I've been reading lots of books about grief. Specifically about pregnancy loss, stillbirth or early infant death. One thing that keeps getting mentioned in each book is that most people don't have friends that stand by them. People get freaked out and uncomfortable with grief. This topic--the desertion of friends--has been mentioned in every single book.
I'm so grateful that my experience has been so very different. Sure, I have stories of insensitivity to tell. Sure, I have a couple of friends who I considered incredibly close that are obviously uncomfortable and don't know how to deal with me or my loss. But the vast majority of people know exactly what to do: listen. Hang out with me. If I'm sad, let me be sad. If I'm happy, let me be happy. Don't expect me to be "over it."
My advice to anyone who has grieving friends is this: Listen, and try not to look frightened when the topic comes up.
I'm grateful to each and every one of you who have supported me and my family and who continue to do so. My story (OUR story, because it is our shared story,now) is one of hope, healing and the amazing strength of Christian Community.