Crisis friends

I think there is something both awkward and obvious about wanting to befriend people who were important to you in times of crisis. In any case, both K and I think it’s kind of a shame to compartmentalize the people we meet; a “nurses belong only in hospitals” mentality seemed sad and forced. 

We really didn’t want to lose touch with our favorite nurses and our chaplain after we left the NICU. We wanted to stay friends, to see them beyond our monthly support group. Because of the neighborhood we live in, they were closer to our age and demographic than any of the mothers we met in the NICU. In any other circumstance, we were sure that S and P and we would be friends. We thought it’d be a shame not to at least try to keep cultivating those relationships, especially as don’t know that many people here yet.

But that’s an odd conversation to start. We didn’t want to put S and P in an uncomfortable professional situation – maybe they think it’s creepy to have former patients’ parents texting them at home (in our defense, they gave us their personal emails and cell numbers).  On the other hand, we kept thinking that maybe we met for a reason, that maybe Anderson might have wanted us to be friends, that maybe THEY were some of the good things to come out of this altogether tragic situation.

So we’re trying, albeit awkwardly, to remain friends. We bought S a gift of fun socks since she always wears crazy socks; really, it gives us an excuse to see her when we drop them off. We invited P to Beauty Bar, a rather fun place here in Chicago where there is a manicurist at the bar ($15 martini-and-manicure from 7-10 p.m. weekday nights). And she came! We were giddy, like little kids making new friends all over again. We’re still happy to see her every time we do, including at our hospital’s memorial service yesterday. But there’s still a weird line there. Hopefully we’ll get beyond it someday, because really, I think there’s something special there.

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3 Responses to Crisis friends

  1. meghanoc says:

    Oh yes! I can speak from experience- if they gave you phone numbers and emails, go right ahead! It is awkward territory but I” sure they feel as bonded to you as you are to them. as a provider I dont give out my info to many people- but there is something about a loss connects people. I’ve had dinner, long phone calls and birthday celebrations with a few patients. Several of them even came to my baby’s wake- which was so very touching. And as a patient myself, I became very close to two of my midwives. We were very friendly before (sharing a profession) but since I lost my daughter I’ve seen them both more socially. One of them I went on vacation with! At first I worried they were just being nice, but now I know they were emotionally invested too. 🙂

    • babylossmama says:

      Meghan, I was hoping you would reply as I know you know the “other side” of the aisle, too! That’s reassuring… I was hoping they weren’t just “being nice.” After 26 days of a LOT of bonding with them (lol), I feel like they’re intimately connected with a very special part of my life. They will always know me first as “Ander’s mom” and they were the ones in the room sobbing with us as we said goodbye. There’s just something about sharing a moment like that that creates a bond… hopefully a long one!

  2. meghanoc says:

    AND isnt nice to be with people who you can chat casually with and talk about your baby at the same time- flowing between subjects easily. something i can only really do with people involved in my daughter’s care. my friends are lovely but when I talk about Mabel, they adopt a respectful hush and conversation basically stops because they dont know where to go from there. but your nurses will probably be able to talk about Ander so much more easily (sorry for being so wordy. apparently I thought this was a great post!)

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