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Ask Amy: I wanted flowers after my miscarriage. Should I have just asked?

4 min

Dear Amy: I just lost my first pregnancy to miscarriage about a week ago. This was particularly difficult because my husband and I had been trying for a while and really wanted to be parents. In all my excitement, I had told everybody I was pregnant, so I then had to go back and let everybody know the bad news.

Everybody expressed their sympathy and asked me if there’s anything they could do. The honest answer was yes — all I really wanted was flowers so the house could feel beautiful and full of life during this time of sadness.

I thought it sounded rude to ask, since I assumed at least a few of them would send flowers anyway. I thought it would take away from the generosity of the gift if I’d asked for them. Well, here we are a week later, and my house has no flowers.

I guess I just want to know if I should have asked for the flowers when people asked, “Is there anything I can do?” It feels even ruder to ask now, and to point out that I really did have silent expectations, and nobody met them.

Should I just go to the store and buy all my own flowers at this point? If this situation ever comes back around, should I just ask for the flowers next time?

— Looking for Grief Etiquette

Looking: I’m so sorry you are experiencing this complicated loss.

It might help you to understand that some people have an extremely negative reaction to flowers after a loss, because the scent, followed by the inevitable wilting and deterioration, can be a powerful trigger for grief.

I'm writing a prescription for you to go out today and purchase a flowering potted plant — something appropriate for your area that you could then plant in the ground when the seasons change.

I hope you will also ask your friends and family members directly to send you flowers! It's not too late. Giving them a specific task and a clear way to help will unite all of you.

One idea would be to ask your most reliable friend or family member to coordinate a delivery of one fresh bouquet each week for the next month or so — each from a different friend.

Dear Amy: I’m in a new relationship with a man I have known for years. He keeps emails and text messages from a woman he was previously in a relationship with. Some of those texts from her are sexual in nature. The woman also sends pictures of herself to him.

Although her communication with him is becoming less frequent, I can’t help but wonder why he keeps these reminders. When she contacts him, it’s always about how she loves him and she knows he loves her.

He does not contact her back, so I say, “Why keep this mess?”

— Upset

Upset: In our still-evolving digital age, “blocking, muting, hiding, and ignoring” exes are all issues that couples may need to openly navigate, while they move toward the all-important romantic digital touchstones of deleting your dating profiles and announcing your relationship status on social media.

Why does your guy keep this mess? Does he maintain digital trophies from all of his previous relationships? Is he in fact ghosting this previous girlfriend, rather than using his grown-up voice to actually and officially break up with her?

Because this bothers you, you should ask him! This should not be an interrogation, but a conversation. Do not tell him what to do, but do tell him how this makes you feel. You’ve known this man for a long time, but setting parameters in a committed and exclusive relationship is a process of getting to know someone in a new way.

If his behavior continually triggers your own insecurity or jealousy, then you might need to retreat into the friend zone.

Dear Amy: No-Brady Lady” wondered how to respond to the enthusiasm for football from her friends that she does not share. I also live in an area that is super into football. I feel her pain. There is no getting away from it, no matter where you go.

Whenever people start trying to discuss football with me, I just look at them and say, “You’ll have to give me a moment. I have to work up to caring.” It is generally well-received by those who know me, and is usually followed up with laughter.

— Who Cares?

Who Cares?: I like it! Let’s get those T-shirts made.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.