Experiencing a miscarriage can be an incredibly challenging and devastating time for an individual and their loved ones. As a friend or family member, it is crucial to offer support and understanding to help your loved one navigate through their grief journey. In this article I will outline some valuable ways you can provide comfort and empathy during such a delicate time in your loved ones life.
Words to Avoid:
1. "It was for the best": Minimizing the loss by suggesting it's for the best can invalidate their grief and overlook the profound impact the miscarriage had on their emotional well-being.
2. "You can always try again": While well-intentioned, this comment may disregard their current pain, as it overlooks the significance and uniqueness of their loss.
3. "It happened for a reason": This phrase can imply that there was a purpose behind their loss, which may contradict their grief experience and complicate their healing process.
4. "At least you have other children": Comparing their current situation to the presence of living children can dismiss the very real sense of loss for their unborn child.
5. "Don't dwell on it" or "Move on": Pushing them to move past their loss prematurely can inhibit the grieving process and create additional emotional distress.
What can I SAY instead?
1. I know there is nothing to say to make the pain go away. I'll sit in this pain with you. I'm here, and I'll be with you every step of the way.
2. I'm so sorry for your loss. Please know that I care about you deeply.
3. You did nothing wrong.
4. It's okay to grieve and feel a wide range of emotions. I'm here to listen and offer comfort whenever you need it.
5. This is devastating, and I can only imagine how you're feeling right now. Take the time you need to heal.
6. Your experience, your dreams and life of the baby you lost matter. I'm here to honor and remember your them with you.
7. You are going to have ups and downs in the coming days, weeks, and months. I'll support you through every phase of your healing journey.
8. There's no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone copes differently, and I'll respect and support whatever approach you take.
9. Lean into your tribe for support, including me. I won't let you go through this alone.
10. Where do you need the extra support in your life right now? I would like to start by dropping off supper on ______. I will arrange a drop off time with __(your partner)__.
11. I'm holding space for you, whenever you're ready to talk but I'll be ready for you.
12.You're not alone. When you are ready and/or open to support network groups, I would love to invite you into my local (support group)
13. Your feelings are valid and important. Do not be rushed through your grieving process by anyone or anything.
15. There's no timeline for healing, and everyone's journey is different. Take all the time you need, and I'll be here on the darkest and brightest days. I'm right by your side.
What can I DO? Supportive Actions:
1.Be an empathetic listener: Simply hold a safe and non-judgemental space for your loved one to express their thoughts and emotions. Allow them to share their story, fears, and frustrations without feeling rushed or invalidated.
2. Offer practical assistance: Help with any daily chores, such as cooking meals, running errands, or taking care of their children or pets. This practical support can provide much-needed relief during their healing process.
3. Educate yourself: Take the time to understand the process of pregnancy loss and the emotions involved. Reading books or reliable online resources can help you better support your friend by offering accurate information and advice, if necessary.
4. Respect their grieving process: Grief is unique to each individual, so avoid comparing their experience to others or offering generic timelines for them to "move on." Allow them to grieve at their own pace and validate their emotions throughout the journey.
5. Offer comfort-oriented gestures: Express your care through thoughtful gestures like sending a heartfelt card or flowers, providing a cozy blanket, or offering a soothing aromatherapy candle. Acknowledging their loss shows that you are there for them.
6. Show up for them: Your loved one is probably experiencing one of the darkest days of her life. Come and wrap your arms around her, send her a tea, send flowers, show up with a pan of brownies and a box of kleenex.
7. Stay in touch: Continue to check in on your loved one regularly, even after some time has passed. Grief can be a long and winding road, so offering ongoing support reassures them that they are not alone.
8. Offer child care: Does your loved one have older kids? Take them for a few hours and bring them to your home or out for an activity. She will crave this alone time where she can sit in her feelings and process how she see's fit without having to be emotionally and physically present with her older kids.
9. Remember them & their baby: Enter the baby's "due date" into your calendar and send them a gentle message on that special day letting them know that you are thinking of them. Light a candle. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is an annual day of remembrance observed on October 15 for pregnancy loss and infant death, which includes miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, ectopic pregnancy, termination, and the death of a newborn. Light a candle & send them a picture.
10. Nourish them: Consider nourishing your loved one by dropping off a delicious comforting meal or consider ordering a Nourishment Bundle from Nurture & Nourish which includes: Each package includes : ☕️ 1 L Golden Milk latte ( with dairy free milk) 🫖 1 L Rest and Replenish Herbal Tea 🥣 1 L Bone Broth 🍪 Package of nutrient dense snacks 🧈 250 ml Organic Ghee. Jenna can do local deliveries
11: Consider gifting them additional loss support from a doula. Early birth (Miscarriage) Support
Similar to childbirth, the unexpected end of a pregnancy can greatly benefit from the presence of someone offering in-person comfort and reassurance throughout the journey. It is not uncommon for individuals who have experienced a miscarriage to express a desire for companionship during the process. " I wish I didn't have to do this alone." You no longer have to. In the absence of support, clients who experience a miscarriage at home may encounter worries about typical blood loss and discomfort.
However, with the guidance and support of an experienced individual, these concerns can be easily alleviated, allowing for a more comforting and even positive experience. By having the support of a doula throughout your miscarriage, what is often described as a stressful and solitary ordeal can be transformed into a solace-filled and potentially transformative journey.
Supporting a loved one through a miscarriage requires empathy, compassion, and respect for their individual grief journey. By providing practical assistance, staying informed, and offering comfort-oriented gestures, you can lend a meaningful hand during this difficult time. Remember, choosing your words carefully and avoiding hurtful statements will ensure your support remains comforting and understanding.
It is crucial to understand that even after an early pregnancy loss, the emotional impact and grief experienced by your loved one may persist long after the physical process has ended. While it may seem that the loss is in the past, it does not mean that they have completely moved on or are suddenly okay. It is essential to provide ongoing support and understanding as they navigate this complex and challenging journey of healing. Remember that their grief may ebb and flow, and they may face unexpected triggers or moments of sadness even months later. By standing by their side, offering a listening ear, and acknowledging the depth of their emotions, you can provide the nurturing support they need to heal at their own pace.
Share in the comments below how you supported someone in your life through a loss.
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