Something really awesome happened this week. A very dear friend found out she was pregnant and rather than feel that expected pang of grief that had become standard when I hear of someone else’s ‘happy life announcement’, my first thought was how wonderfully excited I was for her.
This is huge you guys! For 22 months now, I’ve had a horrible default reaction to the good news of others. I hear of someone getting engaged; see one of those gushy ‘happy wedding anniversary my darling’ Facebook statuses; or God-forbid, catch wind of a baby announcement – then back comes that wave of grief.
‘It could have been me’. ‘Dan and I could have been pregnant by now’. ‘We didn’t even get one wedding anniversary’ … all of the horrible, self-pitying thoughts that make you feel like a bad person and a really shitty friend.
When this close friend told me, about a year ago, that they were going to start trying for a baby, I kept an encouraging smile on my face until I made it home and then let the tears flow. My poor, broken heart just wasn’t able to feel joy at the thought of others taking those steps forward in life that were no longer available to me. I wouldn’t wish my own situation on anyone and could never expect my friends to put their lives on hold, just because mine was – but I couldn’t help the emotions that came to the surface.
I started to dread the day that my friend would eventually come to me with her happy news. Would I be able to contain my own selfish reaction so that it wouldn’t take the shine off her announcement? I was so nervous that this wonderful person, who has been such a support to me and shared my pain, would see through my smile and know that I wasn’t able to fully share in her happiness.
As the months passed, and no announcement came, instead I saw her disappointment and the early stages of worry that they weren’t getting their special miracle. My relief at not having to force my happiness for her started mixing with my sadness at her disappointment. My friend was experiencing her own kind of loss and my heart hurt for hers.
So, this week, when she received her good news, I was so caught up in my joy for her that, at first, I didn't even realise that any feelings of my own envy were absent! I was excited, so happy that a new life was coming in to our world. I can't wait to see my friend go through this special experience and become a mother. I'm ready to be by her side, every step of the way. And at the end of the nine months, a new 'niece' or 'nephew' will come in to my world and in to my growing circle of love.
I am so grateful that this is a happy day. It's funny, how things work out. I actually wonder if the universe had a plan up it's sleeve when it decided to wait awhile before sending my friend her miracle. Just long enough for her best friend (me) to get to a good place where my heart had healed enough to share in her happiness.