Post # 1
This really sucks. A girl I work with just delivered two premie babies last night, 24 weeks early. A boy and a girl. The boy passed away this morning. (There’s obviously a lot more to this story but was trying to keep it short.)
A large group of our organization is away together on training so we thought we’d send her a separate card from the group at training. We’re all pretty close in our work and have a pretty informal work relationship. There’s one other girl down here and all guys so we’re (the girls, we shared an office with her) taking care of the card and we’re kinda at a loss for words on what to say.
I was thinking blank card because you don’t want to send a congrats card and you don’t want to send a sympathy card, especially with the other baby still so young and the chance of her surviving still being a delicate matter. But we still don’t want to ignore the joy of having the baby.
I was thinking something like:
Wishing you and baby girl health and comfort during this difficult time. Despite our distance our thoughts are with you and can’t wait to return so we can offer more substantial support for you and baby. With love from the travel crew.
Is it too…business-y?
Any other thoughts?
Post # 3
I think that sounds really sweet and appropriate from how you have described your relationship with her.
Post # 4
No I think it is just perfect. I might add “Please know that our thoughts are with you and your husband.”
Post # 6
I think that sounds good. What a horrible situation…
Post # 7
Wow what a sad situation, and a beautifully written card. Only thing – I’d say “you and your family” instead of “you and your baby” in both places because it’s more inclusive and avoids drawing attention to the fact that it’s only the baby girl now instead of babies, plural. Best of luck to them.
Post # 8
Oh how terrible! This sort of happened when my boss lost his first child. It his us all hard as we are pretty much like family.
To answer your question, I like ChiCat’s suggestion.
Post # 9
I agree with ChiChat and also would change the “substantial support” part because it doesn’t sound as warm. Not sure what I would change it to though…I’m just being picky I guess..everyone else above loves it, so it’s just me being wierd. 🙂
That is so very sad. I can’t imagine what they are going through. 🙁
Post # 11
That is such a sad situation and I think your card handles it well. I also agree with ChiChat and Jenn23, I tried to look for a substitute for substantial on thesaurus.com, but came up empty.
Post # 12
One of the reasons I became a professional photographer is so that I could volunteer with NILMDTS. You are wonderful for sending a card and acknowledging her babies.
I, too, would change it to “family”–also, in case (God forbid) anything happens to the little girl between now and the time she receives the card.
If you are able, consider chipping in for some food delivery (or use a site like foodtidings.com to organize meals)–they’ll need to eat, but probably won’t feel like cooking. Food is a fantastically thoughtful gift.
When you return (and after a little time has passed)… If she had pictures taken of the little boy, and you think you can handle it, gently tell her you would love to see them. If you are able to carefully and gently acknowledge her lost baby, that can help her to heal a bit. Many parents who suffer losses are helped to know that their babies are remembered; and are proud to share what they have of their little ones with others (of course, every parent is different, so definitely try to go off her cues; but showing interest in and recognition of her lost baby could mean a lot to her).
You’re a good friend.
Post # 13
A while ago I saved this post on “What to say” in case I ever needed it. It is from a mom who lost a baby. She suggests recognizing the tragedy of the situation:
“The parents feel alone when they don’t think people understand how awful this is. Saying things like, “This is the worst thing. I am so sorry and sad that it had to happen to you and your child,” helps.”
Post # 14
See I thought substantial support sounded a little formal too. Maybe ‘more meaningful support’ or ‘more help in person’
I like Chicat’s idea…but here’s a bit more of the back story.
She’s rather young, 22 and isn’t married. The babies’ father lives in another state and none of us are too sure if they have a relationship, it’s something she didn’t like talking about too much. Which we’ve respected and have just been as supportive as possible. She moved here from where the father is for the job and doesn’t have family around here. She can’t move back to be with her family because we’re all in an internship program that’s locally funded. We’re federal employees with benifits and leave, scheduled raises and job security. Frankly this job is too good to give up even when you’re not expecting babies. (When the internship ends in a couple years she’ll have the opputunity to move closer to family)
So I don’t want to say ‘you and your husband’ and since it’s really only her and the one baby now, even though she and the baby are their own family. I’m not sure if saying our thoughts are with your family are entirely appropriate, I feel like it implies something…idk…maybe just a modifier… “Our thoughts are with your new family.”
Thanks everyone for the reassurance, it’s so easy to say the wrong thing in these situations.
Post # 15
I think a post like this reminds us all that when we think our day or life is going so horrible, life smacks you in the face and makes you greatful. Now seeing her situation with more detail I understand why you feel unclear about what to say. I think what you had first is wonderful. She obviously needs someone to lean on and maybe have an ear to cry at so if either of you are able to do that please let her know she does have support. I hope her family is able to come out and help and support her.
Post # 16
Keep in mind that 24 weeks is the edge of viability and her little girl is in for a long difficult road…. so how about saying for you (or your family) instead of you and your baby girl. It’s still going to be touch and go for a while.
You are a great co-worker for being so thoughtful!