, at least), Jeremy :
Sometimes it feels like time is moving without our permission.
I remember the first call; the one where they told me the good news.
The whole family joyously shouting in the background as Becca and Chris told me over the little iPhone screen (I was out of town and they couldn't wait) that after some time of “not trying” (sure. if you say so), it happened. We were going to have a baby (yes, I said “we”). I did the best I could to show the picture of excitement to my expecting best friends and when we hung up, overwhelmed, I cried; one of many private moments I’ve had over the past year.
Cue old wives tales: Don’t tell people until "x" amount of time has passed. Don’t buy baby clothes, toys, books, etc. Ancient ways of tricking the universe because apparently Mother Nature hates a premature celebration.
I remember another call; the one where the news changed.
I waited at one of our favorite cafe’s while they went to that fateful sonogram, imagining that being in one of our “holy places” would shift the pending news positively.
The phone rang. I said something. She said something. And that was it.
I sprang up and rushed to the train, tears streaming without permission.
Impatiently sitting on the F-train I tried to play the story out in my head:
1. I will run up the steps. 2. I will throw my arms around her. 3. We will cry. 4. We will be strong.
We did all of the above.
And as quickly as we were celebrating, we were mourning.
Moving (ever) forward means accepting that this experience is now part of you, no matter your role in the story (be it husband, parent, friend). From a friend's perspective, sometimes it means giving yourself permission to own your experience of the trauma even though it is not your womb in question. That doesn't take away from the friend you are supporting, rather it makes your bond and your ability to connect and help even stronger.
Moving (ever) forward means being brave enough to ask for what you need. Every day is not only about building the world we want, but learning how to live in the world we’ve got.
And most importantly, moving (ever) forward means it’s okay to welcome grief into your home, but that doesn’t mean you have to remodel, or build him a new wing. He is a guest. Be hospitable and gentle, and know that soon enough he will leave, and you can put everything back where it belongs.
Continue moving (ever) forward. It’s really all any of us can do.