Helping a Friend Through MiscarriageDevan McGuinness
Miscarriage has been a topic of discussion in the media lately. Most of the discussion has been centered around a family who suffered the loss of their child at just 5 months gestation. Fingers were pointed, blame was thrown and little was said about how to help.
Miscarriage is said to occur in as many as 1 in 5 pregnancies. With those statistics many of you will know someone who has experienced one — whether or not you know it. With this effecting so many people you would think we would be more open about talking about loss and grief associated with miscarriage. It’s not a lack of desire for us to talk about our loss — but I think it’s a lack of overall understanding that we need to talk. Click through to read how you can help someone through miscarriage:
Listen but don’t push: The grief caused by miscarriage can be very conflicting. Riddled with questions, guilt and anger it can be sometimes hard to articulate through the fog. Offer to be there (but truly only if you mean it) – offer to listen or read her words if it’s easier for her to write. Don’t push her to talk about her feelings but let her know you are there.
Acknowledge her loss: Don’t fear ‘making her upset’ by talking about her child and her loss. She is likely already upset and asking her questions, engaging in a conversation about her loss and her child can help reassure her you care. If she has given her child a name — refer to her child by their name.
Send a meal/flowers/card/chocolate: If you can’t be there in person with your friend but wish to show a token that you care send them something through the mail. Something as simple as a card or her favorite flowers can be a physical token that there are people who care, acknowledge and love you.
Be mindful of what you say: This one is important but it is also important to note that saying the ‘wrong thing‘ is just as bad as saying nothing at all. It can be hard for some people to know what to say to someone who has experienced a death and that can be what might keeps you from doing anything for fear of doing it wrong. When in doubt just say ‘I’m so sorry‘ and check in with them once in a while.
For more tips and suggestions read How to Help Someone Who’s Had a Miscarriage
photo credit: adapted from deeners via Flickr