Advice For Friends
If you are a friend or family member, knowing what to do or say when someone has lost her baby can be hard. Never avoid the family because you don’t know what to do or say. Know that your presence and willingness to be there for the family can be the most important thing. Here is a list of some ideas that may help.
- Be sure to let your genuine concern and caring show.
- Be available to help in any way you can... watching the kids, cleaning the house, preparing dinner, etc... (Don’t make her ask for help, just jump in when needed)
- Be available to listen when she wants to talk, but don’t make her. Be sure to allow her to express all her feelings. If she wants to talk—LISTEN.
- Tell her you are sorry about what happened and the pain she is going through, but unless you have been through it yourself, do not say that you know what she is going through.
- Let her know the pain she is going through is normal.
- Encourage the family to be patient with themselves, and not to push or impose any “shoulds” on themselves.
- Allow them to talk about their loss as much as they want to. Remember the dad, kids, grandparents, etc...all may be hurting.
- Remember they may still need your caring and support weeks and even months after the tragedy. Everyone deals with loss differently.
- Do not let your own fear of not knowing what to do keep you from reaching out to the family.
- Do not try and tell them what they should do or feel.
- Never change the subject when they are talking about the loss of their loved one.
- Don’t be afraid to mention their loss out of fear of reminding them of their pain. You can be sure they haven’t forgotten.
- Never point out “at least you have other children, etc...”
- Don’t tell them they could always have another.
- Avoid telling them they should be grateful for what they have.
- Never make any comments that suggest the loss was in any way their fault. (They will have plenty of feelings of doubt and guilt without the help of friends.)