All this week on our site we are talking about miscarriage, infertility and loss. As someone who has been through it all from recurrent pregnancy loss (miscarriages) to most recently the loss of our little baby girl Afton; I wanted to share a few ideas on what to do for a friend or loved one who is going through such heartache. These are simple ideas written out, but to the one you are reaching out to, it means the world.
5 sweet things to do for a friend who has experienced loss
1. Acknowledge their loss. The number one thing to do for a friend who has experienced a loss whether it be a miscarriage or the loss of a baby is to simply acknowledge their loss, their pain, their grief. Hug them, cry with them, let them know that you care. So many times I hear people say that they didn't know what to say, so they didn't say anything. This is the worst thing to do. Remember it's not about you and the uncomfortableness you might feel in starting this conversation; it's about them. Even if it feels awkward, do it! As someone who has gone through such heartache, to hear "I'm so sorry" means so much, even if that is all that is said.
2. A handwritten card means more than you know. In this day of technology of quick tweets, comments and emails; there is something so special about a handwritten card or note. After my baby girl passed and I was in the thick of it. I cherished the cards that we received. For a non-saver, I saved them all. These cards and notes are like a little yearbook of the short life my baby girl had here on this earth and they mean so much to me.
3. Remember their grief a few months later. So much love and support happens all at once, but the heartache remains months after the loss. Set a reminder on your phone to call your friend a few weeks or months later to let them know you are still thinking of them and you care. A simple phone call or email can mean so much.
4. A small personalized gift. Something with the baby's name on it or something tangible to mark the life that was lost is so special. I had a few dear friends give me things with my sweet little Afton's name engraved on them (see the key chain above). It doesn't have to be a big thing, something small is almost better.
5. Bring dinner. You know the saying: "Food is love"? It's true. I had a few dear friends show up on our doorstep with their arms full of a food for my family, meals that they had prepared. I still get teary just thinking about it. We cried together on my porch. I was so grateful. They brought things that we could eat that night or just pop in the fridge or the freezer for a later date.
If there is anything I would say NOT to do it would be to say: "Let me know if you need anything". I love this quote below as it explains why:
"If you came upon a person who was drowning, would you ask if he needs help, or would it be better to just jump in and save him from the deepening waters. The offer whilst well-meaning and often given: 'let me know if I can help?' is really no help at all." - Ronald A. Rasband
Have you experienced a loss of some sort? If so what were some of the kind things people did for you?
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