Let’s be graceful to one another. We all grieve differently and go through the stages of grieving in different ways.
It’s hard to know how you’re going to feel until you’re going through it. What makes it especially hard is telling people that knew you were expecting.
Their response can be so ridiculous you’re left feeling worse! However, a simple, helpful and loving response can mean so much.
And remember, a miscarriage is not “a loss of tissue”. It’s the loss of a child. It’s a death in the family. The best thing you can do for your friend or loved one who’s experiencing a miscarriage is to respect that they are grieving and that their pain and heartache are very real.
Here are a few of the stupidest things people have said to me or other friends I’ve talked to recently. (I’m guilty of having said a couple of these as well, so don’t feel too bad ) And a list of Great things you can say or do instead.
Stupid things people say:
- “Everything happens for a reason”
(So if you’re your child suddenly died in a car crash or from an illness, would it help you to hear this?)
- “God has a plan”
(It’s not God’s plan for babies to die. What does God say about kids? “Children are a gift from the Lord.” There’s evil in this world and so much we can’t explain. Please don’t try to explain this huge loss away.)
- “You can have another baby or you can always adopt”
(How do you know I CAN have another one? I wanted this one.)
- “Here are some statistics…” (Giving stats- even if they’re true, doesn’t help as it turns your loss into a number. Better to keep it personal.)
- “The baby probably would’ve had problems and God knew you wouldn’t have wanted that.”
(Oh really, now you know what God knows?)
Good things you can say or do when someone you love is going through a miscarriage.
- “I’m so sorry.” Simple is great. None of us knows what to say. And nothing you say is going to make it all better or make the pain go away. But you’re support and kindness during this time means everything.
- Do Send a card, flowers, etc…
(I don’t know any woman in the world who’d not smile upon receiving a sweet card or flowers. It makes her feel special and honored. And it honors the life of the child that was lost.)
- Do be willing to listen. Everyone grieves in different ways. Some people, like me, process outwardly and so I realized I needed friends and loved ones to share my heart with.
- Do ask “What does comfort look like for you?” This is one of the best things I’ve been asked! Let the woman tell you what she needs. The day my sweet friend asked me that smart question, I realized that what I needed most at that moment was someone to talk to. I needed to share and not be judged. And I might have needed a brownie.
- Instead of saying… “Let me know if you need anything”, be more concrete. For example, “I’d like to bring you a meal. Would Tues night at 5pm work for you?” Your friend can always give you ideas of what they like. And it’s much easier than makingthem have to come up with a plan when they’re grieving.
Hopefully some of these tips will help.
And remember that men grieve as well as women. So guys if you know a guy friend is going through it, it can’t hurt to call and see how he’s doing.
I’d love to hear from you.
Have you got a few more to add to the lists? Let me know, I’m happy to share and learn.
Love to all,