I live in small town in a small county in the Middle of Nowhere, California. Don't get me wrong, I truly live in paradise (well, according to Oprah, I do) but there are definitely positives and negatives about living in this area. One great thing is that our community is very tight knit and helps each other out - as shown by the incredible support Dan and I received while Naya was fighting down at Children's. We couldn't have gotten through it without the support and are still super grateful. (Damn, I really need to start writing those Thank You cards but I still can't bring myself to start them.)
Another thing about living in this area is that everyone knows each other. This is in itself a positive and negative. Because of this, one can't do something as simple as getting gas or grabbing lunch somewhere without running into someone you know. And this is where the awkwardness begins.
Basically, I am faced with one of three scenarios when I run into someone while going about my day. Either they know what happened or they don't. Quite honestly, they are all brutal. If they know what happened (and I haven't seen them yet) I get the standard "I am so sorry about what happened," "How are you doing?" "I prayed for you," "I don't know what to say," etc. There is nothing wrong with this, believe me. I am glad that they do acknowledge what happened because how can you ignore it? This past 5 months has changed and shaped me much more than the last 30 years combined.
Another scenario is just what I mentioned above - people know what happened but they ignore it because it's way too uncomfortable to talk about. Believe me, I get this too. This situation sucks and makes me feel just as uncomfortable as the person who has to run into me. I know that there a lot of the people who fit in this category want to say something to me but just don't know how to bring it up. And how do you? It's not like we are talking about the freaking weather or something. The small talk you have to have with me is about death and it's incredibly awkward and it's something that we, as a culture, are terrible talking about. I get it and I wouldn't be surprised if people avoid me just so they don't have to say something. I wouldn't blame them at all.
The third, and let me say, my absolute favorite scenario is when people have no idea what happened and ask "How's the baby?!" This too, I understand. After all, I was pregnant. They knew I was pregnant. The obvious conclusion would be that after a pregnancy, there is a baby. The awkwardness immediately starts for me as soon as these words leave their mouth. I mean what do I say? My options really suck. I can either: a) Lie and say she's fine which would make me feel like shit or b) tell the truth and say that she died which makes them feel like shit. Not pretty either way but so far, I have always chosen option b. I don't like making people feel uncomfortable but I can't see any other way to go.
I suppose I just have to get used to the fact that my life is going to be a giant pile of awkward for the foreseeable future. Awesome.