Mis­car­riage eti­quette

Sherbrooke Record - - CLASSIFIED -

THURS­DAY, SEPTEM­BER 14, 2017

Dear An­nie: My sis­ter had a mis­car­riage this week, and I’m at a bit of a loss. I want to sup­port her but fear that I am put­ting too much of a fo­cus on it. I’m not sure whether I’m ex­pect­ing a cer­tain type of re­sponse un­fairly from her — sad­ness, anger, frus­tra­tion — but she seems to just want to move on. With the rest of our fam­ily, there’s a feel­ing of hope­less­ness all around, as we’re not sure how to be there for her and her hus­band. I was go­ing to send them flow­ers and a sym­pa­thy card, but my other sis­ter thought it could be too much of a re­minder. I think a lot of the un­cer­tainty of what to do stems from the topic of mis­car­riages be­ing a bit taboo. How­ever, I know they are more com­mon than many think. I’ve known a few peo­ple who have ex­pe­ri­enced mis­car­riages, but it’s not al­ways talked about openly. I’m not sure why they are viewed as shame­ful or a se­cret or some­thing to hide. An­nie, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. — Un­sure in Ithaca

Dear Un­sure: I am so sorry for your sis­ter’s loss. Tell her one time how very sorry you are for her loss and that you love her very much. Say it only once, and say it kindly and com­pas­sion­ately. Send­ing flow­ers would be a thought­ful ges­ture, and I would en­cour­age you to do so if you are so in­clined.

Sadly, you are cor­rect that mis­car­riages are com­mon, oc­cur­ring in roughly 15 out of ev­ery 100 preg­nan­cies, and that it’s not some­thing peo­ple talk about of­ten. I think that si­lence is con­nected to a long-held (and er­ro­neous) so­ci­etal be­lief that a woman is some­how to blame for los­ing a preg­nancy.

But mis­car­riages shouldn’t be taboo at all. I, for one, would love to see a world where there is more sup­port for women from women who have had mis­car­riages. We need to shore them up and rec­og­nize that their bod­ies were ac­tu­ally work­ing per­fectly.

Dear An­nie: I have a boyfriend, whom I love dearly. But one thing he does makes me crazy. He’s al­ways com­ment­ing on other girls’ beauty. We will be watch­ing TV, and he’ll say, “She is beau­ti­ful and has a nice voice” or “She is re­ally pretty but can’t act.” He tells me I’m beau­ti­ful, but I wouldn’t say the same things in his pres­ence about men I see. I did that once so that he could see how it feels, but he keeps on do­ing it. I know guys talk this way to one an­other, and that’s fine. But I don’t know why he has to al­ways say this to me. And some­times it’s with fa­cial ex­pres­sions and hand ges­tures to in­di­cate how “hot” she is. — A Se­cure Woman Feel­ing Un­com­fort­able

Dear Se­cure Un­com­fort­able: You could ask him to stop shar­ing th­ese thoughts, but it wouldn’t stop him from hav­ing them. And I have a feel­ing that would start to nag at you, too, be­cause you’d al­ways won­der, “What’s he think­ing about her?”

The com­ments may an­noy you less if you look at them as a sign of how open he feels with you. Not only does he think you’re gor­geous (and he tells you so); he also feels close enough to talk to you as a friend. Em­brace that and you’ll feel even more se­cure.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ators.com.

Woman Feel­ing

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