Have you ever wondered what to say to a friend who’s had a miscarriage?
As we all grieve in our own way it’s difficult to know the best thing to say to someone who has had a miscarriage, especially if you haven’t been through it yourself.
Here are some ideas to help you help your friend:
- Express that you’re there for them and will provide support if they need it. Even saying something as simple as “I can’t imagine how you are feeling” or “I am so sorry for your loss” will show that you care about their feelings.
- Your friend could be feeling quite lonely so make sure you call, text, send a card and/or flowers – or even all of the above. They might not be up to responding to you, but at least you will be showing that you are thinking of them and leaving the door open should they want to reach out to you.
- Listen to what they say about their loss. They may have wished for this baby for longer than you know, a parent’s love for their baby isn’t measured by how old the baby was.
- Offer support to their partner, they’re most likely going through just as much so don’t leave them out of the equation if you can help it.
- Bereaved parents often find it hard to ask for help. Rather than saying “let me know if there’s anything I can do to help” make a specific offer of help that they can say a straight out yes or no to such as ” I’m going shopping later what should I pick up for you?” Don’t be upset if they refuse the offer but do make sure you keep offering every now and again – they may just take you up on it eventually!
- Many parents will welcome the opportunity to talk about their loss or how they are feeling. So ask, “how are you doing today?” as this will give them chance to open up. Remember not all will want to talk so be mindful of this too. Let them lead the conversation but show you care even if it’s upsetting for you too. Don’t be afraid to show your own feelings.
- Someone who has lost a baby may find it difficult to be around pregnant friends and/or young children. On the other hand some friends who are pregnant or have young children may avoid the parent who is grieving and this could further upset the grieving parent. If unsure maybe call and ask them or ask another family member.
- Gently encourage the parents to take the time they need to grieve and not to expect too much too soon of themselves.
- A phone call or visit or card on significant dates such as the baby’s due date may mean a great deal.
- Continue to keep in touch – time may pass but a loss is something that will remain with them for longer than just a few months.
Try not to:
- Delay in seeing them because you don’t quite know what to say.
- Unless you have been in the same situation try not to say that you know what they are going through.
- Suggest what a bereaved parent should be feeling or doing. We all grieve in our own way and telling them they shouldn’t cry or they should be over it by now may make them feel worse.
- To suggest to the parent that a new pregnancy or child will help lessen the grief of the child just lost.
- Find a way to explain the loss. Avoid saying things like “it just wasn’t meant to be” – this could be hurtful to them.
- It’s important not to forget the impact this can have on other siblings too as they often know a lot more than they may show at the time.
Do you have anything to add to this that might help? SHARE with us in the comments below.