Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Help when Talking

After my miscarriage, a couple of people have told me that they just did not know what to say to me, so they didn't say anything at all.  Besides that, some people would say the worst things possible.  Things that really hurt.  So, after talking to some friends and receiving some help, I have come up with some things that are helpful to say to someone who has experienced a loss and some things that were very hurtful and not helpful at all.

What to Say
*I am very sorry for your loss* - This is the most simple, but it is also one of the most beneficial.

*I don't know what to say* - Be honest, but also be there.

*I am thinking of you* - Just let the person know you care.

*If you ever want to talk, I am here to listen* - Don't just say this.  Actually be there to listen.  No matter what.  When a person experiences loss, they go through many stages.  They could be happy, sad, angry, crying, or laughing.  They could also be all of these at the same time.  Just be there.  They will appreciate it.

*I can't imagine what you are going through* - Again, be honest.  Let them know that you don't know how they feel, but that you care.

*Other things that helped are hugs, shoulders to cry on, and asking if they need help with anything like cooking or cleaning (then follow through with helping them).*

What NOT to Say
*You can always try again (At least you're young, you can always have more)* - Some women can't try to get pregnant again, and if they can, it doesn't mean that they did not want their Angel baby.  Plus they will have all these new fears, if and when, they do get pregnant again.

*Everything happens for a reason (Some things just aren't meant to be)* - While this seems like a good thing to say, it does not always make the person feel better (especially if they don't know the reason or can't find out the reason).

*You were lucky* - I do not know what makes people think you were lucky when you lost a child, but there is nothing lucky about it.  Even though I was blessed that I did not bleed more or receive permanent damage from the miscarriage, I was not lucky when I lost my child.  And neither were any of the other women who lost their children.

*At least you weren't that far along*  - It does not matter how far along a women is in her pregnancy, she is carrying a human being, a person, another life inside of her.  Whether she loses her child when she is 2 weeks pregnant or 32 weeks pregnant, she has lost apart of herself.  She has lost a child.

*It's for the best (it's a good thing)*  - Another very inconsiderate thing to say.  I'm sure the best thing to happen was not losing a child.  Even if the parents could not afford to raise a child, they do not want their child to pass away.

*You should be thankful for the children you do have* - I am sure that all moms know this.  If they have other children, I am sure they are thankful for them.  Probably even more thankful for them after the loss.

*You just weren't ready to have children* - Many woman have unplanned pregnancies, but it does not mean that they aren't ready.  Most of the time, motherly instincts kick in immediately, and mothers do everything in their power to become ready for their children.  We would do anything for our children.  And, I mean anything.

*It's not okay to cry, be sad, or be angry* - Unless you have been in the situation, you don't know how it feels.  You don't know the emotions that women, men, and families go through.  It is okay to cry.  It is okay to be sad.  It is okay to be angry.  And, it is okay to show these emotions!

*It's your fault* - This was not personally said to me, and I am so happy it wasn't because I may have punched the person that said it.  I mean how stupid and inconsiderate could you be.  Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

*Other things that hurt and do not help are when people pretend they don't see you, they don't talk to you, or they refuse to acknowledge your child.  Don't avoid the subject because you think you will be reminding mothers about their child because trust me they do not forget.  They will never forget. And, acknowledge their child.  If a mother has named her child, use the child's name when talking about him or her.  It lets the mother know that you care.*

Thank you to all of the ladies who gave me their input and helped me with this post.  Thank you Tracy Wantenaar, Cathy, and all of the other ladies who would like to remain anonymous.

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