How do you know what to say to someone who has lost a baby? It can be a challenging thing to find the right words to express your sorrow for a loved one’s loss. There are also some things that you might want to say that are not entirely appropriate.
Losing a baby is devastating for the parents and even those around them. While you may be feeling the loss, the parents are feeling much worse. There is no way to understand this feeling unless you have gone through it yourself.
That being said, there are still things that you can say and do to let them know they are in your thoughts. If you try to ignore it or do not say anything, it can be worse than saying the wrong thing. They are in need of support and talking about it helps no matter what.
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What Not to Say
The phrases below may seem like good things to say and might be something that you think you would want to hear at a time like this. However, certain things are pretty insensitive and can do more harm than good.
- “He/she is in a better place.”
- The best place for a baby is in its parent’s arms, or at least that might be how some parents feel.
- “You can always have another.”
- “It’s all in God’s plan.”
- Not everyone harbors the same religious beliefs.
- The idea of a higher power targeting people to go through that kind of pain does not seem comforting.
- Those that do believe in a higher power may have their faith tested in times like these.
- “At least you were not further along.”
- “At least you already have a child.”
- “It could have been worse.”
- “Now you will have an angel in heaven.”
- “I know how you feel.”
- Unless you have experienced losing a child yourself, this is not a wise thing to say.
- “At least…”
- ‘At least’ anything probably will not do any good.
- “I do not know how you manage to keep it together.”
- Do they have another option? If anything, say the opposite.
What to Say
With all of the things you probably should not say, there are things that will be comforting and helpful to the parents. They may not be as plentiful, but they can be more meaningful.
- Offer to help them with their older children.
- “It is okay to stop keeping it together.”
- “That sucks.”
- It is okay to not have much to say or not know what else to say. As long as you acknowledge their pain and grief, it is enough.
Things You Can Do when They Lose a Baby
You are probably trying to figure out what you can do for a friend who lost a baby. Many things will not only be a comfort but will also help your friend to come to terms with the situation.
- Even if you are not Jewish, sitting Shiva is a powerful and wise tradition. The food and company will be a comfort to the parents, and they will not have to worry about anything other than grieving for a week.
- A seven day period of mourning allows the family to receive visitors who bring them food and sit with them.
- Flowers are a nice gift, especially if they bloom around the same time every year. It can be nice to have a memorial such as this.
- Another good gift for someone who lost a baby is jewelry. This can be subtle and a birthstone is a nice touch.
- A card with a poem or quote can be comforting. Lost baby quotes and lost baby poems are plentiful, and can be a real help having some solidarity in this event.
Do normal things
- Going with your friend to the movies or out to lunch can contribute to getting life back to a semblance of normal.
Help the parents remember
- Helping them to remember will be helpful since most people will forget that it happened.
Do not force it
- It is going to take a little bit of time before your loved ones are okay. It may be tempting, but telling them to get over it is not helpful, and may only bring more pain.
Knowing what to say to someone who has lost a baby can be a difficult thing. This devastating event in your loved ones’ lives will not just go away. It will stay with them forever, and showing that you support them might be the only thing you can do. Being sensitive and supportive is the best thing that you can do for them.