Today is national best friends day, and it’s only fitting I take some time to thank my lucky stars for the wonderful close kit circle of friends I have. I feel as you get older, your circle of friends gets smaller; over time you drift apart, fall out, go off on different paths and sometimes different continents.
My circle of friends, like my mothers, has always been small; as a friend I am always there, no matter what the time of day, so I believe that friends should live up to that same standard of dedication and love.
It’s sad to say that when I lost Avery, I lost friends – by my own choosing, but it also fills me with warmth to know that I also gained a few extra special ones.
When Avery first died, we received hundreds of messages, cards, presents, and warm wishes over social media – which is lovely, and helps with the pain to know so many people are thinking of you and sending you their love. But, a lot of people I thought I was close to sent me an initial ‘apology’ text and then that was it – and that’s fine, because everyone’s life goes on after loss and I can’t expect people to wallow with me forever, but as a friend I expected more from some people.
However (negativity over, because we know I hate negativity), I was surprised and uplifted to hear from people who I haven’t spoken to in years on a regular basis. I’ve made a few new special friends from losing Avery, with ladies who were there from the moment they found out right up until the moment I’m writing this. I could sense how much Avery’s loss affected them and they just wanted to help me and put the smile back on my face – like a true friend should.
You don’t quite realise what a friend is, and how important they are to you until your most dyer moment in need, when a hug, shared tear or even a text to check in means the world and turns your day around. When you’re in the midst of your grief, drowing, you feel very alone, and you question everything about yourself – including your self worth .. and that’s where friends come in, to show you they’d do anything for you.
So I’m very thankful for my new friends and reconnected friendships. BUT, most of all I’m thankful for my best friends, who became even better friends after losing Avery.
Mandi is my longest standing friend, we’ve been joined at the hip since we were 15 and she’s one of my favourite humans! She makes me laugh until I pee, she supports me unconditionally and she is Avery’s god mum – making her extra special!
Mandi is a student midwife so was a huge part of my pregnancy, every little ache and pain she was on the end of the phone explaining it to me and reassuring me. Even the night I found out, she was the one who suggested I call triage and go in to check everything was ok. I’ll never forget just texting her saying:
“Mandi, we’ve lost her” – what a silly thing to say, but I was just so in shock that I didn’t know what else to say. I could feel the heartbreak in her reply and she didn’t stop thinking of me and worrying about me the whole time I was in hospital. She and her fiancé Adam (who is Stevens’s best friend) were at Avery’s funeral and they made it very special being there and being able to say their goodbyes. And still, mid conversation, she always asks me how I am, she talks about Avery and acknowledges her and shows love to her – which is everything.
So thank you Mandi, for being the god mum to Avery I always wanted and constantly reassuring me that everything is going to be ok.
Nicola is a much newer friend, we met a couple of years back as her ex is one of Stevens’s friends – and we instantly just clicked!
Nicola was one of the first people I told and she made my pregnancy that extra bit special, every time we met she brought new clothes and we had lots of plans together for ‘Aunty Nic’ so I couldn’t even bring myself to tell her when I found out about Avery, I had to get Steven to do it.
I remember after a few days I was at my mums really struggling and she made the 2 hour journey to get there in traffic just to take a walk with me, and it did me the world of good. She’s always there, she always talks about Avery and she’s shows me the upmost love and support.
So thank you Nicola for being the loving wonderful caring lady you are.
And these beautiful souls …
Philippa, for always travelling down to see me, and giving Avery a kiss every time you come to the house – you have no idea how much that means.
Steph, for delivering Avery into the world and bonding with her so much that it created a special bond between us, for all the freebies to help us conceive and the endless advice.
Carmen, for crying with me and supporting me in work and keeping her memory alive.
Vaun, for surprising me with your support, after years of not speaking to you, you showed me more support than most, and for the constant uplifting conversations.
Also, a special mention to Caroline and Lauren, because you understood my pain and brought me comfort even when you were grieving too, I thank our little angels for bringing us together to make it that little easier in knowing we’re not alone.
And most of all, my bestest of friends, my mum and Steven – for everything!
One day at a time .. Nicole XO