A colleague with whom I get on very well, although we are not "close", just found out yesterday that his baby died - his wife was 6 months pregnant.
I've been writing and rewriting a reply to him since about 7.30 this morning, and I have overthought it to the point where I feel like an android trying to replicate human feelings... I keep getting stuck on whether it is inappropriate / unhelpful / somehow self regarding to mention that I have some experience of this, the "ability to convey sympathy in an appropriate manner" part of my brain seems to have gone temporarily offline.
I feel so awful for them, I know that I'm hyperaware of the magnitude of their loss (not to talk of the horror of the physical process his wife is going to have to endure) because of my own experiences, and through my mother (several late term miscarriages and 2 still births), and a good friend whose son died at 36 weeks, so I'm definitely making this more than it needs to be - I think I'm on about draft 15 of what will probably be a frigging 6 line email!
Is it crass or presumptuous to say that I have experience of this (no detail, obviously), and he can talk to me anytime? I'm quite a bit older than him, and he has come to me for advice in the past, and often uses me as a sounding board / to vent (all work related).
Can someone please help reboot me so that I can send a normal, non-intrusive, empathetic response.