This was written in response to a Dear Abby letter in which Abby suggested the coworker speak to a supervisor about a lady who chose to display a picture of her deceased child on her desk. Abby mentions that it is inappropriate to have such pictures displayed at work.
I am writing in regards to your February 5, 2007 response to Appalled in the Midwest. Personally, I am shocked and appalled not
only by the ignorance of the writer, but by the fact that you have written a response that was so inappropriate and so hurtful and
harmful for the millions of families who have suffer a pregnancy or infant loss.
Years ago it was socially acceptable for people to ignore the loss of a baby. In fact, the thinking of the time was it would be best
for everyone involved to forget about the baby and move on, if you ignore what happened, all the pain would go away. We now know that type of thinking was not only wrong, but caused great damage and suffering for everyone involved. This type of thinking, along with the ideas of the writer and your response, are long outdated, and again, hurtful and harmful or the millions of families who have suffered a loss.
Instead of encouraging the writer's ignorant and hurtful behavior, you should have taken the time to explain that this woman has
suffered a great loss and educate the writer on how to deal with people who have suffer the loss of a baby. The loss of a baby cannot be summed up by saying "It was tragic." This woman has suffered a loss unimaginable to those who are on the outside looking in. The picture of the coworker's baby is still her child. No one likes to think about it, but it happens everyday, and the idea that the poor woman should be forced to hide her baby and only worry about not making other people feel uncomfortable is truly appalling; and it is the same type of outdated thinking that forces families to suffer in silence when they experience a loss.
Encouraging the writer to complain to a supervisor is making the situation even worse. How do you really think it will make this
woman feel hearing that the picture of her precious baby, maybe the only picture she has, is offensive to other people? How do you think any mother would react hearing the picture of her baby is appalling to someone? I can assure this will only make things worse in the work place, that is, if the woman decided to stay with a company that would be will to treat her that way. The fact that this woman has chosen so bravely to put herself out there and put a picture of her baby, her flesh and blood, for the world to see, while she is surrounded by so many ignorant people says loads about this woman's courage and strength. I commend her on her bravery. I honestly believe you have caused real problems and added greatly to this "poor woman"s suffering. You truly owe this unknown woman an apology.
Additionally, I am glad you did not respond to the rest of the writer's comments on hoping the new baby would make her coworker less bitter. For some reason, many people think having a new baby will take away your loss and make you feel better or become a replacement for your loss. This, too, is an appalling and ignorant thought. You could never replace a parent or grandparent who has passed, why would you think you could replace a child?
Abby, I feel that you need to right this wrong. Your unknowledgeable advice is likely to cause damage that may not be reparable. You owe it to the "poor woman", the writer, all of the families who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss, and to all of your other readers to correct what you have said. You need to educate the public on the appropriate way to deal with loss. There is plenty of information available. Please feel free to check out SHARE www.nationalshareoffice.com or October 15th www.october15th.com for more information.
Please also inform your reader that October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. If more people were aware of loss and how to deal with it, fewer people would suffer in silence.
Mom to Triplet Angels and 1 Twin Angel
Randall James II 6/13/06
Andrew Lee 6/24/06
Joseph Lawrence 6/24/06
Twin Angel Baby 11/14/06