All I Can Be, For Now

IMG_1606.JPGWell, no doubt about it, I’ve had a tough week.  Following the birth of my best friend’s baby last weekend, which I assisted with, I knew it was inevitable that an emotional crash would follow such a confronting experience.

Having a front row seat for someone else’s transformation into the role of mother was more difficult than I'd feared.  I love my friend, I’m happy for her… but my word, is it hard to put my own sadness aside and focus solely on her joy. 

It’s a horrible, agonising feeling.  On the one hand, I ache for what she has. I so badly want to feel that maternal love and it’s painful to witness every cuddle and every adoring gaze.  Then, on the other hand, is the guilt I’m carrying for feeling such envy.

She’s in a bubble of bliss right now and I don’t want to rain on her parade.  She wants her best friend by her side, gushing, fussing and sharing in her happiness.  But I just can’t be that for her right now.  In fact, I’m not even positive that I can be that for her in the future and that scares the crap out of me. 

I don’t want my grief to come between myself and my friend.  How do I find a place of peace where I can honour both my own emotions and her special milestone? 

A part of me was so focussed on being there for her during the baby’s birth that I didn’t pay much attention to what would come next.  For nine months (and even longer really, since she confided that they were about to start trying for a family) I had been mentally bracing and preparing myself for that day. I reached down and found the strength to be there for her.  Putting aside my own devastation and heartbreak. 

So, imagine my surprise when realisation sunk in that this baby’s arrival wasn’t the finish line, but in fact, the starting line of the challenge that lay before me. 

I want to love this baby.  I DO love her.  She’s is the most precious, beautiful thing.  She has reaffirmed what my own body and mind has been telling me, I want to create new life too.  But now I have to learn how to balance these two worlds. 

So, I’ve had to take a step back.  I've had to put myself first and make my emotional wellbeing my priority. And I've had to accept that I just can't be any more for her than that right now.

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  • Kelley Lynn
    commented 2016-01-25 11:58:19 -0800
    I think that is very healthy and makes total sense, and really, if she is a good friend, she will understand that. You HAVE to take care of you right now. There will be a time when you CAN be there more for her and her child, but right now, you are emotionally exhausted and spent because of the huge thing you already did , so now, its about you. Take all the time you need. sometimes we just need to back away for awhile so that we can one day be fully immersed again. One day at a time, friend xo.
  • Marty Tousley
    commented 2016-01-24 06:31:28 -0800
    Rebecca, my dear, I respect and admire your courage for admitting these (totally human and completely understandable) thoughts to yourself and for sharing them so openly with the rest of us. I’ve added a link to your piece at the base of my own blog post, “In Grief: Acknowledging Jealousy and Anger,” here: