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Wedding Woes

Yes, reach out.

Dear Prudence,

My now-1-year-old had a number of complications and health issues and spent two months in the neonatal intensive care unit. While we were there, I met “Julie” and “Nick.” Their baby, “Gio,” was born six days after mine and had similar issues. They were both upbeat and friendly every time we spoke and seemed optimistic. I felt like we were becoming friends and kept meaning to give Julie my number so we could stay in touch. Then one morning I overheard the doctors talking about Gio, using phrases that made it clear he wasn’t going to make it. Julie and Nick continued to be cheerful, often saying how excited they were for us that our baby would be going home soon. I took this as a cue that they didn’t want to discuss their grief with me, so I left it alone. Gio died the day we took our baby home from the hospital. I never did give Julie my number. Recently, Facebook suggested Nick on “People You May Know.” It turns out we have several mutual friends. I have been considering messaging him to let him (and Julie) know that I think about them, and about Gio, often. The truth is that I think about them every single day. Is it inappropriate to reach out in this way? Will it come across as being cruel, when our babies were so similar but had such different outcomes?

—Reaching Out or Rubbing It In?

Re: Yes, reach out.

  • Yup.   Reach out.   

    The parents that I know who have dealt with grief don't want people to avoid talking about their child because the baby died.   They WANT people to talk to them because that was their baby who LIVED. 
  • I'm getting a little teary-eyed because both these couples sound like wonderful people.

    I also think it would be deeply meaningful to the other couple to know that they and their son are still remembered by the LW.
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  • I think they'll really appreciate that you care about them and want to know how they're doing. Definitely reach out. 
  • Yes, reach out, because P/N/ICU family is family...  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Yes a simple “thinking of you” message could mean the world to them 

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