I have a tendency to be long winded, but I'm going to try and keep this short and to the point. I hope I'm posting in the right area.
At the end of August, my son was stillborn. A week before he was born, I had a baby shower with all of my extended family present. He died, and I haven't heard a peep from anyone since.
Geographically, they all live within 20 miles of me, some a lot closer.
No one sent a card, no one sent flowers, no one called, e-mailed or brought food. This is the South. The Deep South. When someone dies, you bring food. I have known this to be fact my entire life. I never felt compelled to take food myself until I moved out of my parents house at age 17 and considered myself an adult. Since then, when someone dies, I take food. Its just what you do.
(ETA: I did receive cards, flowers and phone calls, but it was all from people I know exclusively over the internet. Strangers, basically, were the only people there for me when I needed it most.)
Thanksgiving is approaching, and my aunt called my dad last week to know if we would be attending. She told him to extend the invitation to me, my partner and my son. So, still no personal phone call from anyone. FTR, My extended family that lives locally consists of 3 aunts and their spouses and 4 adult cousins and their spouses, plus lots and lots of little ones.
My mother (this is my dad's family, her's lives a few states away) knows how much it hurt me that no one acknowledged the death of my son. She told my dad that there was no way she could convince me to go, and she explained why.
He is mad at me, because he thinks I'm being unreasonable. He thinks that I should just "suck it up" and go for my son's sake, so that he will have the opportunity to play with his cousins and be around his family.
I have stopped considering these people my family at all. I declared, after a month went by with no contact what so ever, that I was no longer a member of this family and I would no longer participate.
I have not only been grieving the death of my son for the past 2.5 months, but I have been grieving the realization that I don't really have any family. I feel betrayed and abandoned. I don't understand how they can all come together to celebrate my son's existence and his imminent arrival, and then a week later act as if he never existed and not even pick up the phone.
My dad has been mad at me for several days because I am unwavering in my decision not to go. My mom has been on my side, so to speak, until today. Now, today, she thinks I need to just let it go. This is why:
My mama called my aunt and told her that we would not be attending. Aunt wanted to know why, so my mama told her that it was because I was mad that no one called. Aunt says she was told by a cousin that I didn't want any phone calls or contact. This is absolutely not true. I never even spoke to this cousin. I don't know where this mis-communication came from. Aunt started crying, said she felt terrible, and that she thinks about me daily, but didn't contact because she was told not to. STILL, though, she has not called me. Knowing that I am hurt and feel abandoned, she still hasn't called me.
I cannot fathom going to this big family gathering and looking these people in the eye. They are going to look at me with pity and fear, because everyone (that isn't on MDC, pretty much) is terrified of dead baby mamas. They aren't going to talk about "it", "it" won't be mentioned, because that's the way I have discovered this dead baby thing to work. People are scared of you. Its really very awkward.
Even if this was all a big misunderstanding thanks to a cousin assuming I wanted to be left alone, I still feel hurt and abandoned by my family. I have felt this way for almost three months, and I am not sure what I can do to change how I feel or let it go. I'm not even sure if I want to.
I would really like some feedback on this. I feel that I have something to gain by hearing others perspectives. I think I am still too wrapped up in my own grief to really look at this rationally.