I found out last night that my friend from kindergarten lost his fourth child. 😥 They were 39 weeks along in their pregnancy. I can’t help but think of my little nephew at this time. He was just about as far along when we lost him. I was amazed, and still am, at the things that come out of people’s mouths in an effort to comfort at a time like this. I have not directly experienced this type of loss, so I am not an expert, but here are a few things to remember when trying to comfort friends/family who have lost a precious little one.
1. Don’t visit or call them if they have openly asked you (anyone) not to
2. Don’t tell them – their child is better off now
3. Don’t tell them – oh, you can have another one
4. Don’t tell them – you have 3 (or whatever the number) others to love and cherish
5. Don’t tell them – They are in a better place
6. Don’t minimize their loss
*While these things may be true, these words do not help the parents at all while they are initially grieving.
1. Acknowledge their loss
2. Ask what you can do to help
3. Be willing to talk/listen about their child – or NOT talk about their child
4. Love the parents
5. Respect their decisions without judging them (if they have a service (private or public) or not, etc.)
6. Understand that they are recovering from pregnancy/labor/delivery. Just because they didn’t get to bring their baby home doesn’t mean they are physically feeling up to – anything
7. Realize they will never forget their child, and neither should you
These lists do not cover everything to do/don’t do – the are just a small reminder that loss hurts no matter when or how it happens.
Pray for my friends, and those you know, who have lost someone ‘big’ or ‘little’.