11 Comments

  1. A

    I totally disagree. When you have a miscarriage, you often feel completely alone. When I had my miscarriage everyone acted like it hadn’t happened. I felt like a pariah. A few people came up to me to say they were so sorry. That made me feel so much better, like they were acknowledging my loss. I think a card, even from a more casual acquaintance, would be very much appreciated.

  2. Katie C

    As someone who has suffered several losses, I think this is terrible advice. The worst feeling in the world is knowing that people know about your loss, but choose to ignore it. A simple, “I heard, and I am sorry for you loss” does wonders to ease the isolation felt after the loss of a pregnancy.

    If you heard my mother died, would you ignore it? No, you would offer condolences.

  3. Lee

    Absolutely wrong. Only someone who has been through loss understands how much little words of kindness and sorry go towards helping them through a devastating loss, that most of the world would rather not acknowledge because it makes others uncomfortable. Whether or not you are close have nothing to do with how a simple statement of support can help you feel supported.

    Send a note or approach them in private, and simply say, “I am so sorry for your loss.” Nothing else is needed. Just that simple statement lets them know that you acknowledge they lost a child. It is appropriate and proper etiquette to do so, no different than if they had lost their parent or spouse. However, do not try to elaborate or offer a reason the loss may have happened. None of your business and it’s truly unhelpful, no matter how good it sounds in your head. Stick to, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’

  4. Elizabeth

    This is absolutely horrible advice. Yes, some things are private, however if this coworker announced her pregnancy she did not feel it was private news any longer. I have experienced four miscarriages, and let me tell you that nothing is more painful than feeling as though mourning your loss is unacceptable or silly because no one else feels it is worth noting. If you know that your coworker was pregnant, and you are aware of her loss be a kind and openhearted person and express your awareness of that loss. A simple, “I am so sorry for your loss” will do wonders for her ability to overcome her grief. Do NOT ignore her, she is not damaged but she will surely feel that way especially if everyone around her treats her without love and respect. If anyone else had passed in her life you would express condolences and the same goes for this instance.

    Emily Post, I am deeply disappointed in you.

  5. Christina

    I 100% disagree! I’ve had multiple losses and those who came up to be to me offer their support or to share their own personal struggles made me feel like I was normal. Ignoring it make someone feel like what they went through is shameful, which it is not.
    One of my coworkers game me a sweet condolence card with a beautiful ceramic angel. If you aren’t close, a simple I’m so sorry for your loss is completely appropriate and more than welcome.

  6. This is horrendous advice–most likely given by somebody who has never lost a baby. I’ve lost 3 babies, and the people who took a minute to let me know I was on their mind—during my darkest hour—will never, ever be forgotten.

    If your co-worker personally let you know she was pregnant (and you didn’t just hear it through the grapevine), you should absolutely let her know you’re thinking of her (even if this bad news did come from the grapevine).

    Shame on you for doling out such backwards advice. You’re perpetuing the myth that sufferers of pregnancy loss would rather suffer in silence.

  7. Karen

    What terrible advice, obviously given by someone who has never been on the other side of the situation. If your co-worker had shared her pregnancy, she now knows that people are aware of her loss and will feel extremely isolated and ignored if everyone pretends it didn’t happen. Obviously you wouldn’t start up a conversation about her miscarriage in the cafeteria, but privately offering her your sympathy and support would speak volumes to her.

    As a previous poster said, if her mother or sister died, would you completely ignore it? No. At most companies it is policy to sign a condolence card at the very least, yet with pregnancy loss people are so uncomfortable that terrible advice like this is given. It is advice with the co-worker in mind only, not with the grieving mother.

  8. Karen

    I can’t decide whether this is good or bad advice, but I do know that I am the suffer in silence type. I am uncomfortable sharing grief with people unless they are close to me. I also don’t appreciate the accusation or implication that the advice giver has never gone through such a tragedy and therefore are unable to empathize. You don’t know their personal circumstances or history.

    • Heather

      Thank you for this and for being calm. Many people jumped to “YOU could never understand and you gave horrible advice.” Of course none of us have any idea about the author’s circumstances. It is fine to disagree without making assumptions about a person’s motivations.

  9. Annie

    I too disagree with the advice to ignore it. As someone who has had three miscarriages, I can say that I did not want to go around telling everyone that I’d had a miscarriage. That news is hard to share and I’d much rather that information got out through the grapevine. I wouldn’t have liked a big fuss, but a simple “I’m sorry for your loss”, or a card or brief note along those lines would be appreciated.

  10. Brockwest

    If you co-worker shared the news of the pregnancy, then please please do say a simple “I’m sorry” or a card that says “I’m sorry.”
    Do NOT ask questions, or say “you can have another”, or “it’s God’s will”, or “it’s for the best, something must have been wrong.” No commentary at all, just a sincere statement of your sorrow, and if appropriate, a simple hug.
    Because of the work situation, please do it in the break room.

    Add my name to the list of having lost children at miscarriage and yes, it does hurt.

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