7 empathy cards for someone who's lost a pregnancy. Because it's hard to know what to say.

Up to 20% of pregnancies end in loss. And yet, we still have a hard time talking about it.

We'll get to why that is in a minute. But first, let that number sink in: 20%. What does our discomfort or silence mean for those whose pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth?


It can make them feel alone — isolated, hurting, and sometimes even ashamed.

What if we acknowledged the loss of a pregnancy the way we addressed any significant loss?

What if we talked about it and expressed our sincerest condolences instead of awkwardly fumbling for the right words — or not even talking about it at all?

What if we said things like this?

"I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I'm here. Always."

Dr. Jessica Zucker shared these empathy cards with me and gave me permission to share with you! It's available here.

When we're short on words, a card is usually a safe bet. But when it comes to condolence cards for the loss of a pregnancy or a stillbirth, let's just be honest: the pickings are slim.

That's why Dr. Jessica Zucker, a clinical psychologist who specializes in women's reproductive and maternal mental health — and someone who experienced a traumatic miscarriage herself — introduced these pitch-perfect pregnancy loss empathy cards.

She wants women to be able to talk about and have their grief acknowledged.

"My aim," Zucker explained to me in a phone conversation, "is to help shift the cultural conversation — and lack of it — around miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and stillbirth."

And culturally, we often reach out with cards, which is why it feels like a pretty amazing thing — to create cards for this kind of loss.

Whether it's with cards that share heartfelt affirmations...

"The last thing you probably want to hear right now is 'I know exactly how you feel,' 'This happens for a reason,' 'Be grateful for what you have.' Pop in earplugs, drown out the noise, be surrounded by loving support — people who get it. I may not always know the right thing to say, but I'm going to try. I love you like crazy." Available here.


"Grief knows no timeline. Take all the time you need. If you wan to rest, do. If you want to scream, do. If you want to distract yourself, do. If you want to cry, do. If you want to stuff your face, do. If you want to hibernate, do. If you want to go on an adventure, do. If you want to call me morning, noon and night, do. Be gentle with yourself. Do." Available here.

...or with cards that own our discomfort with something we've inadvertently been taught to be uncomfortable with...

"I'm sorry I've been MIA. I didn't know what to say. I'll do better. I am here." Available here.

...these empathy cards say what needs to be said. They acknowledge that sometimes, we need to call it like it is.


"Fuck: 'This is God's plan.' Fuck: 'Everything happens for a reason.' Fuck: 'Time erases pain.' #FuckLoss. Fuck: 'At least you know you can get pregnant.' Fuck: 'It wasn't meant to be.' Fuck Heartbreak." Available here.

"I imagine you feel like shit right now. But I just had to remind you how wonderful I think you are." Available here.

Oh, and how about a card that acknowledges that even though the loss might be common, every woman's experience is utterly unique?

"#IHadAMiscarriage. Everyone has a different experience. I understand." Available here.

The cards each say something different, but the bigger message behind them is the same: Mourning the loss of a pregnancy is difficult. And it's only made more difficult when we suffer or respond with silence.

There's a reason we have an especially hard time discussing this kind of loss. As Zucker explains, out-of-order losses are difficult to process. "It's one thing to talk about an elderly person, a grandparent, passing away," she says. "We know the rights and rituals that take place around that kind of loss."

But when it's about the loss of a wanted pregnancy or a stillbirth, people don't know how to react. Unlike the parents, others haven't formed a relationship with the fetus. What do we say? How do we behave?

She also points out that we're just not looking at pregnancy loss as normative in our culture — but we should. "If twenty-some percent of pregnancies end in loss, this isn't going anywhere," she told me. "It's not like this is a disease and we're not looking for some sort of cure. This is molecular biology, and this is what happens when we endeavor to create life. We risk being vulnerable to losing life. We risk not being in control."

So what if we could we could get more comfortable with this kind of loss and be a source of support for grieving would-be parents?

Zucker says she knows these are "just cards," but she hopes it's a good beginning.

These cards are an antidote to "I didn't know what to say." And we should say something! "We can't have a miscarriage by talking about miscarriage," Zucker says. "You cannot experience a pregnancy loss just by talking about pregnancy loss."

But we can provide support and condolences to our friends and family members who are grieving. And at the end of the day, isn't that what being human is all about?

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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