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10 Ways to Help a Grieving Friend Through Pregnancy or Infant Loss

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The first time I remember hearing about infant loss was when a much older cousin of mine was told she lost one of her twins in utero.  I was probably 13 or so.  I understood what had happened and since then, I knew many other people that had lost their babies.  However, no one that I had been super close too had experienced loss, so this past year when both a best friend and my sister lost their babies, I had no idea what to really do for them.  I pray that I was there and supported them how they needed, but as I have reflected on the situation, I know I could have done more.

Fran Solomon, Founder of HealGrief.org says that a parent “will never get over the loss of {their} child”.  I can’t personally understand what any of these parents have gone through, but I can do the best I can to support and help them heal in their own time.  In my opinion, pregnancy, infant, and child loss are one of the least talked about topics, and instead of hiding from this sensitive subject, we should be there to support and understand the grieving family.

As a way to better myself in these situations and hopefully to help others, I’ve created a list of ten things you can do to help a grieving family through pregnancy or infant loss.

  • Just sit and listen
  • Cook Them Dinner (or order out for them/send them a giftcard for dinner)
  • Do Their Grocery Shopping (and other errands)
  • Clean up around the house
  • Do dishes
  • Do Laundry
  • Bring a basket of their favorite snacks, chocolate, ice cream
  • Bring a tree to plant so their can celebrate the life year after year
  • Take their other children out for a playdate (even if it’s just to the backyard)
  • Send a card that just says “Thinking of You” (1 month, 2 months, 3 months after the loss just to let them know that someone else hasn’t forgotten)

According to Solomon, you shouldn’t avoid talking to the family who lost a child and you shouldn’t say any of the following:

  • I know how you feel (instead let them experience and express their own grief)
  • Shouldn’t you be doing…. (Let them grieve how they want)
  • Everything happens for a reason
  • He/She is in a better place now.
  • God won’t give you more than you can handle.
  • Thank goodness you’re young and you can still have more children.

Instead offer support and understand and just be there as a friend, a family person, a coworker, etc. Everyone handles loss differently and it’s important to understand each person’s grieving process as it relates to them and their situation. And never forget.

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This post is in honor of my beautiful sister, my dear friend, and all other families that have experienced infant or child loss in their life.  

 

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