Monday, February 05, 2007

Morning Paper

Did anyone read Dear Abby this morning? Here is the article.

I'm not sure how to feel about this. It makes me feel a little sick, mainly because the author keeps using the word "it. 'We have to look at it.' Is this child a boy or a girl, or did the author and her bitchy co-workers even ask? I probably wouldn't display a picture like this of Nate, just because I'm very selective of pictures that I show to people. It's my way of protecting him and if anyone ever recoiled in horror upon seeing a picture of my son, I would just die.

I just feel so badly for this woman with the baby. Because I know how she feels...you feel that motherly love for your child no matter what. You're proud of that child no matter what, but in this society you're not allowed to be proud with pictures. Yet again, something else that we've been gypped of. I mean, I know that I need to be sensitive. Having a baby that has died is such a part of my reality, that seeing a picture of one doesn't even faze me. I don't see "dead", I see the beauty of the child. However, if "old" Laura, especially "old pregnant" Laura had seen a picture like that, I think that it would have really upset me. I've been thinking lately what the old me would have thought coming across a blog like the one I have now. I know that I would have never thought that it was "yucky", but it would be so out of the scope of imagination for me--something that would be impossible to happen. Never in a million years. It blows my mind that now I feel like a baby to bring home would be nearly an impossibility to happen. I hate being that negative, but I think that it's fear more than negativity, honestly. But when it's all you know, it's all you know.

I know this discussion comes up a lot, but what do you think about this article?

12 comments:

B said...

I'm disappointed in 'Abby's' response; I'm sad for the mama, and I'm sick that there is another example of how cruel - unintentionally or not - people can be.

Catherine said...

Was going to post a comment...but it's getting too long so I think I'll just post on my blog instead.

You're a very kind person Laura. :o)

kate said...

I also posted this link to my blog, after writing my letter to dear abby. I should probably have kept the letter i wrote, but since i submitted it on their website it is lost in the ether. Since it will make no difference to the idiot that writes the damned column anyway.

My opinion is the letter is either a fake or the writer is a supreme bitch -- who 'sews the eyes shut' of a stillborn baby? They COME with their eyes shut! And she takes pains to call the woman 'bitter', 'mean' and 'gossipy'. The letter writer is clearly the one with the problem. I feel so sad for the grieving mommy, not only that she lost her baby but that she has to work with such awful people.

I wrote that to Abby and also suggested useful alternatives about altering photos or having a drawing made.

I personally have Nicolas' ultrasound pictures on my desk and displayed in my house -- i do not share his after-birth photos except with other bereaved parents. They were not done well. If they were done well, i would have them up.

MB said...

I think it's so hard for someone who hasn't been there to understand.

I say that AFTER I get over being pissed at Dear Abby's response as well as the letter that started it...

Laura said...

I KNOW! Eyes sewn shut? Huh? Kate, I'm glad you left that...I was feeling the same way.

And Catherine--I can't wait to read what you have to say!

And B--I'm totally disapointed in fake Abby, too. What a yucky response.

R said...

I think the whole office is full of bitches and the woman with the stillborn baby (we do never know if the baby is a boy or a girl) should work somewhere where the people have souls.

Just my humble opinion.

By the way, my blog is raqueljoy.livejournal.com...I'm not able to leave it on here.

MrsP said...

Just delurking here. I've never experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. Nonetheless, I'm disgusted at Dear Abby's response to this letter. How about suggesting to the writer that instead of focusing on her own discomfort (at the picture of the stillborn baby) that she take the time to reach out to this woman? So this woman is "bitter", and "mean"? I'm guessing life isn't all roses and sunshine when your child has died. If I had a coworker who suffered the horrific death of a child, I would encourage her to display her baby's picture (if she felt comfortable doing so). If she chose to share the baby's beautiful face with me every day, I'd feel nothing less than honoured to see it. Its a sad, sad day when a mother in mourning has to put other's comfort level ahead of her own basic right to see her baby's face every day. These coworkers likely have LIVING children they go home to each night. They should count their damn blessings. This woman (whose baby died) has a picture...for God's sake, allow her that. Sorry to hijack your comments.

Laura said...

Mrsp--wow, well said. Thank you for delurking!! That was great! And no way are you hijacking :)

Rosepetal said...

Well, I'd never heard of Dear Abby until I read your post and now it's all over blogland (well the part I belong to anyway).

The writer of the letter seems like a total b*tch. Um, you are "appalled" by seeing the photo, I wonder if you could try to imagine how "appalling" it was to have to deliver your dead child and spent the rest of your life grieving for him or her. And yes, calling the baby "it" like s/he was some type of object is what I find appalling. And what Kate says about the eyes. They COME with their eyes closed, no need to sew them shut, you thickso. And please don't say you are "rooting for her" in the same paragraph as saying she is mean and gossipy.

But you know, stupid b*tches do exist. Can't do anything about that.

It's Abby's response which pisses me off more since from all the noise, I assume she's some sort of well known agony aunt over there.

"The photo should be kept in her purse with other family photos." Um, only if the policy at the office is that no-one else is allowed to put up family photos. I'm not going to tell "Appalled" to take her family photo down because her aunt Doris is so pig-ugly it puts me off my lunch.

Then she says the boss or supervisor should deal with it. Yes, that is going to help the "poor woman". To know that her co-workers went to complain to her supervisor is really awful.

The advice should have been to stop being such a dickhead, try to emphathise with Madge, and ask her how she is feeling with her current pregnancy.

Kathy McC said...

That article got me all fired up. I wrote a response to Abby first thing this morning. It's on my blog if you are interested in reading it. In short, that writer is an asshole, and Abby's response was lame to say the least...

lauralu said...

i've been out of it all week and just caught up with this shitstorm. first, let me say that "abby's" response is condescending; she and the letter write both treat "madge" as though she were a creature, some sort of monster to be pitied, and not as a fellow human being. it's disgusting. regarding the picture: sure, the co-workers are uncomfortable - but it doesn't mean it's okay for them to be uncomfortable. dammit, i've gotta go blog now.

Julian's Mom said...

I'm very disappointed by Abby's response. Why should this woman's photos of her child be forced to reside in her wallet, while others are allowed to show off their families proudly on their desks? In the workplace of all places, policies need to be applied equally and fairly. Clearly, Abby is not an HR professional. She could have at least taken the time to educate the woman (and herself) about grief and trauma over the loss of a child, and to suggest ways the co-workers might be more empathetic. I think (hope) that Emily Post would have responded differently. This Abby's got no class.