I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t do it.

We were out to brunch at our local spot.  I had Felix dressed in one of my favorite outfits. “Little brother” the onesie read.  I have three shirts that say this telling phrase.  One from a long distance friend who hold Mabel close in her heart.  Another from a kind patient. A third I bought, unable to resist.  He’s outgrown two of them and the third he practically busting the seams, but I’m reluctant to let it go.  I proudly dressed him in it that morning.

The waitress cooed at him and he flirted back.  “Little brother!” she read his shirt. “Where’s your sister?” she continued and looked at me.

I sat with a dumb smile plastered to my face- mouth partially open, waiting for the words to come.

I couldn’t do it.

She’s dead. She died. She’s gone.  I couldn’t find the right words.  I’ve said it dozen of times; I’ve gotten quite good at it, actually.  But in the bustle and noise of the restaurant, with the smiling waitress making fast chit chat, I just couldn’t do it.

Whether she sensed my hesitation or assumed I didn’t hear, she moved on to the next bit of chatter.

I couldn’t do it.  I’m sorry, my baby, I didn’t know how to tell her about you.  I’m sorry, Mabel.


4 thoughts on “I couldn’t do it.

  1. Maybe the important part is not that Mabel is not with you anymore (although it must weigh hugely on your heart), but that she was there. And that was acknowledged.
    Or, to put it another way, this conversation makes me feel better than hearing MIL say that SB is her first grandchild.

  2. I completely get your post, it’s so hard in those fast, passing moments. I’ve made a decision to split people into two groups (roughly) – am I going to see you again? If yes, then I tell you. If no, if you’re a stranger like a shop worker/waiter where we don’t go often then I keep quiet. Don’t be hard on yourself – you carry her with you always in your heart and if there are days you choose not to say it out loud then that’s okay, she’s still in your heart.

  3. Hi Megan,

    I’ve followed your blog for a while now, but never commented. I found you while looking for others who would understand shortly after losing my own daughter, and even though I’ve never commented I’ve read a lot of your posts. This one in particular touched me enough for me to find my voice though. I’ve had these moments too, a polite question that’s supposed to be easy to answer, and no matter how well you think you’ve prepared for it, you just can’t say the words. It takes so much bravery to say, “She died.” and even though you’d think as loss parents we’d have that strength just for the sheer fact that we’re still alive, sometimes we’re still taken aback. I agree with the other two who have commented so far though, for you and for myself. Everyone has their own truth and just because you couldn’t find the words to share Mabel this time doesn’t change her presence in your heart or the impact she made.

  4. I’m sorry that in this situation you felt that you were not able to honor Mabel as you would have liked. But you responded to the situation as best you could have given the context. Perhaps the next time you find yourself in a similar situation, you could say “she’s in our hearts”–or some version of that. It puts the emphasis on love rather than loss.

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