Your friend or a family member has just informed you that they had a miscarriage or a stillborn. What do you say or do? This can be one of the most difficult questions because you do not want to say the wrong thing and increase their pain. Heres a few tips of what I noticed my friends did for me.
- Allow them to talk without interrupting: One of the things that helped me the most was being able to talk and share. If someone interrupted I would shut down. Allow your loved one to talk and get out their feelings.
- Let them feel how they feel and don’t diminish those feelings: Try your hardest not to tell them how they should feel. Everyone reacts differently. They may react differently than you would and so long as they are not a danger to themselves or anyone else it is ok for them to feel how they do.
- Invite them places/Send a text/Basically just contact them: Invite them out. This reminds them that you are there and you care. They may say no to going out or not even respond to your call or text but trust me it means a lot.
- Let them sit in silence: When hurting sometimes you just need to be but you may not want to be alone. Allow them to sit in silence with you.
- Be available when they need you: If they call you at 1 am understand they may need to talk. They are trusting you with their pain be available to them.
- Acknowledge their pain: One thing my best friend did this for me and it helped above all. She told me that while she had never lost a child so did not know exactly how I felt she could see I was hurting and she hurt for me. My friend acknowledged my pain and let me know it was ok to be hurt around her. She didn’t judge me or tell me to heal faster. This meant everything to me. She empathized with me without trying to fix it because she understood this was not something that could be fixed.
Being with a friend who has lost a child will hurt you emotionally too. Try to focus on them and what they need. It will be important to their healing to know they have someone they can turn to and depend on. Remember they may feel anger at some points so if they lash out or reject your offer of sympathy do not take it personally. Just keep trying and give them the time that they need.
For more of an idea of what they may be experiencing please read the entire series