So the hairdresser did a good job. Well, she cut my hair about two inches shorter than I asked her to, but she did a good job dealing with the news about Thomas.
She froze, of course, and then said how sorry she was. What followed was a horrible, awkward silence that rang in my ears like a 15 ton church bell. So I broke it by saying, "But he was very cute - we did a really good job."
Her reply was sweet. She said, "Well, at least you got a chance to meet him." Which sounds trite, but wasn't. Honest. She said it with such feeling, and I know what she meant - we are blessed to have met him and to have had him in our lives for as long as we did.
She did sort of blow it a little when she told me that everything happens for a reason though. I wanted so much to ask her what reason she thought there could possibly be for a baby dying after just 20 hours of machine-assisted life, but I didn't. I know what she meant - and I too believe everything that happens is meant to happen. I just don't know why it does. I told her that a lot of good has come from his death and that My Beloved and I have been changed so much by his presence in our lives - and it's all true, I'm just not at the point where I necessarily believe that his dying had a more positive impact on the world than his living would have.
I don't think I'll ever be there.
Anyway, I feel better. I've avoided telling people in person all this time because My Beloved or our families were always the ones who had to spread the news face to face. I always managed not to be there somehow. So I feel a big sense of relief knowing that I don't have to do it for the first time - it's already done, and I know I can do it again if I have to.
But I hope I don't have to. Seeing my sorrow reflected back in the faces of strangers is something I'll never, ever get used to.