While I was pregnant, a friend of mine miscarried. I said all the wrong things to her. Of course, at the time, I didn’t realize what I was saying was inappropriate or hurtful- I was truly only trying to help. But then I experienced a miscarriage and realized how I should have acted much differently.
Below is a list of 10 things I found on theRproject.org (a Christian organize to support and bring awareness of miscarriage) that you can do or say to help someone if they have endured a miscarriage.
10 ways to support the person in your life who has just lost a baby:
1. Acknowledge their profound loss, right away. You may be afraid you’ll say something ‘stupid,’ but the worst thing you can say is nothing at all.
2. Don’t say, “let me know if I can help.” They are not in a place where they can give direction right now. Offer an idea instead. Say, “I am going to bring you dinner Thursday night,” and just do it.
3. Read this article here at http://www.glowinthewoods.com/how-to-help-a-friend/ on what not to say, and follow the advice. This includes:
-Give her opportunities to speak her truth.
-Keep your own motherhood and children at a distance
-Use your skills or artistry to contribute tribute to her lost baby
-Do make casseroles, don’t send flowers
-Be careful what you say. “Husbands, parents and other loved ones have a vested interest in the pain going away—it distresses them, and they want their sister/daughter/wife back in happy form as soon as possible. It’s meant well and it comes from love, but “Don’t dwell!” and “Don’t torture yourself!” lands on the grieving mother as criticism, as though her feelings are inappropriate, abnormal, unwelcome. To lose a baby is an isolating experience. To be rushed along the path of healing makes you feel even more lonely, makes you grip more tightly to the blackness.”
4. Send a card.
5. Drop off a care package. Include some junk food, a couple light-hearted movies, etc.
6. Buy them a memorial/remembrance gift. Perhaps a necklace, or donate to a charitable organization in honor of their baby.
7. If you’re close, ask if you can come over and just “be” with them.
8. When you see them, don’t be afraid to speak their child’s name. Saying you’ve been thinking about their baby means more than you’ll ever know.
9. Keep texting, calling, emailing and facebooking to let them know you are thinking about them, even after it’s been a few weeks or months. Even when they appear to be “over it” or back to their old self, they will still be hurting, and will still need to know people have not forgotten about their child.
10. Try to remember and acknowledge important dates, such as their due date, loss date, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.”
I have been so lucky to have people in my life that have done a lot of these things for me.