(1) Thu Jan 12 2012 09:17:
My sister talks about her miscarriage.
The only thing worth saying is "I'm sorry." I may think those things. John and I may even say those things to each other. But don't impose beliefs or possibilities or happy thoughts on me.
At the risk of overthinking and geeking during a time of sorrow;It is unfortunate that "I'm sorry" covers both territory where it's the speakers fault, and where it's not, and is "merely" a sympathetic labeling of a situation as unfortunate.(There's of course the way it risks the idiotically sophomoric retort "why are you sorry? you didn't do it."... http://xkcd.com/945/ covers that one pretty well) I'm just thinking of the emotional landscape, how and why "I'm sorry" hit a perfect note for your sister that a different recognition of another's bad fortune like "That's awful" might not. Hm. I guess there could be an implied "I'm sorry [that there's nothing I can do to help]", along with a further suggestion that "and I would if I could" (reminds me of that Captain Kirk quote-- "'Let me help.' A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He'll recommend those three words even over "I love you.")Aright, I guess that fills in a linguistic/sociological blank for me. Anyway, I'm sorry for your sister's loss.