I saw this post today at Chick's site and of course it made me sad. It also reminded me of something that happened many years ago.
I had a friend (we'll call her Kay) who desperately wanted children. Kay was so happy when she became pregnant shortly after she and her husband began trying. One day, when she was about six months along, the four of us were to have a couple's night out and go see Harry Connick in concert. Hubby and I received a call shortly before the concert that Kay wasn't feeling well and they had decided to skip the concert.
The next day I learned that she had lost the baby. Because of her advanced pregnancy, they had to induce labor and she had to deliver the baby. She and her husband were devastated. They named the baby (a boy) and in jewish tradition, buried him immediately. It was awful.
Another friend of ours (we'll call her Ella) wanted so desperately to find some way to reach out to Kay and her husband, to express her sorrow and to bring them comfort.
She...and I still cannot believe this....sent a balloon bouquet.
[pause for reaction]
I learned about it after the delivery was set and I so wanted to find a way to stop it and to explain to Ella what a huge mistake she had made.
Kay's husband was shocked to see a balloon bouquet appear at the door, where they were mourning. "WTF was she thinking!!!" Kay told me he shouted.
Then Kay's husband took a pair of scissors and proceeded to stab, pop, shred and destroy all of the balloons in a fury. When it was done, he was out of breath and quiet. After a moment, he turned to Kay and said, "I know I couldn't believe she did this, but her intentions were good, and actually, destroying those balloons is the best I've felt all week..."
So it goes to show, that even the most awkward and misplaced of gestures can be well-received by someone in pain when they know you bring the words or actions from the deepest part of your heart, where you are aching on their behalf and just want them to know they are not alone.