** My husband responded, telling him that the story is more significant than he realizes, but to please leave it at that. My annoyance at him basically faded after I posted this. He didn’t mean to put his foot in his mouth, and since my family does it all the time, why wouldn’t a stranger? **
What are we supposed to do with this email my husband received? Ironically, we got it AFTER I posted on Friday. The guy asked my husband if he was the other grad student whose wife was pregnant. My husband told him our baby died.
This is [blank], the guy who asked you about your wife’s pregnancy on Wednesday. I just wanted to apologize for stupidly asking this question in public, and for the even more stupid and awkward reaction on my part, when I heard your answer. I felt very awkward for having asked you this question in such a public place, and I didn’t know how best to express my sympathy in front of other people without making a scene. All of it was bad judgment on my part.
The reason why I was asking you is that we are having a child in April. However, last year (almost exactly at this time) my wife had a miscarriage–this has probably been the most traumatic and horrible moment in both of our lives. Just thinking about those days makes me feel physically sick. So please accept my most sincere condolences. I can imagine that you must be going through hell. Of course I don’t know the details of your situation, but the only consolation I can offer you on the basis of our experience is that a miscarriage does not necessarily prejudice successful pregnancies in the future.
At any rate, I just wanted to apologize and to let you know say how truly sorry I am. Don’t worry about responding to this email, but if you do want to talk at some point you can always feel free to get in touch with me.
This email hurt. Bad. And it’s exactly why I haven’t been able to bring myself to walk into our academic department since this happened. Don’t tell me he meant well. I know he did. The point is I feel too damn uncomfortable in public myself to feel like I want to make others comfortable.