On Being a Good Friend

The Muted Birthday

It’s hard to believe our littlest turns 8 today. Like many couples unable to have more children, my husband and I have sometimes failed to thank God for what we have and instead  wished for more. I won’t lie: it is painful to imagine that I will never again experience the joy of cradling a tiny baby of my own so tenderly in my arms. There is nothing in this world like that love. But we know–for an anatomical fact–that no more will be coming. We have, I suppose, come to terms with that.

A while back, rather unexpectedly, a family we know shared some awesome, but surprising, news.  I had the great privilege of a few weeks of joyful planning and vicarious, happy anticipation. But yesterday, my friend went to her doctor appointment for a check up and some good news. She came home with very, very bad news.

I cannot even imagine her pain. We experienced the fear, yes, when I had first trimester bleeding. That was a little over 8 years ago. But that fear turned into…well, she is 8 years old today. My friend will not be experiencing that great wave of relief today, tomorrow, or even 8 years from now.

And, over here on this side of town, I am trying to celebrate a birthday. There is a cake to frost, a house to decorate, and dinner plans need to be made.

I feel guilty.

What kind of friend am I to celebrate my child’s life when, not too far away, a family is mourning? Sure, I’ve done a few little tasks to help, expressed deep sympathies, offered my services in any way possible. I’ve probably done the “right” things. But it is not enough. And I pray.

If you are reading this, please pray for my friend and her family. Any comments are appreciated.


2 thoughts on “The Muted Birthday”

  1. I am saddened to read this post. I am saddened for your friend, and I hope she is able to find healing, at her pace. I pray that someday she will find comfort in knowing she has a saint up in Heaven, able to look down on her and pray for her daily. But, it may be too soon for her to hear that reminder – she may just need to grieve today.

    After one of my friends suffered a late-term miscarriage, their family held a wake for their “Saint.” Perhaps see if your friend would be up for that at some point, or see if they would be opposed to your helping assist them with something like that? It allowed my friend, their family, and all their friends to truly celebrate their baby boy. I think my friends called it a Celebration of Life, and they had a priest come to say a special prayer for their baby, and for their family.

    So, don’t feel guilty about celebrating your 8 year old treasure today. ALL babies (regardless of age or where they may be) deserve their special celebrations!!


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