"Any babies to speak of?" was the last in a series of I-haven't-talked-to-you-in-seven-years questions a newly acquired Facebook friend recently asked. We knew each other when we worked for the same advertising agency a thousand years ago. She found me, friended me and asked me what was new.
In that explicit, gut-churning way that always give me pause while I debate exactly what to say and how to say it.
And think I did. Long and hard. I considered sending her a private message instead of replying to her query on her wall (which is where she posted the questions to me), but finally I decided that if I had living children I wouldn't respond in a way that made it appear as though I was somehow ashamed of them. Or wanted to hide them.
I took the risk. With courage and pride I told her exactly what I'd been up to. That no, there were no living babies. But there were dead ones.
But, of course, I said it differently. I used the language the non-bereaved find palatable. I was quick, succinct and to the point. Not morose. Not self-pitying. Just the facts.
And I haven't heard from her since.
Not a whisper.
She's been on Facebook. I've seen her online. She has, of course, read what I left on her wall. She has to have.
And either she doesn't know what to do with it, or I've somehow upset her by posting something sad and creepy on her wall.
But she asked. And this is my truth. And I won't apologize for it or hide it.
I. Will. Not.