Today, October 15th, is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day. So many families live in grief silenced by the propriety of our society. Today I want to lift up these families, these mothers, and fathers, and brothers, and sisters. I see you, I remember with you. You are loved. If you are reading this and have lost a child please, if you are comfortable, leave their name in the comments below so that I and others may remember them today and everyday.
For many of us it is so hard to relate to this loss and we do not know what to do or say to help our loved ones. Here is a list of 5 Ways to Support Family and Friends After a Miscarriage.
1) Let Them Grieve
The most helpful and important thing you can do is let them grieve. Validate their feelings of loss and grief. Don’t base the amount of their grief on the time of gestation 5 weeks or 20 weeks the pain is still the same. If they are using their child’s name be sure that you use it too.
Avoid using cliches like ‘everything happens for a reason’ or ‘it’s part of God’s plan’.
Just say SOMETHING! Reach out through phone, text, Facebook Message, snail mail, whatever and just say ‘I’m sorry for your loss’. They need to hear it, they need to know they aren’t alone. They need to know other care.
2) Bring a Meal or Start a Meal Train
Their family is under a bunch of emotional strain. The mother is under physical strain as well, her body until recently, held and nourished a baby. When a mother delivers a baby and goes home many times churches and friends stop by and drop off food while the family recovers from the birth yet hardly anyone does this if there was a miscarriage.
So drop off a meal, or set up a meal train for the family. There is nothing like food cooked with love to help you through a hard time.
There are many websites where you can set up a meal train for family and friends to schedule meals to bring. My favorites are www.takethemameal.com which also has the option to buy a meal to be sent to the family as well as scheduling a time to drop a meal off and www.mealtrain.com
3) Make a Remembrance Candle or Other Gift
On October 15th there is a wave of light. Candles are lit at 7PM in whatever timezone you are in to create a continuous to remember all the precious souls gone to soon. To help honor the child and their family make them a handmade candle they can light on this day or any day. A candle is often the perfect choice for reflection, and symbolises purity and light in the world.
You can also make and take the family many other gifts. They are probably in much pain, and the sight of various baby clothes and toys around them is likely to be quite distressing. One very thoughtful gift is to take all of the baby clothes they have and turn them into a baby clothes quilt. It may be quite emotional to see such a beautiful thing made out of such a painful experience, but they are sure to appreciate it and hold it close to them on those nights when they feel particular grief and loss.
Additionally, Rachel-isms on etsy makes gorgeous custom jewellery for moms and dads who have had a miscarriage.
A gift basket with the families favorite treats.
4) Tell Them It’s Not Their Fault
After a miscarriage many women have a million thoughts going through their head and are trying to figure out how this could have happened. They think ‘what if I’ or ‘maybe I should have’ and ‘what did I do’. Tell them that it is not their fault, they did nothing wrong. They need to hear those words!
5) Just Ask
Still unsure of what you can do to help? Just ask them. Say ‘I am so sorry for your loss, is there anything I can do for you?’ Maybe they need some help with dishes or housework. Or just want a friend to sit around and drink with them. Who knows, but asking what you can do for them is better than staying silent.
I hope this helps you support your loved ones during this time of grief. If you or anyone you know has gone through a miscarriage and is looking for more support check out these websites:
Free Remembrance Photographers | Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
Bereavement Doulas & Info on Infant and Pregnancy Loss Including Keepsake Ideas | Still Birthday
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Community | Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
Share Your Story and Connect With Others | Faces of Loss