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Ask Amy: Readers respond


Dear Amy, “Looking for Grief Etiquette” wrote to you about her grief after suffering a miscarriage.

As a retired obstetrician, I have had considerable experience with this. One point that I discussed with my patients early in their pregnancy was the fact that pregnancy loss is much more common than most people realize.

I suggested that they carefully consider who they would tell about their pregnancy until after the first trimester, when pregnancy loss is much less common, thus avoiding the problem of telling too many people the bad news.

I also found the advice I was given 15 years ago when my wife died very helpful.

The idea was that people who were asking, “What can I do?” of a bereaved person are really asking because they don’t know how to help.

My response, in that difficult moment, was: “Invite me to dinner.”

I think it was win-win.

This helped me, and I think they were glad to do something that I appreciated. This woman who had miscarried had her answer: “Send me some flowers.” She shouldn’t have hesitated to ask her friends this.

–Neil Kochenour, MD

Dear Dr. Kochenour: Thank you for your helpful wisdom. Regarding miscarriage, I agree that it is more sensible to wait to announce a pregnancy, but even when couples have not announced their pregnancy, they often still choose to disclose a miscarriage to their circle of friends and family.

Dear Amy, “Scammed” wrote about the increasingly popular scam of being contacted by a supposedly reputable company asking you to buy gift cards.

You suggested that clerks at stores that sell gift cards should be trained to be vigilant.

I bought several hundred dollars worth of gift cards at my local Giant supermarket, and the clerk asked me if a third party had asked me to buy the cards.

Out of curiosity, I asked him if anyone had ever answered “yes” to that question, and he told me that they had, in fact, saved many people from falling victim to this scam.

Store employees are undoubtedly a great weapon against these scammers.

– Loyal customer

Dear Customer, I am so happy to know that store associates are helping to educate customers about the danger of gift card scammers.

Dear Amy, I appreciated your response to “Stop Haunting My Dreams” on what to do when you dream of an old loved one.

Carl Jung suggested that other humans in our dreams often represent unconscious (“shadow”) aspects of ourselves that invite conscious attention, and even the conscious incorporation of (some of) the person’s traits into our own thoughts. personalities.

For example: What desired aspects of this man does the dreamer need to recognize and develop in herself, for her own use? What thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (the discrete elements of personality) does he represent that she might adopt and represent as her own? They are not simple questions, but often fruitful.

As Jung liked to say: “The unconscious is NON-conscious.” That is, we are not morally responsible for these thoughts arising, but it is our moral responsibility to understand and engage with our unconscious when it does.

–Sophia Eurich-Rascoe

(Certified Jungian Analyst)

Dear Sophia, I really appreciate your helpful interpretation of Jung’s wisdom.

Dear Amy, Thank you for discussing the importance of funerals and memorial services.

I was someone who never attended funerals, the person was already dead and wouldn’t know it, I reasoned. The value for family never crossed my mind.

And then my husband died. We have six children and the youngest was only six at the time. I can’t tell you what it meant when people poured into the church. His presence said, “I have left everything to honor this man and be with you today.”

Now I drop everything to go to the funeral of someone I knew, even if it was by chance.

After all, surely they are all important enough for us to take an hour to honor them and provide the family with unmatched comfort.

– Appear

Dear Show Up, Unfortunately, experiences with grief and grief are our best teachers.

Dear Amy, “KQ” asked if it was okay to have wine from a neighboring table at a restaurant after the other party had left.

I experienced this once years ago.

In similar circumstances, one of my tablemates helped herself to the remaining wine at a table next to ours.

She poured us all a glass when those people came back from the salad bar.

I wanted to get under the table!

– Mortified

Dear mortified: a reminder: you must not drink wine before its time.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @asking either Facebook.)

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