Total Pageviews

Monday, 13 July 2015

What not to say to a grieving parent

The following blog post is written not just from what I have heard myself but also from other grieving parents. It hurts my heart hearing some of the things others have had to hear at a time when their hearts are already shattered into a million pieces. 

I know that it can be uncomfortable and awkward knowing what to say and what not to say when talking to someone after they experience the loss of their child. I don't claim to be an expert on grief at all. I am sure I've said unhelpful things before too. I suggest you keep it simple, especially if you really have no idea how they are feeling if you have not experienced loss yourself. 

I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby / daughter / son. 
I cannot imagine what your going through.
Please tell me if there is anything practical that I can do for you. 

                                     What not to say! 
- you don't want twins anyway, they can be born with all sorts of problems
- oh well it was survival of the fittest
- you need to get over it 
- it wasn't meant to be
- obviously for the best 
- you can have another baby
- obviously there was something wrong with your baby, nature does these things for the best
- you knew something was wrong, so you can't be that upset about it
- I know how you are feeling, my budgie (dog, cat, alligator) died last week
- this is your bodies way of telling you no more babies 
- you were only __ number of weeks, so I wouldn't count it as a loss
- you were not meant to have a girl /boy
- they probably had something really wrong with them
- it happens to everyone
- You can always have more children
- your young
- at least you won't have to deal with a disabled child
- when your a parent you'll understand
- stop crying or you'll make me cry
- you must have something great coming your way soon
- it's not really a baby at that stage
- you already have a boy and a girl 
- thank goodness, surely you don't want to go back to the night feeds and nappy stage!
- so do you call yourself a mum now?
- you have 2 already though, right?
- no wonder your crying, you still have the hormones going around
- at least it passed early so it's not really that big of a loss
- at least you didn't have to see it, that would have been awful
- just get pregnant straight away, that way  it'll be like it never happened
- it's time to get over it 
- your lucky it happened, can you imagine having 4 kids?
- at least you know you can get pregnant 
- an anaesthetist said - aren't you lucky on days like today my service is free!
- he's in a better place 
- you should be grateful for the kids you already have
- eventually you'll get over it 
- next time you can be healthier and be less stressed
- God did this for a reason
- you'll make a good mum SOMEDAY
- please don't put your grief on me 
- life goes on
- you really dodged a bullet
- imagine if you lost an older child, that would be so much worse
- be glad you don't have to be a single parent 
- you might want to save that name for a REAL baby
- Yay! You can still get the baby bonus 
- I don't know how you could touch a dead baby
- things could have been a lot worse 
- at least the morning sickness stopped 

There really is nothing that will make a person feel better about losing their child. Having a miscarriage or stillbirth is gut wrenching and soul destroying. Seeing a person in pain can make you feel helpless, so imagine how the conversation is for the person you are speaking too. Nothing you can say will bring their child back, and probably nothing you say will make them feel better about their loss either, but knowing that you care for them and support them will mean a lot. The acknowledgement of their baby is a huge deal, so skirting around this won't make them feel better. It will just make them feel more isolated. If you know their babies name, then say it. Their baby deserves to have their name said. 

Some of the above comments were to try and help, and others were just plain nasty. I'm very glad that I have been really well supported since losing Ava Grace.

Nothing that is said to me can hurt my soul anymore than holding my silent, still daughter in my arms. However, words spoken can help my broken heart - a little bit at a time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi, I would love to hear from you and hear about your story! Leave me a message :)