D ear Amy: My husband and I recently lost a baby at 23 weeks. This was extremely painful, both physically and emotionally. We have been faced not only with dealing with our grief, but also dealing with several health complications.
During this entire experience we were extremely upset by the lack of response from family members who know we were going through this.
My husband has a sibling who is going through a pregnancy. We also have cousins with small children who have not acknowledged the miscarriage. We are extremely thankful that many family members have helped see us through these challenges.
We’re at a loss for how to deal with those who have shown no support and who have not acknowledged that this terrible thing has happened. What should we do to get over this and move on?
And so now it is left to you to ameliorate their discomfort by being transparent about your own.
Try to find a way to convey, “We’re so sad. Our loss is hard to bear. It would really help us if you would talk to us about it.”
It is so unfortunate that grieving people often find they are forced to lead the way in guiding others on how to cope. This level of compassion and understanding is a very heavy lift, but being honest about your own needs ultimately should help you feel better.
I have gotten sick a few times and it’s just not OK with me. I’m not “allowed” to say anything because it could “hurt her feelings.”
My mother-in-law is always treated with kid gloves, and no one allows anything negative to be said to her, so I would be “completely out of line” if I said anything.
We alternate cooking dinner, so at least I get clean food half the time. What do you suggest I do or say so that I’m not forced into eating rancid food while not looking like a monster?
— Scared To Eat
You don’t say whether she insists on doing half the cooking, but one way to repay your in-laws’ generosity would be to step up in terms of cooking and housework.
Those of us lucky enough to have access to birth control resources (and I count simple willpower as one of these resources) ought to use them to help mitigate the current population explosion.
— Childless by Choice