Sunday, May 24, 2009


Sort of. But only because I've already done "Firsts..." here. Last night, the kids and I attended an Open House BBQ at the home of my friends, Jeff & Patty, to celebrate Jeff's 50th birthday. (Which is actually today.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEFF!). I almost didn't go. Jeff told me on Friday night that they were expecting between 50-80 people. I know very few of Jeff & Patty's other friends. I don't do well in situations that require mingling. But my kids enjoy their kids, I like Jeff & Patty so I sucked it up and I went.

I had forgotten that there would be introductions. Introductions that went like: Sarah has 3 kids, 4 year old boy twins and a 7 year old. Kathryn has 3 kids and they're close to our kids' ages. VERY few people at this party knew about Seth. His name didn't come up all evening. And I guess, as awkward and strange as it was, it needed to be that way. I"m struggling a bit. People talk about feeling "disloyal to the departed loved one" and the conflicting emotions that can bring up and I confess; occasionally, I would think that was ridiculous. I KNOW life is going to go on, Seth's not always going to be an up-front part of it. It DID feel odd to not talk about him tonight.. to not say, "I have FOUR kids" (although, really, all night I don't think I actually answered the how many kids do you have question even once).

So, all in all, this was a HUGE, saddening first. It IS okay that Seth wasn't a part of the evening for others. He is always a very large part of my heart. I get that it's not always appropriate to discuss that part of my life story. This is just part of moving forward. Also, it was interesting to me that this environment, surrounded by mostly strangers, was an ENTIRELY different experience than when I"m in environments surrounded by people who DO know about Seth, even if Seth is not mentioned (as was recently alluded to here).

The good news about yesterday evening? Next time I find myself in a similar situation, it will not be the first! I think (and hope and pray) that even if it is not easier, it WILL be a little less disconcerting.


Millie said...

I would have a hard time too. I think I would always say "I have four kids", but then you have to explain everything, which is not always emotionally whats best. I'm praying for you, I know no other words will help. I'm just so sorry you have to go through these things.

Lucy and Ethel said...

We've just signed up to follow your blog, as I can't keep up otherwise! You're doing such a good job and have been so busy!

This is one subject I'll be tackling at some point - determining how (or even if) to mention the baby/child who is no longer living. After almost 12 years, it's still awkward for me at times, but I did come up with criteria of sorts, which I can choose to follow... or not!

I think the main determining factor for me is whether or not the other person is 'worth' sharing our Jeffrey story with. I avoid the number of children bit, but if I've determined that getting into our Jeffrey story isn't appropriate for whatever reason, I just say we have a son and daughter in college. If I feel it would be a good thing to talk about Jeffrey, I will mention enough to give the other person an option to ask more. Or escape :)

As for your getting another first out of the way, congratulations!


Kathryn said...

As our family knows we don't have children, that wasn't the issue for me this weekend. It was hard to see children near the age our Kaylee would be. And i was asked twice "if" we would be having children. The answer to that is, it is up to God & not us.

I understand a little of this discomfort, tho i never held our child in my arms. How hard that must be for you!