Monthly Archives: June 2007

Cheap Shot

This may keep me laughing all day. Words of wisdom from George W. Bush, courtesy of a 2004 campaign speech and Michael Moore:
“Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.”

When I first heard it, I thought he said “good dogs.”

Alright, we all know the US president has some problems with coherent speech so maybe it’s unkind to make fun of him. And really, just too easy.

The health care problems in this country aren’t funny. I’ll confess for the sake of honesty that I’m far far far from being the president’s biggest fan, so maybe the fact that I’m politically left is another reason I can (or should not?) mock him happily. As a good will gesture, however, I want to thank him for giving me the chance for some self-righteous laughter this morning. That’s always inspiring. So thanks, Mr. President.


Catherine has asked for a warning: Let it be known this post ends with the eating of an unorthodox, but vegetarian, sandwich.

My good friend Beecher and I share something in common – we don’t like chocolate. That makes us very strange I suppose. We each have our strange exceptions to the rule however – I can handle the chocolate covering on Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I don’t mind chocolate chip cookies so long as there are few chips in them, and I like cheap packaged hot chocolate (without marshmallows, please.) He, on the other hand, likes grocery-store bakery brownies – an idea that absolutely disgusts me.

Today Niobe reminded me of that dislike when she posted about a disgusting Swedish candy bar, the Pigall. After I finished gagging (literally), I thought about all the bloggers who would consider such a nasty thing an ecstasy. I remembered something she once mentioned she found disgusting as a child – mixing foods. In fact, peanut butter and jelly made her “skin crawl.”

That day, back in May, I read her post and thought, “mmm, peanut butter and jelly. That sounds good.” We only had almond butter, though, so it was going to have to be an almond butter and jelly sandwich (strawberry jelly, to be exact). And when I opened the fridge and saw the pickles, I thought, ooh, even better, and made myself an almond butter, jelly, and kosher dill pickle sandwich. Yummy.

My ideal room

We watched the documentary Derrida, about the French philosopher and founder of deconstructionism, last night. I don’t recommend it. It was dull. It reminded me, however, that I used to be smart. I remember getting very excited discussing “différence” in a lit crit theory class, even though in the end I did agree with our professor that Derrida was something of a sophist. I felt like I could be incredibly happy just always doing that kind of thing – discussing abstractions, losing an hour or two or three over a work of theory or historiography.

Last night I had an inkling of that feeling, but only really had the energy to declare certain statements made by Derrida “bullshit.” Very astute of me. My mind, though, right now feels too tired to do much more than simply formulate impressions, which I could possibly take further but can’t seem to summon the energy to do.

The filmmaker included in the film a man saying something along the lines of, “Americans always act as if they’re on camera” as the entourage and Derrida crossed a busy Paris street. Honestly I cannot stand a statement that begins, “Americans always” and I’m not sure there could be any situation more annoying than an American saying it in Paris. Not that it was Derrida’s fault that someone said that to him or that the filmmaker included it. Nor am I a great patriot. I should have a lot more to say about that, though, about sweeping generalisms that people say because they think it sounds insightful and smart, especially in the context of insulting others or Americans (read: Starbuck’s cups), but right now I can only express it as, “Oh gad, say something new or shut up already!” Right now I feel intensely annoyed and pissed off at any statement that assumes the speaker/writer has any sort of grasp on wisdom about the world, or especially, other people’s behavior. Even as I’m doing it myself right now.

I feel like everything is cluttered. I just want to sweep it all away. And banal, empty statements and judgments are the worst of it.

Derrida had the most beautiful office, in a sun room. But it was cluttered, full of papers and books. Some years ago I would have thought that romantic, and fantasized about the day I could have a giant desk in my own office full of stuff.

But now, when I think about my ideal office, and I do that often for some reason, I have an entirely different view. I will take the sun room idea, and especially love it on stormy days. I would furnish it with only a big white table, two or three monitors, keyboard, and a computer. Two shelves, one with Natan’s box, a picture of my nieces and nephew, and the poster of my childhood dogs, Sam and Petunia. On the other shelf I’d put my globes, and make room for just a couple of books – only those that were relevant to what I was doing right at the moment. I’ve ceased to feel like I need to own a lot of books, because I’m sick of moving them around, and I will always have access to most of what I could possibly need or want through a library, and more of them, as well as journals, are online anyway. Add two comfortable chairs, one for me at the computer and the other for cats or visitors, and that’s it. If I can have a sun room, I can probably also have a basement and there’d be filing cabinets in it, for all the papers which would otherwise be on the floor.

This time/last time

Another doctor’s appointment today and all is well. My cervix is still well over 4cm long, which makes me feel great because last time my cervix was 3.5 cm at 15 weeks. That of course means nothing scientifically, but the more that’s different and better with this pregnancy than my pregnancy with Natan, the better I feel. At the very least – since I’ve read that with an incompetent cervix things begin to go poorly earlier and earlier with each subsequent pregnancy – I’m still on the good side of statistical data. That of course assumes that doctor hypothesis #1 is correct. If my cervix effaced because I went into preterm labor, and not vice versa, it still makes me happy that I have more cervix to start with, and also that we begin progesterone shots next week. And also that I remember I was already at this point complaining to Dr. M about a heavy discharge and lots of tightening across the uterus if I so much as walked up my apartment stairs.

Some people have asked me why I didn’t do progesterone supplements during the first trimester, and the answer is that for women who are at risk for preterm labor late in the second or early in the third trimesters, research has shown it to be effective starting between weeks 16-20. Since I’ve had such an easy time getting pregnant and only had one miscarriage, none of the doctors thought it necessary in the first trimester. I am pleased though, that we’re starting it at the earliest week known to be helpful.

And another one

Julia tagged me for the “10 Things You Don’t Know about Me” meme the other day, and although I did such a thing yesterday, I decided not to push this one off for weeks like tend to do. So here goes.

1. Josh and I have been having a personal Soviet fairytale movie marathon in our living room. I recommend A Tale of Time Lost and Sadko, but not Ilya Muromets. The first is about elderly evil sorcerers who steal children’s wasted time to make themselves young again. The second is about a man’s quest to bring happiness to the people of Novgorod (a city in Russia situated between Moscow and St. Petersburg). All three are available via Netflix. I heartily recommend them.

The three films are directed by Aleksandr Ptushko, whose grave you should see to the right. It’s in Moscow at the Novodevichi cemetery among those of Raisa Gorbachev, Kruschev, the filmmaker Eisenstein, and Gogol.

Continuing the Soviet film theme, my favorite movie is Tarkovsky’s Solyaris, something you should definitely see if you liked the George Clooney remake (another film I like).

2. I live with the world’s best jumping cat. We’ve never actually entered him in a contest but I believe it’s true.

3. I ate at a vegetarian buffet, during my honeymoon in Stockholm, called Örtagården and known for having once hosted the world’s longest buffet. It was so good, and actually not that expensive, unlike the rest of Sweden.

4. I built and programmed a robotic Trojan horse out of Legos for a contest in college and got second place. I don’t remember the prize.

5. I used to think I liked to cook but then I married somebody much better at it than me, so now I don’t care for it anymore. I also never have to take out the garbage. Nor do I do the laundry. I fold and put away but I don’t have to carry it up and down two flights of stairs. I’ll probably have to start after the baby’s born, when I’ll finally be less fragile.

6. I don’t like cars. I barely ever speed, use my turn signal and always signal well enough in advance, and I also never fail to make a full and complete stop at a stop sign.

7. When I first met Josh, I immediately thought, “huh, this guy’s going to be very important to me,” which I guess could be the cautious woman’s approach to love at first sight.

8. The afternoon I arrived in Israel and called my parents, my dad asked me what it looked like where I was (a kibbutz near the Kinneret) and I told him, “uh, Iowa, kind of.” Which was true, actually. Just a couple of months later, during the rainiest weeks, my roommate got stuck in the mud, and when I went over to help her, I got stuck too. Good land, up there.

9. My first job in high school was in a cookie store at a mall. The boss would smoke in the back while making the cookies, dropping ashes all over and just genuinely disgusting the other employees. I ate very few cookies and only worked there for a couple of months before leaving to work at the local newspaper, where I typed in ad text for a month or so. Then I was promoted and became responsible for physically locating and making sure all the ads were in place before we went to print at 11pm. It being the mid-nineties, the paper was not formatted using software, but instead was all hand laid-out and photographed. So if an ad was missing, it meant I would have to search for it. I’d find them at the salesperson’s desk, under the desk, in the wrong place in the paper, in the garbage can, and once I even found it stuck to the formatter’s pants. Fun times. It was a great job for a 16-17-18 year old, paid more than twice minimum wage, and I even got vacation time.

10. Oiy, I’m running out of things to tell you. How about that I will gladly admit when I’m wrong? For example, I was mortified to learn a few years ago that my undergraduate college planned to build a parking garage on the campus — over an already existing parking lot and right next to the main entrance of the school. More familiar with the ugliness in design displayed by parking garages at the university I attend now, I thought for sure it would be an ugly disaster. I was wrong. It is what it is, and not bad, considering. In any case, it looks better than the parking lot that preceded it. I’ve put two photos of it below.

Sara needs….

I got this game from Niobe, who got it from Caro at Third Time Lucky. Basically, you type, “[first name] needs” into Google and search away. I thought my name might be too common to be interesting but some good stuff came up:

Sara needs a loving, playful home.
Sara needs to discover the experts in the area.
Sara needs you. (blech, that one is too sentimental.)
Sara needs something more than the well-established love of her companion. (I’m actually quite happy with that, thank you.)
Sara needs Sara time.
Sara: Needs common to all humanity.
Sara needs support in learning to make safe choices that more effectively reflect her goals and desired outcomes….
Sara needs a lawyer?
Sara needs a kind soul to sponsor her.
Treat Sara’s needs as a priority. (okay, that’s not according to the formula, but it came up!)

Memories and Anniversaries

I woke up feeling horrible yesterday, as I always do if I cry right before going to sleep. But as the day went on, I began to feel better and better, as if weights were slowly lifting off me. I always thought I was so grateful to have the friend I’ve been discussing in my life. How many other people can say they’ve had a friend since they were 2 years old? Not many, I think, in this very mobile world. I have a great many friends, really, because I’ve lived in so many places and always chosen to have new experiences. I had S., the friend from when I was 2. I still have 2 high school friends with whom I’m in frequent contact, plus 4 others that I either see when I’m “at home” or correspond with every few months over email. My college friends and I are still a fairly close-knit group, even as we’re scattered all over the country and sometimes the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to make very close friends in graduate school, too.

Sunday afternoon I either spoke to or emailed with at least one representative of each of these stages of my life, as well as five members of my family. I am not alone. Any maybe that’s partly why, as I think about moving on now without her, I feel like I’ve just broken up with a bad boyfriend – I feel free and happy and relieved and grateful that I can dedicate more time to people who care about me. I’m finished with feeling guilty over I’m never sure what, or walking on egg shells, and sighing with relief if we have a conversation where she doesn’t lose her temper with me. I don’t have to worry about feeling obligated to drive the extra fifty miles to her house when I visit my family, only to come home in tears because her husband literally said not a word to me while I was there and S didn’t make any effort to include me in the conversation. Nor do I, the Jewish vegetarian, have to be the only one “on the bride’s side” to enthusiastically support their choice to have a pig roast for a rehearsal dinner (okay clearly that wouldn’t happen again anyway but I still think I deserve credit for telling her brother and her aunt that it wasn’t a joke and that I thought it sounded like fun!) Or any of the many other times I’ve held my tongue or been berated if I voice an opinion.

Another friend and I talked yesterday. I hadn’t yet told her I’m pregnant again because it took a while for me to be able to say the words in real life and now we’d been playing phone tag for two weeks (she works too many hours!!). She immediately told me that she’s pregnant too. She’s still very early, so I can’t tell anyone else, but she said she wanted to be sure I knew first, and also that since we’d just had a long conversation about my pregnancy, she’d feel weird about holding back the news only to call me back with it a week later after her first doctor’s appointment. And you know, I felt complete and unadulterated joy over her news. Yes she’s still in the risky period and I will feel that I am at risk until this baby is born. I can only pray that our happiness and giggles over potentially having babies just 6 weeks or so apart wasn’t for naught, but I AM EXCITED and it feels great to feel that way.

But with that, I turn to a sad sort of story. Niobe posted today about the limit’s of memory and Lori commented about how her body sometimes remembers things, even if she consciously does not. I think I experienced that last week. A week after the cerclage and when I really had no reason to be worried, I woke up in a foul mood feeling just doomed to misery. It was one of those days where I wondered if I’d ever be truly happy again. We had a doctor’s appointment, with of course yet another transvaginal ultrasound.

Would someone please promise me that if this baby comes into the world healthy and alive that I will be able to start going at least three months without a speculum or transvaginal exam?

Anyway, as we sat in the examining room waiting for Dr. K, I began to feel anxious and weepy. I felt a sense of doom, like we weren’t going to see a heartbeat, or that my cervix would be wide open and short. When the nurse brought in the machine, I started to cry. I felt like I absolutely could not handle this. Of course it was all fine, and Dr. K did a great job reassuring me. But then, afterwards, on the way home, I remembered the date. And I remembered, suddenly, that it was that day a year ago that I had actually begun to bleed and passed the miscarried fetus. I had learned of the miscarriage June 2nd, had rejected a D&C in favor of “expectant management” and passed the baby over a week later. Alone in the bathroom, because Josh was still abroad.

[warning: this paragraph is graphic] I can hardly even remember the event, I know the pain was horrible, that at certain moments I wasn’t sure whether I needed to go to the ER, but I couldn’t drag myself down the stairs to tell my mother-in-law, whose house I was at awaiting the event, what was happening. And I know that for a full day, just when I thought the pain had stopped, it would come back, until finally, at the end of the day, I passed it. Physically, I felt so much better, but emotionally, I felt so conflicted about just flushing the toilet and being done with it. But that’s what I did. I had some lingering pain for a few days, but nothing like that day.

But I almost never think about that now. The pain, which was horrible, has faded into distant memory, overwhelmed by my experience of delivering Natan. And the tears and worries of those weeks seem so distant, even insignificant. But I know that’s not true. I cried for weeks and weeks, and was paralyzed by fear during my first trimester with Natan. Far more so than this time, because at least now I can carry a baby beyond those early weeks. But back then nothing scared me more than the idea that I would struggle through miscarriage after miscarriage, having to wait through it two more times at least before I’d get the attention of specialists.

Now, as I mourn a son who I felt kick, and who had developed an individual presence – like an absolute aversion to the dopplers and fetal monitors he would kick and punch away – I know that others mourn with me. And that doctors will pay attention to me. I had enough time with Natan to wonder why I had very few cravings and wanted only healthy foods with him, while this baby, despite my dislike for chocolate, wants fudgesickles. And the other day I thought my stomach might collapse in on itself if I didn’t have a snow cone soon.

Now I know that very few people are wondering when I’ll just be over it, even though such trolls apparently exist. But back then I thought that nobody cared, and that Josh and I would really suffer alone. I remember thinking that miscarriage might very well be the loneliest pain in the world, and I might have been right. So lonely that even I thought my grief over it had run out.

The Conversation

You’ll notice that while I felt like my annoyance at my relative yesterday wasn’t fair, I didn’t say anything about the old friend. Now I feel doubly justified. While a subsequent conversation with the relative was very warm and nice, and affirmed my feelings, the conversation with the friend was really bad, but also affirmed my feelings.

[The following was preceded by conversation-opening small chat]
Me: So, I don’t want to preempt your news, but I guessed it during a conversation with my sister. I was going to try to pretend to be surprised, but I’m bad at that – so instead of being awkward I’ll just say right off congratulations and I’m really genuinely happy for you.
Her: Oh well that annoys me! I was so excited to tell you myself.
Me: Well, sorry about that, she really didn’t mean to give it away. She just said I should call you back right away and I guessed why. Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant when I told you I was, and that I was scheduled for my cerclage and all?
Her [immediately gets angry/short with me-what’s that about?]: D and I talked about it and we decided we weren’t telling anyone until after our 3 month appointment. It’s our choice. I asked him if I could tell you while we were on the phone and he said no.
Me [quickly deciding I wasn’t going to confess my feelings to someone who immediately snaps at me]: Oh, well, how’d the appointment go? I’m sure it was exciting to see the baby on the ultrasound machine.
Her: Yes, it took them a few seconds to see the heartbeat and we were so scared. You know, that’s why we wanted to keep it a secret, because we know so many people who’ve lost babies lately. And that’s how E found out she’d miscarried hers.
Me: Um, that’s how I found out we’d miscarried our first baby.
Her: Oh, yeah, I forgot. Our babies are going to be so close together! (giddily)
Me: Yeah, well, um, I want to tell you that while I am genuinely very happy for you, it is difficult for me to think about other women’s pregnancies.
Her: Oh, well, you would feel that way, of course, and [gets off into detailing her lack of morning sickness, etc.]

I think you all get the drift of the conversation. Mind you this person is not only my oldest friend, but her mom and my mom are close friends. Our parents have been back-yard neighbors since we moved into the house when I was two years old. This is a 28-year relationship. She said not a word about my cerclage, asked not a single question about how I was feeling. And I get the distinct feeling that my pain is an unwelcome blot on her happiness.

I need to remember she’s only one of many people in my life, and really the only person I have to deal with who is insensitive. But why, among all the people in the world, does she have to be such a toad?

I am so glad my sister ruined her happy announcement, because I don’t know how I could have handled that conversation without preparation. It was so superficial, but at least I had my hysterics over it among people who care.

Advice, Out of Date

I’ve mentioned here before that I was participating in a Creative Writing Workshop/Class this Spring. It has ended, and now three friends (yay Emily!) and I are going to try to make our own writing group, which I am really excited about and hope works out. I was driving home with the instructor on Thursday, and continuing a conversation we were having in class, about how to make the transition from being a technically, stylistically “good writer” to an interesting and published creative writer. I know I write well and I know that my academic work (way in those past days when I actually accomplished a lot of that) is exceptionally well written. I told the teacher, Charlotte, that history is my fall back career – I actually just want to be a novelist but don’t think I can do it. And my own vanity plays a large part in that. I don’t like being under-appreciated and that seems to be inevitable for a writer.

[Interjection – a kid just fell off his bike in from of my house – an enormous tumble head over heels over the handle bar – he’s fine, just banged up a little – but I have to ask, does anyone out there have a physical reaction to seeing something like that? – I get a painful twinge in my ovaries – very weird]

In any case, I started a story for our last class about a little girl who was born into a family after the death of a newborn son. The class before that I’d written something funny, and actually, most of what I write is meant to make people laugh, but this story came from a prompt to write a story based on a favorite song. I suppose I could have continued the funny trend by choosing a Weird Al song – “White and Nerdy” and “You’re Pitiful” come to mind right now, but on that particular day, I thought of Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.” Many of the other writers in the class wrote pieces that were clearly fictionalized snippets of memoir. I can’t do that. But this piece started off building on the lines,

“When you were young / and on your own / How did it feel / to be alone? / I was always thinking / of games that I was playing. / Trying to make / the best of my time.”

And as the little girl and her family developed in my mind, they became the family that they are. Not my family, because their conditions are very different, but a family whose experiences I can relate to and imagine.

The piece went over very well and I’m sorry I won’t share it with you all but I think I’m going to continue developing it. I didn’t turn the class into a therapy session (I left that to another woman), but I was getting some very compassionate looks from some members of the class and afterwards a man who is a psychotherapist and a very kind woman kept looking like they wanted to say something to me.

During the “discussion” period following reading my work, another woman in the class called my character, “a Replacement Child” and told me that I should really read the psychological literature on the topic. Someone in the class asked what that was, and she said, “When a child dies in a family, and the couple has another child, especially after a few years, that child is called in psychology, the Replacement Child. Very often the parents don’t think of the living child as its own person, and the child is more prone to have attachment issues and mental disorders.” She then read the relationship of the parents in my story to the little girl through that lens. The energy is supposed to stay “positive” in class, and I didn’t want to get emotional, so I just said, “Thank you, I’ll look into that.”

But it felt like such a cruel irony, one I didn’t think I wanted to impose on my story girl! Not only do mourning parents lose a child and have to suffer through that, but now psychology says they will not only fail to respect a child born afterwards as an individual but they will give that child a mental illness. And it didn’t feel accurate. I don’t know many parents who’ve lost children, but it just didn’t feel right. Lori’s Baby Girl? Aurelia’s Mac? Kate’s Chloe? Josh and me, in the future? I would not write a story that developed this idea and pathologized families that have lost children, however titillating that might be for readers awash in pop psychology. But I also didn’t want the family to seem unrealistic or overly sentimental or melodramatic. But I thought I better see what I could find out easily about “the Replacement Child” just so I wouldn’t be plagued by the question in my writing and, of course, my own real life.

From the Encyclopedia of Death and Dying:
“While the replacement-child construct may have clinical utility, especially in cases where parents may have preexisting dysfunction and/or a significant history of losses, it seems clear that clinical axioms like ‘replacement child’ do not do justice to the complexity of parental interpretations of the child and the family constellation. When parents are asked to describe how they coped with the loss of a child, and when families who have experienced the birth of a child subsequent to a loss describe their experiences, it becomes clear that there are many paths through this grief that do not result in the anticipated pathology. As caregivers for families who have experienced the death of a child, one must seek to understand the meaning of the dead child and subsequent children, and what those children represent to their families. Without listening closely to the stories that parents tell, mental health practitioners are in danger of assuming psychological risk when there may be none.”

Clearly parents’ own mental health influences their children’s psychological wellness, and if parents, in their grief, plunge into interminable depression or otherwise don’t work through their pain, clearly that wouldn’t be good for their living children. But that woman saw something in my writing I didn’t think was there because she was attached to this concept.

It seems like in the 1960s and 1970s, “the Replacement Child” concept was commonly accepted in the psych fields, but now the approach to families who have lost children has become much more nuanced and individual. I wonder if that’s what the psychotherapist in class wanted to say when he kept almost saying something.

Last night I had a terrible dream. I dreamt that I…

Last night I had a terrible dream. I dreamt that I was in prison for no reason. I dreamt that the guards and wardens were masochists and voyeurs, who inflicted pain and humiliation on the inmates for their own entertainment.

I had a lovely evening last night, at a bbq with friends. A few of these friends were among the core group of people who have made it possible for us to get through these awful months – the people who came to us immediately after Natan died, and have continued coming by. [Being here isn’t a condition for being supportive – I have on my to-call list other friends (and I suck at calling back I know – I’m just so tired after making it through the day so I’m better at calling those people I can talk to before evening), mostly my college friends, who have continued to call and think of us. ]

I created this blog for three reasons: 1) to have an outlet that is here when I need and want it; 2) to connect with other families out there who have suffered the death of an infant; and 3) to give selected people we told about this blog a window into our grieving.

I learned a few things that hurt and angered me deeply yesterday. At first I thought I was being unreasonable, but it seems I can’t get rid of these feelings today. First, I learned that my oldest “friend” is pregnant. Not from her, and I know she intended to tell me herself but there are no secrets in my family. I guessed anyway, no one told me. I’m rather intuitive. I learned that she’s due shortly after me, so this means she’s known for awhile and knew when I told her about my own pregnancy and my cerclage recently. I would have been happy for her, honestly, had I not spoken to her on June 4th, talked in detail about my own pregnancy, and not heard a word from her. Had I not been speaking to her for a year about our plans to have children and been told a number of times that they were waiting. I don’t need to know other people’s family growth plans, but I thought this was something friends talked about, and I for some reason must have thought that given the heartbreak I experienced in December/January, that another woman who knows me well might approach me more sensitively about her news. Because maybe I feel humiliated that my own pain and failure is on constant public display among our friends and family and YET SHE CHOSE TO WAIT UNTIL SHE WAS IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER, another measly 11 days from our last conversation, TO TRY TO TELL ME (I was napping Friday when she called). The reason for this I’m sure would be that social taboo against waiting to tell people until it’s “safe.” Well, I don’t care that I’m being unreasonable and unfair and impeding on other people’s right to their fantasies about pregnancy but that feels like A SLAP IN THE FACE. But when I do talk to this person, I’m going to reciprocate the non-communicativeness which I now realize characterizes the relationship, say “Congratulations,” and be done with it. And then get back to praying that I will not bury this child and have to contend with seeing a child just a few days younger than it for the rest of my life. Not that anyone should organize their life around my pain, but some sensitivity might be nice. I might seem bitter on this blog but that’s because I use it to keep bitterness out of my daily life. I’m damn nice and genuinely kind and smiley in daily life.

And I’m sure I must be “awkward” to talk to. Well, only because some people don’t want to take a step to get beyond their own discomfort. I realize that about my own reluctance to approach the grieving, why don’t many other people try?

And I’m sure I’m giving other people that I know more reason to “worry” about me.