One of the most heartbreaking experiences in any motherâ€™s life is when she experiences a miscarriage â€“ no matter how far along she is. With the loss of the child, she also loses the hopes, daydreams, and a very real bond that she has created. It is a life experience that is devastating and traumatic â€“ and often very lonely.
It can be difficult to know what to say or do if someone you know is dealing with this grief. Sometimes, even if it is your closest friend, that awkward feeling makes you avoid her at a time when you know that she needs you the most. Here are some ways to support her and help her through her grief.
Let Her Talk
She needs to have the freedom to talk about it when she wants to. This baby was as much a part of her life as any child would be. Let her talk as much as she needs to about her feelings and her pain. Whatever you do, donâ€™t tell her:
- You can always have more children.
- At least you lost it early.
- There was probably something wrong with it and it wouldnâ€™t have lived anyway.
- God knows best.
- It was Godâ€™s will.
There are more platitudes but you get the idea. Sometimes, if you donâ€™t know what to say it is better to say nothing at all.
There is nothing wrong with telling her that you donâ€™t know what to say, or that you are frustrated because you canâ€™t fix it for her. Be honest with her about your feelings of inadequacy; they are normal when someone you love is hurting.
Hugs, holding her, and crying with her are all good ways to express your love and caring. Just continually let her know that you are there for her no matter what.
Let Her Cry
Crying is a healthy way of releasing emotion. You might think she has cried enough and it is time to â€œsuck it up and get over itâ€ but she should be allowed to cry as long as she needs to. You donâ€™t have to do anything at all. A hug, or holding her in silence is just fine.
Let Her Grieve on Her Own Schedule
Some women are able to put the loss of a baby behind them and get on with their lives relatively quickly while others may grieve for months. Grief is a very personal matter and each person has their own way of going through it.
If she seems to be struggling longer than what you think is healthy or you suspect she might be dealing with depression, you can encourage her to talk to her doctor about the need for medication or counseling.
Help Her Pack
At some point she is going to have to put away anything she might have gotten to prepare for the new baby. This is extremely final and emotionally difficult. Help her put things away, bring her some tea, just sit and keep her company â€“ be sensitive to what she needs from you.
It is tough when someone you love goes through a miscarriage or any other type of grief. Remember that being there means more than any flowery phrase that you could come up with. It shows you care.
photo credit: Greg Hayter