3 Things NOT to Say to Your Friend Experiencing Pregnancy Loss
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. We've talked before about healing after miscarriage and have shared husbands' experiences of loss. We also gave suggestions on how to support a friend after a miscarriage. Today, let's talk about what NOT to say to a friend or family member who is experiencing a pregnancy loss.
1. "How can I help?" You might be saying, excuse me what? How is this not supportive?! Let me explain. The person saying this really has their heart in the right place. Truly, they do. However, someone in proximate grief is going to struggle to come up with something. Many people have a hard time asking for help as well. Instead, try offering 3 options, such as dropping off a freezer meal (already frozen and ready to go in the freezer since they might be getting a lot of fresh meals in the immediate aftermath of their loss), picking up groceries, or sending them a food delivery gift card.
2. "Everything happens for a reason." This one again is coming from a good place. You are probably trying to make your friend feel better. Unfortunately, this is likely to have the opposite effect. As a general rule, don't make meaning for your friend. Prioritize being with them over trying to make it better because you don't have the power to make it better. They lost their baby, and no one can make it better. Also avoid saying things like "your baby is an angel now." This is theologically incorrect and again, is an attempt at making meaning for the other person. Stick to a simple "I'm so sorry for your loss."
3. "You can always adopt." I can see the good intention behind this one, but please do not say it. In the same vein, don't say, "you can always try again" or "God will send the perfect baby for your family." These are all attempts to try to make the other person feel better, which again is not something you can do. Allowing your friend to grieve is important. They will move onto to what the future has in store for them when they're ready.
If you are looking for more ideas on how to support a friend after loss, you can find some here.