words cannot express

i cried all the way from work tonight. big, fat, soggy tears just rolling down my face and getting my scarf all wet.

today, i found out a co-worker who was five months pregnant lost her baby. it is devestating. this is a woman i genuinely like and respect. she’s good at what she does, fair, and funny. everything i enjoy in a co-worker.

when i found out a few months ago that she was pregnant i was overjoyed. she had confided that she and her husband were having problems getting pregnant. this was something they were really looking forward to, she said.

now i cannot even begin to imagine her pain. now when i need my words the most, words that usually come to me so quickly and without effort, i have none.

because really, what can you say?

work is a weird place. you’re thrown together with a bunch of people. some you like and admire, some that you tolerate, and some who you simply cannot tolerate. you work with these people 40+ hours a week, spending more time with these random semi-strangers than with people you’ve known your whole life. and nothing can prepare you for this. where does this all fit into her life? because clearly we, her co-workers, and everything we represent really don’t mean anything right now.

and it’s weird because i feel the need to let her know how sorry i am and that i’m thinking of her and i just don’t have to words or even know that it matters at the moment. it’s even harder because she was so damn nice to me after my grammu died and i never remembered to thank her for such thoughtfulness.

and really, what can i say?

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  1. Dreama 17.Feb.04 at 8:26 pm

    Having been there, even a simple “I’m sorry” can mean so, so much. It’s better, really, than the pained silence from people who you can see want to say something but are trying to so hard to formulate just the right sentiment that they are overwhelmed into silence.

  2. Natalie 17.Feb.04 at 9:56 pm

    I don’t know anyone who has lost a child, but I have lost a parent unexpectedly, and the worst thing in the world is for someone to say nothing. Even a simple “I’m sorry” will do.

    And bring them a hotdish or some sort of food item–food is something that’s always welcome.

  3. Edge 17.Feb.04 at 11:51 pm

    My (former)wife and I lost an unborn child. I also lost my dad just over a year ago. The best thing you can do is continue to be the friend you are. Like the other two people said, a simple “Sorry to hear about your loss” or any such words suffice. Trust me on this.

  4. dweebie 18.Feb.04 at 10:04 am

    Let her know she and her husband are in your thoughts. We lost a baby too after a lot of infertility treatment. Co-workers can be amazing in the support they give us, sometimes I think we’re with them to overcome certain things and to learn things as well. They are what we miss when we do our work from a computer screen at home. Send her a card reflecting your feelings or a copy of what you’ve written here. The love and compassion of others help through the hard times, make sure you share. Sometimes silence isn’t golden, it can be selfish…even without intending to be.

  5. Joots 18.Feb.04 at 4:42 pm

    I agree with what everyone’s said already.

    Work is such a strange environment. People do or don’t notice/do or don’t care about things like haircuts, new glasses, etc. From day to day, you can completely change your view on who these people are and what they mean to you.

    But in a case such as this where you feel something strongly, and for a person you feel strongly about, absolutely, tell her your thoughts. Take a chance; she’ll remember you cared.

  6. Danny 18.Feb.04 at 9:47 pm

    You are good people and we all need to have the support of good people when the meaning of everything you have ever hoped for is in question…

    Most pain is private pain. And the hardest cut of all is when you have to travel that valley alone. Co-workers or friends or whatnot… it’s good to have allies in this world of 6 billion strangers. Not at my most eloquent here I know..sorry…

  7. robin 19.Feb.04 at 10:38 am

    hey jodi:

    i came over here to tell you how much mia and i appreciated the valentine and now i’m crying. and that’s the way life is, i guess. major swings from happy to sad, from glee to grief. you know that we grapple with that over here a lot but i must say that i agree with everyone else … be a good friend (which i know that you are), be there for her, that’s all you can do.

  8. Jillian 07.Feb.05 at 3:24 pm

    I just gave birth to a beautifuly baby boy only he wasn’t alive because I was only five months long and let me tell you a simple I am thinking about you can go a long way. I miss him so much but I know he is still with me.