Lifestyle

10 things to NOT say to someone who is grieving

Listen, i know this is a touchy subject. Lots of raw emotions and not knowing what to do or say. Going through a miscarriage myself, I experienced so many people reaching out with love. Even though my late term miscarriage was the last thing I expected to happen to me, some of the things people said to me were also the last thing I expected. People have good intentions, GREAT intentions. In fact some of the most amazing, wonderful and loving people in my life said some of these things. I feel its because people simply just do not know what to do or say in these situations. I’ve had multiple people reach out to me since my miscarriage and said, “my sister, cousin, friend or whoever just had one what should I do?” Maybe, just maybe this will help when you come across somebody who is grieving.

  1. “At least”– this statement stung to the bone. At least statement was awful for me. For example, “at least you got to carry your baby for 14 weeks” “at least you got pregnant” “at least you had the miscarriage now and not later”. No, just no. Try to avoid ANY statement with  at least in it.
  2. “There is a bigger plan for them and you”– Yes, I understand that, but at this moment I want my baby. The bigger plan is difficult to look at in this moment in time. Maybe I will see that once I experience the emotion, take a breath and a step back.
  3. “God needed them more right now”- But wait, I needed them. I want them. I want to hold them, laugh with them, see them smile and hug them. I want to be selfish and have my baby here. Not in heaven, but with me.
  4. “Time heals all wounds”- To me it almost felt like saying this means after time passes you won’t be sad, grieve or think about it anymore. Thats not the case… whether it is infertility, losing a child or miscarriage you will ALWAYS have that ache in your heart. That yearning for your baby’s touch, having your family together and see that face you created. Time helps you learn to grieve better, but doesnt heal the wound.
  5. “This happened to my friend once”– This was a difficult one for me, even though I LOVED every email from every person after talking, reading emails and all the text messages it got very difficult. One person telling me their story turned into 5 stories to 30 stories to MANY stories. It was depressing, sad and honestly made me cry. I had to relive my pain through each story and I wanted to just get my mind off of it. Unless the person ask for what happened or your experience try to refrain from telling yours or someone you know story…
  6. “I know exactly what you’re going through”– But do you? Because no one really does. One woman experiencing a miscarriage is not going to be the same as my miscarriage. One woman experience a death of her child is not the same for another woman. One woman going through infertility isn’t the same as another woman. We all go through different trails and tribulations and take them very differently. We may have an idea, but don’t know exactly what they are going through, every experience is unique.
  7.  “Oh a lot of woman go through this”– uggggh. This I got SO much. I wanted to say, “no its not normal to have a missed miscarriage and at 14 weeks.” I get it, a lot of women go through miscarriages, but does that make it any easier? Absolutely not. This statement does not make it easier, it just makes me sad. It is awful so many woman go through that, losing a child. I will spear you the details of the horrific events my husband and I had to endure going through the miscarriage, but if some people only knew a sliver of it I feel they wouldn’t say it.  Just because your neighbor, friend, you or cousin went through it does not make the person feel better.
  8. “Stay positive”– Saying this is almost making the person feel that they can’t feel the sadness and go through the grieving process they need to. I feel genuinely I am happy most of the time, I love my family, husband and life, but we just went through an awful event in our life. It is okay to feel angry, sad, upset and all other emotions when going through these trails. It is important to feel your emotions so you can work through the trail.
  9. “You’ll have more kids soon”– Yes, I hope… but you or I don’t know that. We don’t know the medical situation of their body. In fact for me my miscarriage was not normal, medically it is not safe to try again for almost 3-5 months. What IF they can’t get or stay pregnant? What if complications happen again? What if it takes years? We never know.
  10. Make a reason or an excuse- For my instance a lot of people don’t know, but my baby was missing some chromosomes. I still have people from work, church or friends still say to me that don’t know exactly what happened say “theres a reason why you didn’t have them” ohhhh, cringe. We don’t know all the answers or reasons and sometimes that is okay. Don’t try to make one.

 

TRY SAYING or DOING:

*This is important* as much as some things made me tilt my head when people said or did things there were far more people who made me cry from the love that was poured into our home. I couldn’t believe the sweet emails, texts, gestures and little gifts from people. Here are some things you can do or say to someone who is grieving a child, death, miscarriage or infertility.

  1. “I am so sorry this is happening to you”– This was huge for me. Just to know that they felt that.
  2. “I am here for you” – To know people are there for me was amazing. The love and support is really what helped my grieving process.
  3. Just take something over– This was something I was so grateful for. I am a person who doesn’t handle people doing things for me very well. It is hard for me to allow people to help me, because I don’t ever want to put people out. I had the sweetest friend/neighbor in my church who texted me and asked if she could bring me dinner and I told her it was okay and I was fine (even though the last thing my husband and I wanted to do was cook). I didn’t want to put her out, even though we just spent the whole night in the ER and she didn’t even know it. But she just stopped by anyways and quickly just dropped off an amazing home cooked stew, bread and brownies. My husband and I appreciated it SO MUCH. I truly felt so grateful for her to feed my little family.
  4. “Your family is in our prayers and thoughts”– Wow. Thank you for taking a small moment of your day to think of my family.
  5. Just give a hug- My sister was out of the country when it happened so I wasn’t able to talk to her, but the second she got home she came over and brought an amazing meal. She hugged me so tight and just sat there. She didn’t even need to say anything, her hug made me know she loved me.
  6. Give a little gift/made me think of you- This again is something very hard for me. I appreciate anything anyone does for me… big or small. So when people did anything for me it really did brighten my day. I had a friend txt me a quote of holding your husbands hand and said this made me think of you, i loved it. Almost 2 months later Keloni’s friend gave us a picture of Jesus Christ holding a baby… yeah I bawl everytime I pass by it.

 

It has been 3 1/2 months since we had our missed miscarriage and I still to this day cry. I have days I’m fine, but days where I am sad. Little things like seeing someone pregnant around where I should be, thinking about how big my baby should be or that we should have our nursery. So the grieving is such a process.  I want to say again I appreciate every email, text and call from people I knew and didn’t know! I understand people had all the best intentions, but I hope this helps people a little bit when someone they know goes through one of these trials or going through a grieving process.

 

If  you want to watch my video of telling my story about my miscarriage you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H5g-xF5u-E

Xoxo, Kat

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