It’s never okay to do nothing at all

My first day back could not have gone worse.  I cried walking into that building and I sobbed walking out.

The only *good* thing that happened was that when I popped in to say hi to one of the women in the building who knew about my pregnancy and our IVF stuff, she gave me a big hug and asked me how I was.  I was in full cry by then and telling her how hard it was to be there and how no one likes to talk about dead babies.  A few minutes later she came down to my office and admitted that she was taken aback by my arrival back at work and didn’t know the right things to say.  She sat with me and asked me questions about what happened and asked me questions about Abby.  It was nice.  It was awful and hard but nice to have her sit with me and care about me and cry with me.

I couldn’t do any of the emails or the discharges because my computer password had expired and the only people who could fix it couldn’t be bothered to call me back.  So I organized file drawers instead.  And cried.  And then… my boss showed up.  I was supposed to call her to check in, but she decided to arrive instead.  This was not a gesture of support, but one of inspection.  And, boy was I a sight to behold!  I’m not going to say a lot more about work here… mostly out of fear of being stumbled upon… remember, I need my job to pay for fertility treatments and drugs!  What did happen is that I grew a pair, and let her know how upset I was with the team about the lack of acknowledgement.  This is when she told me that a card was signed by everyone but that that one co-worker told everyone that I did not want to speak to or see anyone and that I would not want this card.  I firmly told her that this was absolutely incorrect, that I never said anything to that nature, and that all it did was left me feeling like nobody gave a damn.  To put icing on the already damaged cake, the card was in my mailbox when I arrived home.  With lovely comments and expressions of sympathy.  All of these hurt feelings could have been avoided if they’d mailed the g-damn card!

That same co-worker sent me a text this morning welcoming me back and asking me how my first day went.  Wow.  So this is how it goes.  I’m just supposed to forget about this huge act of insensitivity and forgive…. because you know, people make mistakes.

Well, you know what, I’m tired. I’m tired of having to deal with the stupid things that people say when you’re battling infertility and having to “forgive” them because it was “well-meaning”.  Too many times, people’s “well-meaning” comments or actions have left me emotionally wrecked and full of anger.  I’m tired of having to educate people on how to respond.  I’m sorry that it’s uncomfortable for you that my baby died and you don’t know what to say.  Poor you.  My fucking condolences for your emotional ineptitude!

I know that as a society, we don’t really deal with death all that well.  Kinda funny, since you know, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!  And I know that people are afraid of saying the wrong things and making me more upset, but you know what, it is never okay to do nothing at all.  It’s one thing that I’ve learned from all of this — say something, do something, send something.  Don’t say “if there’s anything I can do…” — just do it.  If you can think of a kind gesture, don’t worry about it upsetting someone, just do it.  I appreciated all the people who sent me emails, texts, comments on here, but I never would have asked for anything from you.  I was broken and defeated and it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other and keep trudging… I wasn’t going to ask for help and further admit how broken and defeated I was.  And if all else fails, a simple “sorry for your loss” can’t hurt.  Don’t compare your experiences to mine – unless you have lost a child or battled infertility, I’m sorry but it’s not the same. I’m not saying that we don’t all have suffering, that’s not at all what I mean.  I went to the chiropractor a week after we lost Abby and I was a mess… a sobbing, agoraphobic mess.  I couldn’t even go into the room without C.  And the chiro, who I love, expressed his condolences but then went on to say how his son was just diagnosed with Tourettes and how it was ripping his soul apart to watch the poor child suffer.  It was all I could do to hold it together and not offer to trade him lives.. because at least his son was alive.

I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone.  I’m just so tired of the fight when it feels like there may never be light at the end of the tunnel. I’m tired of feeling sad.  I’m tired of crying.  I’m tired of pretending to be fine.  I’m tired of watching life go by without me.


15 responses to “It’s never okay to do nothing at all

  • Cristy

    Agree. And I’m so very sorry your first day back was so awful and hostile. Not what you needed or deserved. And I think you were in the complete right to voice your unhappiness about the treatment you received to your boss. I get that it was a mistake. But fix it, damnit!! Don’t blame the person who is hurting.

    Hang in there. You’ve been in my thoughts daily and will continue to be there. Sending many hugs and lots of love.

  • EmHart

    I love your honesty in this post. I am so sorry you are hurting and that today was so hard for you, and I think you are absolutely right, when in doubt just show someone you care in whatever way you can. I hope the work days get easier for you soon.

  • Jenny

    I’m so sorry you’ve had such a rotten first day back and I’m especially sorry for the ignorance of your coworkers. I think it’s good that you said something about how their actions made you feel.


  • Kathy

    I agree “its never ok to do nothing at all” The person probably thought that the card might make you cry. Of course it would …but then you probably would have cried that day anyway so why not cry knowing people you worked with cared enough to acknowledge you were going through a really difficult time. Just a simple hug or I’m so sorry is better than nothing.

  • ScrappyJen

    How awful. I wish all of us gals could work together and support each other. People can be so insensitive and DENSE. :(. I’ll be thinking of you and I pray tomorrow goes MUCH better for you.

  • Heather

    I’m sorry your first day back was so awful… and that your coworkers and boss are so ignorant to everything. Being treated and thought of that way is not even in the realm of what you need added to your plate. Please know the rest of us care and love you and are thinking only the best.


  • Peg

    Very well said! Hug.

    I agree. I’m so tired of keeping my mouth shut because It makes others uncomfortable, or because they cant handle it. They are going through it. Too bad that they have 3 minutes of discomfort – we live with it every minute of every day.

    And hey, you made it through the day … Good for you . Hug

  • marwil

    That really suck and it’s not your job to make them feel comfortable just because they don’t know what to say. It’s so simple to say something, anything and go from there. No excuses really.

  • Infertile First Mom

    I agree and find that the lack of acknowledgment can be worse than the clueless and insensitive comments people make. At least those people do mean well when they share their two cents, however insensitive it may be to us! To ignore our pain (not that I have experienced anything remotely close to the pain of loss that you and so many other women feel every day) is not only insensitive, but it is cruel and cowardly!
    I’m so very sorry your first day back went that way… I will continue to hope for betters days for you, and for your coworkers to get a clue and learn how to be compassionate and show something we like to call empathy.

  • smonster

    Sounds like your first day back was hell.

    I’d be surprised if you offended anyone M, since everyone who reads this blog cares for you and wishes they could do something to take away the pain and anger you’re feeling right now. This is your sounding board, and if it helps to rage then I say bring it on.


  • Heather

    Well said. Many hugs to you.

  • Lisa

    I’m so sorry you had a bad first day back at work, reading what you wrote makes me sad that it happened that way for you. I too wish that people would learn to be more sympathetic and aware of what they are doing or saying. It’s hard dealing with infertility and loss, esp when people really have no idea exactly what you have been going through for long periods of time. I agree, I would rather have been acknowledged that you had experienced a loss, then people being afraid to offer you comfort and support, or just dismissing it without a thought. If they had sent the card beforehand, or even reached out in a different way, you would have seen that they are thinking of you and you weren’t alone in your grief. BIG hugs to you, I hope that your days get better.

  • Life

    You are right. it is not ok to not say anything at all. Some people tend to ignore the entire topic. Because they don’t know what to say. They don’t know how to handle it.
    I get that. I don’t know how to handle it myself sometimes.
    But a simple “I”m sorry for your loss”, is that so hard?!

    I’m sorry you had a crappy day back at work. I’m dreading going back, glad I still have some time at home before I have to go back.

  • psychsarah

    I’m so sad that things went so poorly for you. As soon as I read your post yesterday I was hoping against hope that it was at least tolerable. The last thing you needed was to see your boss 😦 Good for you for telling her how you felt-I know she’s not the warmest fuzziest person going.

    I’m glad the one woman in your building at least showed you that some people care. Too bad that wasn’t the norm rather than the exception. You are totally right-death freaks people out. It’s unfortunate, because it only increases the suffering of those who have experienced the loss, as now they have to deal with isolation, loneliness and even more pain.

    As others have said, everyone reading this blog cares about you-whether you’re sad, angry, or anything else. I sincerely hope that each day gets easier. Lots of love to you my friend.

  • Alissa

    I wrote a post called ‘I wanna hold your hand’ about this same thing.

    The way people react to the loss of a baby is so strange to me. I’m not sure why so many people feel the need to pretend nothing happened. To ignore it. It’s actually a very inappropriate way to handle the situation.

    I’m sorry you had a hard time, but glad that your coworker spent some time talking to you. Nothing makes me happier than for someone I care about to ask about the twins or tell me they are thinking of them. Get out your anger when you need to. It’s a huge part of this grieving we have to go through. Then find peace whenever, where ever you can. Love your child.

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