Monday, 6 May 2013


Yesterday was all about survival.  Making it through the day without breaking down.  Making it through the day without losing control.  Making it through the day.

For the most part I managed. 

My sister and I attended a movie as part of the Toronto Hot Docs film festival.  This is a fabulous festival for anyone who likes documentaries.  We went to see a film called Rent a Family Inc. which tells the story of a Japanese man who rents himself out as a stand-in father, uncle or husband to people who need a family for some reason.  One woman rented him to give her and her boyfriend permission to live together before marriage so she didn't have to tell her own father that she was doing this.  It's a fascinating film.  But it still begs the question how do you break that to your partner one day.  Surely he will realize that the man granting him permission to bed his daughter is different than the one he meets to wed the daughter.  Another woman rented 32 guests for her wedding.  She had no family and no friends of her own.  It was interesting, and most importantly distracting. 

We had brunch, we went to the movie and then we went for ice cream.  My strength cracked while we were out for a moment.  My sister mentioned something about children, about losing a baby, she was about to talk about a friend of hers, someone who had had a loss and how tragic it had been for them.  I've heard the story before, and my sister, perhaps because of a strong sense of empathy will take on the pain and suffering of her friends as though the tragedy was her own. 

I had confided to my sister in December about my miscarriage but it was clear she had forgotten my story.  So I said, "Today would have been my due date."  I needed to stop the barrage of someone else's tale of woe.

She looked sort of surprised and then you could see the pieces click in her brain.

"Right.  Sorry babe.  That must have sucked."

"It did."

She doesn't acknowledge anything else.  The topic shifts, probably because she feels so uncomfortable.  She begins to discuss vacuums in the store we are walking by. 

I regain my composure it is clear that my sister isn't prepared to be my confidant on this day.  She isn't prepared to hear the tough and the nitty gritty side of my loss.  She just wants ice cream.


  1. Sometimes people just don't know what to say. Heck, even I don't always know what to say, and I'm going through it. All we can do is keep in mind that people that love and care for us mean well even when they stumble with words or actions while supporting us.

    I'm sorry you had to be in a position for survival mode. At least you had some fun activities to keep your mind busy (that movie sounds crazy!). I know nothing makes it easier, or better, but at least you know you managed through an incredibly tough day.


  2. I'm really sorry. I'm glad you survived yesterday, though I know it wasn't easy. I don't know your sister, but I feel like people--even those who are closest to us--never really know what to say. As though there is a right thing to say. I'm sorry she wasn't able to be your confidant, though. I'm thinking of you.

  3. Due dates are awful. I have three within a six week period beginning mid August. It's a super tough time for me. I feel your pain, because I've been there. I think that's really tough for those who have never experienced a loss. Hugs to you... we may not know each other in real life, but so many of us here have this common thread. Lean on us when you need to.

  4. I think she just didn't know what to say. It's hard to know if someone wants to talk about it or not... I'm so sorry. I have never been pregnant but can only imagine a loss like that, my sister lost a baby boy at 20 weeks, it was so hard for all of us seeing her in so much pain. And I remember having absolutely no clue what to say or not to say.

    Hugs to you.