Over the last week or two, I've run into a few people at school who didn't know what happened. People I thought would have been included on the emails that went around, or would have been in on the gossip/small talk about me. Or even on the logistics we had to deal with at the beginning of the semester (since I was no longer pregnant, I no longer needed a co-teacher in case of bed rest, so my co-teacher could go take over for the other pregnant lady who did need to go on bed rest. I'd be okay to teach on my own, right? We'll support you, it will be okay, right?).
So over the last couple of weeks, I've run into people who have mentioned the babies, my babies, like they were still inside me. And I say with disbelief, "My babies? They're gone. My babies are gone -- you didn't get the email? No one told you?" In one case, i could change the subject quickly, in another, I gave her the cliff note's version. Maybe it's the surprise, I don't know, but somehow I get through telling them like I'm fine. Even in the short-term aftermath, I'm fine. It's just in my car or at home in my bed that the tears come hard. The punch in the gut.
I assumed there would be a little bit of gossip, but not as much as I thought, I guess. Of course, there are a lot of men in the department -- maybe they just don't talk about stuff like that, not at school, anyway. Or maybe I got "lucky" to associate with people who don't gossip much. Strangely respectful.