“Supporting Women with Pregnancy Loss, Part Two: Working Through Grief” – with Shira Billet

In part two of this episode, Shira Billet talks about her process of working through grief and common grief experiences after losing a pregnancy. She and Dr. Fox touch on difficult topics like anxiety in subsequent pregnancies, stillbirth, and more.

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Dr. Fox: Welcome to “High-Risk Birth Stories,” brought to you by the creators of the “Healthful Woman” podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Nathan Fox. “High-Risk Birth Stories” is a podcast designed to give you, the listener, a window into the life-changing experiences of pregnancy, fertility, and childbirth.
Shira: One of the key themes that I always say every time I talk to someone is, number one, it will get better, but it will take a long time. It will take longer than you think. And that it can’t get better without experiencing a tremendous amount of pain. And it’s a pain that nobody can really take away from us. It’s something that we have to live through. What friends and family can do, and I’ll talk more about that in a bit, is to be there, and to support, and to help kind of cushion the blow, and to help us feel less alone on this journey. But grief is a journey of pain that has to be lived through. It cannot be taken away or kind of shouldered by someone else. It’s just not how it works.
So that’s number one, but you will go through a lot of pain and you will also be better one day. It won’t always feel like this. That’s something that I tell people. I’ve really come to believe that that grief is a kind of natural process that has both physical and emotional elements to it. And as a physical process, I think it’s important to…like any other physical process that our body needs to go through, I think it’s really important to kind of lean into the grief and to almost, like, trust our bodies, that they know what they need to do to get through this.
I think a lot of people and especially, I think, family members have a sense of the kind of how long, like maybe a week, two, maybe a month, is, like, a time to be really sad. But then after X amount of time, like, it becomes thought to be unhealthy that someone is still grieving. That’s something that I really want to kind of emphatically disagree with. Meaning, I do think there’s a time when…I should just say, I think there’s a time when it can feel unhealthy, but I think that time is much longer than people often think. I think that I always tell people, like, give yourself a year before you start to really feel like maybe something needs to really, really change here. Or trust yourself. If you feel like it’s unhealthy, it’s gotten to a point of being unhealthy, then do something about it, seek professional help. But I think that there’s a kind of common thought that if someone is still feeling so sad after two weeks or a month, something must be wrong. And I think that’s really not true. This is a natural process that can’t be hastened.
And I think that one of the things that I’ve come to learn is that we actually have a lot of intuitions that we ought to listen to in this. Like, we should trust our hearts and our bodies that they actually know what they need to do to get through. And basically everyone I’ve spoken to has gone through…you know, has gone through a journey of tremendous pain, and everyone gets better. Everyone doesn’t remain forever stuck in that time. But I think that we need to let ourselves go through the process. And I think I’ll just say personally for myself, there was a time when I sought out therapy for PTSD. And that was a moment when I felt like this was no longer just the natural grieving process, but I felt like I had gotten stuck and that I needed an outsider to come and help me get to a place because I felt that it got to a point where I didn’t feel like I was where I was supposed to be in my life, that I was still in too much pain and I needed to kinda be present fully for my children.
And that was something that I did, but that was after, I would say, about a year and a half after losing my twins. And up until that point, I actually felt that the pain I was experiencing, it felt like the right thing. And then it got to a point where it didn’t feel like the right thing. And then the therapy that I did really helped me. And so I would say, for each person, don’t let other people tell you when it’s unhealthy. Wait till you agree. Wait till you feel that. Because I think one of the very common things that I see with people is that their loved ones are trying to hasten the process. Their loved ones don’t want to see them so sad and so they push, you know, to heal quicker. And I just think it doesn’t work that way.
Let me just emphasize further. I’m not giving medical advice, meaning I think it’s great. Some people already have a therapist that they’ve already been seeing in their lives and then they continue with therapy to work through the loss. Other people start seeing a therapist immediately. And that’s great. And it’s not…what I’m saying is not really about the timing of when you might seek outside help. It’s more about how we judge the grieving process and whether it’s gotten to a point of healthy and unhealthy. I think that people should process this with whoever helps them from the beginning or at a later time, but trust yourself that you know what you need.
Dr. Fox: Right. And I think that it’s so important when you’re talking about that. It’s not really another’s decision about when it’s too long or when it’s sort of answer this, why are you still grieving? It’s really not. It’s internal. And, you know, I see women in the subsequent pregnancy, this could be years later, and, you know, they’re still grieving. And as you said, they’re better because it’s been time. They’re not…you know, they’re still obviously in a lot of grief. And then when the next pregnancy happens, all that comes back because there’s tremendous anxiety, you know, there’s aspects, like you said, PTSD because the next pregnancy is so hard on them. And when we talk about that, I tell them, I say like, “It’s okay to feel these things. Like you’re supposed to feel these things. You know, this is normal.”
And I say, you know, “If something…” you know, “If someone were walking through Central Park at night and they got attacked, and then, you know, as a horrible thing, they’re in the hospital and it’s awful. A month later, if they’re walking through Central Park at night and it’s dark, they’re gonna be physically ill. Their heart’s gonna be racing. They’re gonna throw up. They’re gonna feel awful.” And I say, “That’s what’s happening with your next pregnancy.” So you don’t have to, a, feel bad that you feel so anxious and worried, and you certainly don’t have to explain yourself or justify to others. I say, “This is what you’re supposed to be feeling, will help you get through it. But don’t feel like there’s something wrong with you cause you’re having that. This is something right with you. This is the normal human response to a trauma. And you should be feeling this as you go through the next pregnancy.” And I think when we stop…we as, you know, doctors or family members, whoever, stop trying to tell people, “It’ll be okay, it’ll be okay. Feel well, feel well,” like, yeah, we should reassure, but, you know, at the same time, you have to validate that what they’re feeling is real and is supposed to be there.
Shira: Exactly. I think that’s exactly the point, is that it’s supposed to be. You know, I sometimes say to people, “Given this abnormal…given this situation that isn’t supposed to have happened, the way you’re feeling now is exactly what you’re supposed to be feeling.” And so it feels like it’s not a normal situation, but given that, this is exactly the normal thing. And I do think that’s so important. And, you know, I remember reading a piece kind of early on where the theme of the piece was the only way out is through. And it’s just really true. If we allow ourselves to go through that process and to feel permission to feel the feelings that we feel, those feelings won’t haunt us anymore. They will actually go away.
Whereas the women who I meet who lost a baby 50 years ago and the baby was kind of whisked away, and no one ever spoke of it again, and it was all in hush terms behind closed doors and then it was silenced forever, those are the women who were never allowed to feel their pain, to really feel it, because there was no social permission and then they still are stuck in it now. Whereas I think the people who go through this intense process of really leaning into the grief in the first year or however longer, shorter, it’s different for each person, then those people actually get healthy afterwards. And that’s kinda the amazing part of it, is that if we allow it to happen in the way that it should, it actually doesn’t haunt us forever.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. I mean, it’s…you know, two things you said which, you know, struck me is, the first is about that sort of that line between when the grief is sort of normal to when you feel that this is something that’s not right and maybe you should seek help. You know, I’m not a mental health professional. Like, I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist, whoever. I obviously see a lot of people with, you know, mental health diagnoses or concerns. There are lines that people pass in their grief where it becomes unhealthy for them. You know, things like they can’t eat anymore. They can’t sleep anymore. They can’t function, you know, and they’re really, you know, suffering physically. And, you know, okay, in those points it’s probably wise to make sure that there’s nothing really unhealthy going on, but that’s…you know, for most people it’s not clinical depression, it’s grief. You know, people who…
Shira: Exactly.
Dr. Fox: …are sad, right? If you’re sad over a loss, you maybe have the symptom of depression or you may feel depression, but you don’t have the diagnosis of depression, right? It’s a different situation. And the same is true, like, anxiety. You can be anxious over something and not have an anxiety disorder, you’re anxious, like, over something that’s real. And so it’s not always…you know, it’s not really necessarily the symptoms, it’s sort of how the other functions are going.
And, you know, in terms of the grief, you know, unfortunately, as you know, I’ve had to deliver babies that we knew before, you know, had passed. And that whole experience is horrible, obviously. And after the baby is born, the mother has a choice of whether she would like to, you know, see the baby, hold the baby, spend time with the baby. And I would say most women do. And we typically encourage them to, for the reasons you said, that it does give women some…it helps them through the grieving process potentially. And a lot of people who don’t, you know, see the baby or hold the baby, come to regret it later.
And, you know, in those circumstances, we, too, take photos, and there’s, you know, a keepsake that the hospital just keeps, you know, pretty much indefinitely in case someone comes back and asks. But for women who say they don’t, they’re not ready or they’re just not there to do that, it’s hard. I mean, certainly, we wouldn’t push them to do it, you know, to spend time with the baby, but it’s hard to know if they are gonna later regret that for sort of the reasons you said. It’s a difficult situation, obviously, to make those decisions is hard at the time.
Shira: One of the really hard things that I’ve felt is that oftentimes when these sorts of late-pregnancy losses happen, and then there’s a birth of a baby that has either died in utero or, you know, in my case, it was kind of a combination of a baby that died in utero and a preterm labor of a baby that couldn’t survive past birth. And in either of those cases, you’re sudden…oftentimes you didn’t know that far in advance that this was gonna happen. Oftentimes it’s like just found out on an ultrasound that the baby died and then suddenly you’re either getting induced to give birth or, you know, if you’ve gone into kinda a sudden unexpected preterm labor and things like that, and all sorts of decisions have to be made that are permanent decisions, but you don’t have time to do the research or to really know what to do. And it’s also a time of being so emotionally overwhelmed. And sometimes I really regret that by the time someone talks to me, it’s after all those decisions have been made. And I wish I could have been there before because I think it helps to be able to talk to someone first to have a little bit of a sense of what to expect and what decisions to make.
And I will say that for me and my husband, one of the things that we were, like, kind of tragically lucky about was that a really close friend of ours had had a pregnancy loss at a very similar stage of pregnancy, only seven months earlier than us. And we had supported them through the loss without knowing what it was because at that time we had never gone through anything like that. And then suddenly, it was kind of a role reversal where I called them the day that I was going to give birth when I was in labor. And I said to them, like, you know, “Give us advice, what should we do?” And they kind of tragically shared with us that they didn’t have any…they had, like, one weird picture of the baby that the hospital took, but they didn’t have any pictures of themselves holding the baby because at the time they didn’t want it, but now they, like, deeply regret that they didn’t have it. And so they just said, like, you know, “Hold the babies and make sure to take a lot of pictures of yourselves holding the babies.” I don’t know what we would’ve done if we didn’t have these friends to kind of guide us in that.
And I think far too many people obviously don’t have someone there to guide them who’s been there. And so all sorts of decisions are made in the moment based on whatever advice you get or what you intuitively feel. And I would always encourage people to hold the baby only if for no other reason than that you might regret it later. But I also think that if someone feels so confident that they don’t wanna hold the baby, I would never push them not to, because I do strongly believe in kind of trusting ourselves in this process. And so even though for me, I would never do it any differently, you know, and we did hold the babies and we have lots of pictures, rarely look at the pictures now, but I really deeply value having them and knowing exactly where they are.
And it was extremely painful at the time. And I think that holding them kind of magnified how real they were, at the same time as I think it helped me in the ways that you and I have been talking about, of really, like, leaning into the pain and the reality of how deep this loss was, that sent me on a journey that helped me ultimately get to a place of where I am today, where I feel like, you know, a really healthy person and I don’t feel like this loss…as much as it’s a huge part of me and it has certainly changed me, I don’t feel like it is something that is a source of tremendous kind of pain in my life.
It’s more something that I can think of with sadness that we never got to raise those babies, or have those babies, or know what our family would’ve been like with those babies, but also a kind of acceptance of this is my life story. And it has given me an opportunity to help so many other people. My living children know about these babies. And I know that they will be more compassionate towards others in their lives when they’re adults because this is part of our family story. And so, you know, while I certainly don’t wish it had happened and I, in fact, you know, wish it had never happened that we lost them, I also see how it has made me the person I am today and I’m able to kind of think about that with a healthy perspective. And I really do attribute that to just going through the grief process and getting there. And it just takes a lot of time and pain.
Dr. Fox: And I think that you know, one of the things that, you know, you touched upon before, and I think it’s the big difference between what you’re describing, which is coming to that place where…you know, that this is your, you know, reality, and this is your family, and this is your experience. And the difference between that and the term, like, closure. Like, closure implies, like, this is, you know, “Close the book. It’s behind me, I’m gonna move on,” but that’s not what you’re describing at all. You’re describing, you know, the idea that these babies, you know, are a part of your family and your family story, and it’s not something that’s sort of behind you to never be thought about again.
This is obviously a very tragic experience, but this is the experience your family and you…you know, your daughters, you know, they have names, right? I mean their names, you know, they Yakira, they’re Tamima, you know, they’re babies who are named, and they’re part of your family, and they’re part of your story. And I think that’s such an important thing. And I know that, you know, you’ve shared with me a lot of the things that you’ve, you know, said to others and spoken publicly. And that’s one of the themes that you talk about, is recognizing that these babies are a part of the family, and that’s not just for the people who are grieving, but also for the rest of us who are trying to either help the people who are grieving or just know the people who are grieving. And this, you know, shift from maybe how it was that these babies are forgotten and not spoken about, and sort of, you know, that they’re in the past, and actually thinking about them as babies, like you said, and, you know, thinking about people on Mother’s Day, or what the baby’s, you know, birthday was, or what the due date would’ve been, or whatever that date might be, as opposed to thinking about something that’s gone and in the past.
Shira: Yeah. I think that 100% true that closure isn’t the right word because babies that people have lost are always part of them. I think the right thing is to realize that and to acknowledge that and to help people find what I’ve kind of described as a healthy way to live with this as part of your story, not something that brings you down or makes you sad forever, but something that is just a part of your life, like so many things are part of our lives. And so I do think that acknowledging that you remember the baby or the babies to people from time to time over the years, whether it’s Mother’s Day, or I think of other milestone moments, like when another baby is born, you know, if that’s part of people’s stories, that they have another child after a loss, that doesn’t always happen, or when people buy a new house, or any kind of milestone moment when you’re kind reflecting on your life and your family as it is, I think those are the moments to say to people that you remember the baby.
And I think some people are worried about bringing it up because they think that they’ll kind of bring someone down at a happy time, but I think it’s just the opposite. I think the working assumption should be that if you’re thinking about the baby, they are, too. And in fact, if you’re not thinking about the baby, they are, too. And I think people really appreciate knowing that this little existence hasn’t been forgotten. I think one of the things that is painful for people is kind of not knowing what to do with this baby who feels real to them but it feels like was never part of the world. And so I think that when other people remember in some way, it does feel like, in some way, the existence lives on of this baby that never got to live. And I think it is really meaningful to them.
Dr. Fox: Right. And I mean, one other horrible part of losses is not just…you know, there’s the loss of what was, but there’s also the loss of, you know, moving forward, that that’s not gonna happen. And people grieve over both, they grieve over their…you know, the loss, and then they grieve over the fact that things aren’t going to occur that would’ve occurred. And the thought, the idea that someone is remembering, you know, “I don’t forget, I’m not forgetting,” and, you know, “Your baby is not forgotten,” like you said, I think, is very meaningful to people more so than painful and would, as you said, be very much appreciated.
Are there other pieces of advice you could give to those, not who are going to through the loss, but who are…you know, who knows someone who’s going through a loss, whether it’s a family member or friend, how they can be supportive and helpful in addition to just things like you mentioned of not forgetting the baby and of recognizing and mentioning and talking about the baby at various events? Are there other things that you’ve seen that…you know, sort of common either mistakes that people make frequently or good things that people do frequently that you wanna highlight?
Shira: I guess, just going back to the theme of grief I think that one of the most important things is to really understand it. If you do, you can be the most helpful and avoid some of the things that hurt. And so I wanna kinda reiterate what I said before about grief being a natural process, to say that it’s real, and in some ways, it’s something that we can’t control in the ways that we would want, certainly in the early phases of the kind of initial moments of loss. And I think that the instinct of friends and relatives is to take away the pain. And I think it’s really important to understand that that’s something we can’t do.
And the other thing is that we want the person to get better quickly, to be happy again, because we love them. And we want them to be happy because I think often something we think about people we love is that we want them to be happy, right? That’s natural. And the issue is that we actually can’t force that. We have to let people go through this, but I think that we have to also really be there with them in going through it.
And that’s really hard because what that entails is that you have to be able to really kind of bear witness to someone’s raw, and devastating, and ongoing pain and not try to fix it and just to kinda be there with them and to continue to show our love and care and to continue to show up, even though it actually, A, hurts us to see them in so much pain and, B, is a real downer. Like, if we’re not going through that, we don’t wanna constantly be brought back into something so horrible. And so I think there’s both of those elements are part of what motivates us to kind of not want the person to be in pain anymore. And I think a key thing is to realize that we can’t stop that and that we actually have to stay with them, even though we don’t want to in a lot of ways.
And, you know, one of the things that I think about when I think back to myself in that time is that it was probably the most selfish time of my life in those early months of intense grief. Normally, the kind of person that I am is I’m always, like, doing things for others, giving, trying to take care of people, trying to help people, trying to, you know, solve peoples’ problems and whatever. And in the early stages of grief, I was literally, like, in pure survival mode, I was in so much pain that I felt almost like I could die. I mean, not literally, but it felt, like, so painful that I could…I felt like I could barely manage to live with this much pain.
And what I really couldn’t do when I was just trying to survive was, like, somehow make what I was going through better for other people. I couldn’t make them feel better when they were suffering by seeing me in so much pain. And I think that that was something that was really hard, was, I think, other people wanted me to kind of tell them that I was okay or I was gonna be okay, and I just couldn’t take care of them because I just could barely take care of myself. And, you know, I remember, like, just thinking back to it that I was, like, just so fragile and so easily crushed and I felt like the whole world was, like, just full of landmines. Like, any second, someone could say something that could just kind of throw me back into, you know, whatever.
And so I think that that’s a time of recognizing that people who are in really deep grief, I think they’re self-absorbed, but I think it’s because they have to be, they’re in pure survival mode. And one of the things that I learned later from a friend of mine was that apparently in one of those early days, like, she dropped everything in her very stressful life to, you know, do a favor for me and my husband. And years later, she told me that it was, like, so hard for her to drop everything and do this for us. And that she said that I barely looked at her and I never thanked her for doing it.
And I mentioned earlier that I have, like, hyper-vivid memories from this time in my life, like, better than things I did last week. I remember the whole pregnancy and the aftermath. And, you know, I racked my brain when she told me about this and I could not, for the life of me…I had no memory of what she was describing. Like, it literally didn’t penetrate into my consciousness at the time. And what it made me realize is, I think, that a friend who’s grieving really demands a lot of care, not like they’re actively demanding it, but they need, and that’s really hard and it kinda sucks.
And we’re used to friendships being mutual and, like, we give, and our friends give, and it’s two-way. And I think in the moment that a friend is grieving, a friendship really becomes one way. And they might not even, like, notice when you do something nice for them or thank you. And it’s not because they’re, like, mean or they don’t like you or something, it might literally be that they’re just, like, so trying to stay afloat and trying to survive. And so my advice for friends is to realize that this might be a phase of friendship that is really one way, it’s just pure love and pure giving. And that can be really, really hard. And if you need to take a break, you know, take a break. But also be really compassionate and know that your friend will come back, but it takes time.
And I guess the other thing I would say is that we never know when we’re gonna be the ones going through something. And I think that every friendship has a time when one person is giving and one person is taking. It happens for the different members of the friendship at different moments. And we will all have a time when we need to receive and we can’t give. And so I think if friends can recognize that and be forgiving, it will help the friendship get through this hard time. So that’s just another thing, I think, that friends can do. And it’s hard. It’s really, really, really hard, I would say, to support a friend who’s intensely grieving.
Dr. Fox: Right. And as you said, sometimes it means literally just sitting there, just being there, just showing up, you know, sitting, holding someone’s hand, or just sitting next to them and just saying, you know, “I’m so sorry, I’m here for you.” And…
Shira: Right. And also continuing to show up even if they don’t respond to your texts or your calls and not getting hurt or offended, but rather just knowing, like, they can’t right now, but I still love them and so I will continue to show up. You know, it’s like…this is a ridiculous analogy, but, you know, with like feeding children, introduce new foods, like, all the books say the child can refuse a food, like, 10 times, but the 11th time they might take it. And so don’t give up after five times of refusal. And I would say that in some ridiculous analogy to that, don’t give up on supporting and reaching out to your friend, even if it seems like they don’t want it or they’re not responding, just continue showing up with love. They will appreciate it. They will thank you later for kind of sticking it out with them.
Dr. Fox: Right. I mean, the wisest person in my life, my wife, you know, always talks about this idea that don’t send someone a text saying, “What can I do for you?” Or, “If you need something, I’m here.” She said, just do it. Just show up. You know, show up, drop something off that you don’t know if they need, they don’t need, bring over food, offer to take their kids somewhere, you know, just do something. And if they don’t want it, they’ll say no, but putting the responsibility on the person who’s grieving to think of how can someone help me? All right, if they happen to have something, fine. But most of the time, like you said, you’re not even, like…you’re barely taking care of yourself, and to think, “Oh, you know, you can go buy milk for me,” like, you’re not even thinking about that. And so just do it.
And this idea, like you said, of not…you know, so many times when I’m speaking to people, they’ll tell me of all the things that people said to them that were so hurtful, and obviously, the people who said them were not trying to be hurtful. They were trying to be helpful. They care about them. They love them. They just didn’t know what to say. And so people say things like, “Oh, you know, you’ll be better when,” you know, whatever it is. You’ll be better in a month. You’ll be better when you have your next baby or something of that sort. Or they try to minimize the pain. Again, it’s done out of love and mostly, you know, sort of ignorance about what to say, but those things aren’t necessary. You know, someone’s grieving just, you know, just be there for them and just let them know you’re there and you love them and do things for them, like you said. And it’s not about trying to, you know, remove their pain as much as just be there with them as they go through it. Like you said, it’s a journey that’s required to get to the other end.
Shira: Absolutely.
Dr. Fox: Shira, I’m so thankful that you agreed to come on to talk about this. I know that this is something that you’re very passionate about and something that, as you said, you know, you do on a regular basis for, you know, individuals who are going through this. It just so important and so critical for people who are going through such loss to have, you know, someone who’s been through some form of loss, you know, like you said, maybe not the exact same, but something, you know, very traumatic, and you have insight, and you’re caring, and you’re helpful.
But also in this form where you’re talking to people who you don’t know, you have no idea who’s listening and whether it’s someone who themselves is going through a loss or went through a loss and maybe they’re rethinking about it and their own grieving process, or all the people are fortunate enough to not have gone through a loss but, you know, we all learn from your insights and your, you know, openness about how to help others who might be going through this. And it’s so important because, as you said, this is not so rare. So many people have to go through this. And the more that all of us can understand that and recognize that and talk about it, hopefully, we will continue to move in the right direction and be available to support, you know, women and families who are going through such, you know, tragedies,
Shira: Thank you for inviting me. And it has been my pleasure to have this conversation with you. And just before we end, I wanted to kind of publicly say something about what you’ve done for me, which I think is a broader lesson about what a doctor can do and the role that a doctor can play in this journey. And I think it’s a big role actually. And so I just wanted to say that, you know, when I think back to that time, first of all, just in the most horrible week of my life between when the first baby died and the preterm labor, you were literally there for me 24/7. You didn’t make me feel like a burden at all. I think once I called you in the middle of the night and you answered my call, and you were compassionate, you listened to me, and you were honest with me.
And one of the things I appreciated is that you kind of balanced between not promising me anything you couldn’t deliver. Like, you couldn’t promise me that this was gonna be okay or that the second baby was gonna live, but you also allowed me to hope in ways that were reasonable, even if they weren’t certain. And I really needed that, that balance between realism and hope. And I still remember that the morning after our babies were born, which they were born at midnight, you must have been on call the next morning, and you came in at 7 a.m. and you brought me and my husband coffee, which was such a nice gesture. And you called us a few days later just to check in.
And then you spoke to me at my postpartum appointment and help me kind of rehash and process everything. And then a few months later, I reached out to you because I still needed to rehash and process everything and you gave me so much time. And over the years, I’ve sent you things that I’ve written on this topic, and you always read them, you write back, commenting with compassion and with interest. And you were my doctor in my two subsequent uncomplicated pregnancies.
And as you described, you really understood my trauma and the ways in which being pregnant again was so terrifying for me, and the only way I was able to survive those pregnancies emotionally was because of your compassion. And I would say that as much as I really do wish I had never gone through this experience, one of the gifts that my husband and I always feel came out of it was our friendship with you. So we’re extremely grateful to you for all you’ve done for us. And we know that you’ve done that for infinitely many other people, and we just are always in awe of the work you do.
Dr. Fox: I appreciate that very much. Thank you. And yes, you know, this is not about me, obviously, but it’s…you know, when we have people who, you know, are patients of ours, or friends of ours, or both, and they go through these losses, it’s very difficult on the doctors as well to varying degrees, obviously based on the exact circumstances of who the person is, what the story is, but it’s hard. I mean, these are things we take home with us and we think about, and, you know, there’s so much, that’s…you know, it’s a whole other topic about, you know, the grieving doctor, which is clearly not what we’re talking about today, but it is a very difficult thing. But, you know, as you said, one of the things that happens to these, you know, experiences that are so traumatic, obviously for you and for Steven and, you know, to a much lesser degree to the doctor, is it really does bring people together who may not have done that otherwise.
And in the same way, you know, the reason I read the things you send me, it’s not because I’m kind, it’s because they’re great. And it’s, you know, what you write about this and the thoughts you have about this, and, you know, as I’ve always told you, your problem is you’re too smart, your IQ is too high. So, you know, the way you process this and, you know, sort of the insights that you bring, I really value and it helps me when I’m working with people who are going through this, whether professionally or personally, and that’s why it’s so important the work you’re doing to help everyone sort of do this a little bit better for others who are going through this. So thank you so much.
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