Maintaining Old Friendhips in the "New Normal"

I received the following post from a dad who recently experienced a loss. He correctly suggested this topic should be a new thread.

I think it's an excellent question and one that I struggled with a lot. For some reason, it is also one I often forget to address, so I am grateful for how beautifully he articulated it. I will comment after I get it posted -- I hope you will too. Thanks everyone.


Hi Tim,
I'm new to the blog. Our daughter Selah was stillborn on September 22. I apologize for commenting off topic, but I'm wondering if you'd be interested in starting a thread about how to maintain friendships during the early stages of grief. More specifically, I'm finding that I'm surprised at the friends (who have been truly good friends to me in the past) either 1)avoiding me or 2) pretending nothing has happened because their wife sent a sympathy card in the mail, so let's all just get on with life. I really understand that the whole thing is awkward for friends who have never suffered this kind of loss, and I don't want to label (most of) them as just too shallow to handle real friendship...i.e. I want to maintain the friendships, but I feel that my ability to connect meaningfully with them anymore is severely hampered by their response (or non-response?) to my loss and grief. Obviously, if they're true friends, starting an honest conversation with them is going to be a good place to start. But the catch-22 is that right when I'm most needing the friendship, I don't have the emotional energy to be the one doing the reaching out...I don't feel like I have the energy to be in the "teaching" role (i.e. 'teaching' friends how to be good friends to me--or anyone--who has lost a baby). I'd love to hear yours and others' comments, suggestions, etc., regarding this.

Seasonal Mood Changes

I am personally very affected by the changing seasons. Anyone who has ever lived in Minnesota definitely understands what changing seasons are (although the warm ones seem kind of short), and I find that shorter days and gloomy skies don't work well for me. Because our daughter's stillbirth occurred in September, it seems that Fall can be a particularly difficult time for both my wife and I. We chalk it up to Kathleen's death, but I sometimes wonder if that's really it. Especially since we have two living children who have birthdays two days either side of Kathleen's.

How about you? Any thoughts? Have you come up with any ideas that help to deal with it (besides suggesting I move to Arizona)?