Thank you for taking the time to read about how to best support a grieving family.
Remember that, for most of us, everything is a trigger. Be patient and open. If you haven’t lost a baby yourself, you can’t fully understand: be glad you can’t and try to follow their lead.
They will mostly be cocooning and they will be easily comparable with a porcupine (this is how I picture myself).
Keep sending messages and offers of help.
Go visit them and offer to meet up.
Offer to take care of the older children, to prepare food, to go through the mail…anything that seems useful.
Please keep doing this even if they push you away; keep doing this well beyond the first weeks.
They will need you eventually, be there when they do.
Don’t wait for them to contact you, because they probably won’t.
The first weeks after the death of a baby are surreal, lived in a semi-conscious state. Many people offer their sympathies during the first few days and weeks but soon enough everyone goes back to normal and the grieving family is left alone in their pain.
Very few people have the strength to reach out, make it easier for them by offering your loving presence and whatever they might need.
They say that the first year is the toughest, with all the dates and anniversaries: be present throughout that first year and beyond.
There are several things that should not be said: there is a general agreement upon these:
- You are young, you can try again;
- Nature knows best;
- It was God’s decision;
- It’s for the best;
- I can imagine how you feel (If you haven’t lost a baby yourself, you really don’t)
Please post in the comments any sentence that you believe shouldn’t be said to a grieving parent.
Here you will find some useful guidelines.
Here you can find useful support material.
Please also refer to our Support pages.
Read more within the “Practicalities” Menu:
Giving Birth Seeing the Baby: Pictures + Hands & Feet Prints
Autopsy Memory Box – Baby Book Planning the Funeral
How to Answer to a “How are you Doing?” Finding your New Normal
Someone You Care About Just Lost a Baby
Read more in the other Menus:
Practicalities Support Which Trimester?
Was it your Firstborn? (Not) Trying Again?
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