Often times we say things to others not realizing the magnitude of our words. Today I want to encourage you to be mindful of the things that you say to others when they have experienced child loss. Sometimes the things that we think are helpful are the very words that hurt others the most.
Here is a list of things to NOT say to a mother who has lost a child:
1. At least you can get pregnant
We should never compare one woman's struggle to another. Although it is a blessing to become pregnant, no mother ever imagines losing her child.
2. Be grateful for the children you have
You can love your living children and grieve the one you lost at the same time.
3. You should be done grieving by now
Grief has no timeline. Mothers will forever mourn the child they lost. They may get through it but they will never get over it.
4. Maybe it wasn't meant to be
This statement can often times make mothers feel like they did something wrong or the loss was their fault.
5. Everything happens for a reason
No mother could ever fathom there being a good reason for losing her baby.
6. Just pray about it
God is good and He hears our every cry but when you tell a mother to "just pray" it makes her feel as though maybe she wasn't spiritual enough or religious enough before the loss. Or that if they would have prayed harder, they wouldn't have loss their child.
7. You can always try again
A rainbow baby will never be the angel baby. The rainbow baby will not take the place of the angel baby. A rainbow baby will not make the grief and love for the angel child disappear.
8. "At least"
Never compare. Never. Whether you had a miscarriage at 10 weeks, 15 weeks, stillbirth at 25 weeks or 40 weeks, there will never be an at least. A loss is a loss and no loss is more difficult or traumatic than the other.
Things You CAN say to a woman who has lost a baby:
Simply say their babies name
I am sorry for your loss, how can I support you?
Remember you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself.
Grief has no timeline. Take as much time as you need.
If you would like to talk about your loss, I am here for you.
When someone is in the middle of a traumatic situation, the way that they process information may be different than before the trauma. Just because you said something the way you meant it does not mean that is how they will hear it. Think before you speak and know that your words have power. Negativity can be a grievers default.