The Mercury News Weekend
Grieving woman wants flowers
DEAR AMY >> I just lost my first pregnancy to miscarriage about a week ago. This was particularly difficult because my husband and I had been trying for a while and really wanted to be parents.
In all my excitement, I had told everybody I was pregnant, so I then had to go back and let everybody know the bad news.
Everybody expressed their sympathy and asked me if there's anything they could do.
The honest answer was yes — all I really wanted was flowers so the house could feel beautiful and full of life during this time of sadness.
I thought it sounded rude to ask, since I assumed at least a few of them would send flowers anyway. I thought it would take away from the generosity of the gift if I'd asked for them.
Well, here we are a week later, and my house has no flowers.
I guess I just want to know if I should have asked for the flowers when people asked, “Is there anything I can do?”
It feels even ruder to ask now, and to point out that I really did have silent expectations, and nobody met them.
Should I just go to the store and buy all my own flowers at this point? If this situation ever comes back around, should I just ask for the flowers next time? — Looking for Grief Etiquette
DEAR LOOKING >> I'm so sorry you are experiencing this complicated loss.
It might help you to understand that some people have an extremely negative reaction to flowers after a loss, because the scent, followed by the inevitable wilting and deterioration, can be a powerful trigger for grief.
I'm writing a prescription for you to go out today and purchase a flowering potted plant — something appropriate for your area that you could then plant in the ground when the seasons change.
I hope you will also ask your friends and family members directly to send you flowers! It's not too late. Giving them a specific task and a clear way to help will unite all of you.
One idea would be to ask your most reliable friend or family member to coordinate a delivery of one fresh bouquet each week for the next month or so — each from a different friend.
DEAR AMY >> “No-Brady Lady” wondered how to respond to the enthusiasm for football from her friends that she does not share.
I also live in an area that is super into football. I feel her pain. There is no getting away from it, no matter where you go.
Whenever people start trying to discuss football with me, I just look at them and say, “You'll have to give me a moment. I have to work up to caring.”
It is generally well-received by those who know me, and is usually followed up with laughter.
— Who Cares?
DEAR WHO CARES? >> I like it! Let's get those T-shirts made.