Friday, January 13, 2012

Things NOT to say...

In My Support group, we were talking a little about what some people say.  I looked up some articles, this is one I found, tweaked a little by yours truly.

Things Not To Say when someone has a loss:

Don’t start any sentence with “At least. . . .”
• “At least you didn’t have time to really love her.”
(I do love my baby, she was a part of me, I knew her habits, her taps...)
• “At least she’s in heaven now.”
(She is, but that doesn't mean I don't have a selfish bone in me that wishes she was still with me, at least is just a awful word to use)
• "At least you have other children."
(Yes I do.  But my child does NOT replace the one that's not here)
• "At least that's one less mouth you'll have to feed."
(I would feed 10 other mouths, if that meant I could have my one mouth back...)
• "At least it didn't have to go through the pain of birth."
(I'm sorry, I did, and I would do it again)

Don’t attempt to minimize the other person’s pain.• "It's okay, you can have other children."
(Maybe I can, what if I can't?  Either way those "other children" will NEVER replace the one that's gone)

Don’t try to explain what God is doing behind the scenes.
• “I guess God knew you weren’t ready to be parents yet.”
(WHAT!? Say this if you want a nice throat punch)
• "Now you'll find out who your friends are."
(Who cares? I would rather not know who my friends are and have my baby)
• "This baby must have just not been meant to be."
• "There must have been something wrong with the baby."
(*sigh* I would have loved her regardless)
Don’t blame the other person:
• “If you had more faith, your daughter would be healed.”
(I have faith.  She wasn't healed.  That's not ALL it takes.)
• “You are not praying hard enough.”
• "Maybe God is punishing you. Have you done something sinful?"
(I'm about to...)
• "Oh, you're not going to let this get you down, are you?"
(Probably a little bit. Get over it)
• "Couldn't you have done something about it?"
(Really? Why don't you HELP me beat myself up?)

Don’t compare what the other person is going through to ANYTHING else or anyone else’s problem:
• "It's not as bad as that time I. . ."
(you what? Lost your baby? Because that's the only thing that remotely compares)
• "Oh, I know exactly how you feel."
(See above parenthesis)

Don’t use the word “should”:
• "You should be happy/grateful that God is refining you."
(I should be happy that He took my baby? Because that's what you just said.)

Don’t use cliches and platitudes:
• "Look on the bright side."
• “He’s in a better place.”
• “She’s an angel now.”
• “He’s with the Lord.”
(I can say these things, and you can think them, but it's not always comforting to hear them from someone else)
Don’t instruct the person:
• “Remember that God is in control.”
(I know He is, please don't continue to tell me...)
• “Remember, all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 is powerful to comfort oneself, but it can feel like being bludgeoned when it comes from anyone else.)


Grief is a process. No one ever "gets over" the loss of a child.

Don't avoid the parents. Acknowledge the anniversary of the couples' stillborn delivery. It allows people to know they are not alone and that others are grieving too.

Avoid telling them about other miscarriages or stillbirths. They have enough to deal with now.
(unless you are experiencing this, I don't want to know about your friend of a friend of a friend that's going through this.)

Show sensitivity. Acknowledge that other's happy news may be painful for the grieving parents. Don't be angry at them if they can't attend a baby shower, baptism, or other ceremony at this time. They probably already feel guilty and isolated enough. (!!!!!!)

Please do not take offense to this post.  I did this for other loss moms too.  It isn't always seen that we are still hurting, even years down the road.  I hurt for my friends that hurt, and my family that hurts.  I know the pain of this experience, and it is heart wrenching that anyone has felt it.  It will never go away, just become more bearable. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen Ruthy! People just do not realize how hurtful some comments are. I was told most of the things on your list plus some. One that I really did not need to hear was that I should really consider adoption. I was told this a month or two after our loss.

    This is your cousin Jennifer by the way!
    Love you