A Good Coworker Story

Just home from a late night of parent/teacher conferences. I’m pleased because I was able to hold it together and mostly focus while talking to all these adults and because I was able to talk to the parents of three out of my four students who really struggle and may be retained. I’m hoping to talk to the last one tomorrow.

I had a very comforting conversation with my coworker BS. I had made a sarcastic comment yesterday about taking up gardening because isn’t that what childless spinsters do. She approached me this morning while we were in the hallway with kids saying that she’d thought of me all evening and me making that comment made her sad for me and that I should try again. I couldn’t answer with so many people around. She seemed so genuinely sad and concerned for me that I talked to her during our break to tell her I probably would try again someday but that it was way too soon to think about it, I’m still shattered, etc. She said she understood that, of course, and we talked about grief a little.

And then she asked something nobody else has asked. She asked me what my baby looked like saying she bet he had red hair like mine (she didn’t know about the donor egg) and she smiled and said that she knew he’d been perfect. People don’t usually smile when they talk about my son. I don’t usually smile myself when I talk about him. I told her that he had a bit of fuzz but I couldn’t tell the color and that he’d had long fingers and toes with perfect teeny fingernails and toenails and probably would have been tall. She asked if I took pictures and said she’d like to see him when I was ready to share them. I understand that people may think it’s macabre to talk about a dead baby but it made me feel so warm to share him in this way. He was a real baby and he’s still very real to me, but nobody ever acknowledges him like that.

She also told me how upset people at work had been the whole week I was gone. That people cried. She said all of them didn’t want me to come back to work so soon because they knew I’d lost my whole world. That they were all grieving him too. I believe her but find it odd that no one called while I was out or tried to convince me to take more time off or extended much sympathy after I came back. I just don’t understand people.

PS…the dumb professor called last night because I wasn’t in class and she was so concerned. Why can’t people just lay off me taking this damn class. I’m simply not strong enough. She made me cry. I hate her.

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14 comments on “A Good Coworker Story

  1. Your coworker has made me love her. That is how you should have been treated all along. I'm so glad she spoke with you and in that way. I think those who cried over your loss simply lack the ability or the words to portray that sadness and instead are doing and saying nothing and nothing good which benefits no one. Don't know if that makes sense but this lady makes me feel better and I hope she made you feel good too.

  2. Paige- if you ever want to talk about Greyson with me I'd love to hear. I don't find it macabre. I'm sorry if I haven't acknowledged your baby enough. I've been so worried about you that maybe I pushed those thoughts to the side. Your conversation with BS gives me a little bit of hope for your coworkers. At least you have BS at school.

  3. I love that the coworker could do that for you. I wish people understood that whether the baby is 6wks gestation or 30 they are our babies real babies from the second we learn about them and them dying is us losing our first child, and all the hope and future be planned for them. We want them to say warm things about them and not to ignore it ever happened. My heart is with you. Hold onto the warmth that conversation gave you as long as you can *hugs*

  4. I too am glad that BS is at your school and that she reached out to you. I have really been wanting to do some serious butt-stomping at your school, but there may be some hope for some of the people after all. Maybe they just didn't know what to say and didn't want to say the wrong thing. But someone should tell them that ignoring such a loss (even if it's out of fear of causing more pain) is just not cool! Sweetie, any time you want to talk about Greyson or show his picture, I'd love to listen or see. I still pray and cry for you and Greyson. Love you

  5. What a wonderful conversation…I'm so glad that BS asked you about Greyson and expressed empathy and interest. I would have liked for people's reactions to hearing your news to have manifested themselves differently (some contact, cards or tributes, hugs, and so forth). But it's good to hear that people realized what a devastating loss the death of Sweet Pea meant for you (and your family). I think that prof is pitifully equipped to support a grieving mother, and I wish I could tell her that. I would have burst into tears on the phone with her. You lost your baby and you really deserve to grieve in peace without being prodded or having to justify your absence from the class roster. I withdrew from at least two classes during undergrad and changed majors and I'm grateful that no one hounded me this way. Sending you a big hug Paige!

  6. Ugh, I'm so sorry that the professor called and is making things even more difficult, you certainly don't need that. I'm upset that she made you cry.I'm so happy that BS talked to you about your feelings and Greyson and was truly concerned about you. I'm glad that you have someone at school that will share with you and looks forward to you sharing with her.

  7. Your coworker rocks! I hope that I could be such a good friend in a horrible situation. I am sure others really do care about you and Greyson, but are unable to communicate, they just don't know what to say. Thinking of you.

  8. How sweet and wonderful. I would guess most people don't know hat to do or say and so they just avoid you and the topic Greyson all together. It a reason, but its not an excuse. If that makes sense. You can understand why people do something without making it ok for them to do it. I wish more of your coworkers were able to be there for you like this one was.

  9. Re the professor/class – It isn't that you aren't strong enough. You are strong enough, but you're not ready for it. Very different things I think. It is not for lack of strength that we avoid some things, it's being sensible and listening to our heads/hearts as to what we are prepared to deal with during our grief. And your co-worker – I ❤ her.

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