I sent a message to an old acquaintance last week asking after her baby that had been due in February. I also told her about a mutual acquaintance, updating her on the birth of her daughter. I thought I had better say that Alice had died as the last time I bumped into her, we were both happily pregnant. I thought it would be odd if I didn't say something, given that I imagine she would have been wondering about our baby.
So she then called. I asked after her baby and we chatted about our mutual acquaintance. We chatted about some other people we knew. Then I explained, that although it must have been a little shocking, I needed to let her know about Alice in that message. Then she told me that she knew as she ran into my best friend last year and she had told her about Alice. She said knew all about it but said that she was 'too chicken to call as it was just all too difficult.'
I said that it was OK and for her not to feel bad.
But, what I felt like saying was 'you have no idea what 'too difficult' is.'
What I should have said was that even if you cry, if you can't find the words and if you feel like vomiting, the next time you know someone who has a baby that dies, you damn well call them or send a card.