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Looking for the right words

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Yesterday, one of my very best friends sent me a text asking what she could say or do to encourage two friends who just lost babies through miscarriage. I hesitated for a minute, immediately flooded with memories – some good and some bad – of what people said to me. While people never mean to say the wrong thing, sometimes we do. We’ve all done it, and sometimes we don’t even realize it.

Everyone’s loss is unique just like every person grieves differently, but I shared with her what helped me… and also what hurt.

Say “I’m sorry.” Not because you’re apologizing or you did anything wrong, but because you’re sorry that she has to go through something so painful. Say I love you.” When you don’t know what else to say, just say I love you. I don’t think anyone can ever hear those words enough.

Please do not say, “God has a plan” or “there was probably something wrong with the baby.” While it is certainly true that God is always sovereign and definitely has a plan, it just doesn’t make you feel better when your heart is so broken. Later on, you can see God’s plan, but in the moment it just hurts. It’s also true that something may have been wrong with the baby’s health, but that just hurts and makes a momma feel guilty like she could have done something differently. Just say, “I’m sorry and I love you.”

And bring food… comfort food. I wanted Mexican food and mashed potatoes, rich desserts and cheesy casseroles… anything that was hot and filled my tummy. It helped take the edge off the ache in my heart.

Do something to remember the baby. My mom found me a tiny Willow Tree figurine of a small child holding a little metal balloon that says hope. I keep that figurine on my bedside table, and for a long time I would kiss that little child every night and ask God to kiss my babies for me. I clung to that word hope on many nights when my heart was so heavy. For the Mother’s Day after our first miscarriage, Matt got me a hydrangea bush to plant in our front yard in memory of our baby. I love looking at those beautiful blooms and thinking of the day when I will get to meet that child.

Remember the day. Make a note of when the baby’s due date was, so that you can encourage her on that day. It means a lot to know that someone remembers after time has passed.

If you have gone through a miscarriage, feel free to add in your thoughts. Like I said earlier, everyone is unique so what encourages me may not do the same for others. I don’t always say the right thing either, so it helps to hear from other people about their experiences and what encouraged them.

To my sweet friend who took the time and had the thoughtfulness to ask, you are an incredible blessing in my life. You know who you are, and I love you to pieces.

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3 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Thank you for sharing all that. I agree… "I'm so sorry" and "I love you" are about the ONLY acceptable things to say to someone grieving loss of life, from miscarriage to funerals. Actually, that's probably best for any kind of grief at all. I wish more people understood that.

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  2. Oh, Elissa, I have tears in my eyes reading this. I can't imagine all that you two went through & we certainly sent many prayers your way during those difficult times. You have such a way with words, and I am so glad that I read this! Hope to see you 3 soon…

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  3. We certainly felt your prayers, Lindsey! We are so grateful to have you as family. Hope to see the FOUR of you very soon 🙂 Give sweet Hutch and Hazel a kiss from me!

    Reply

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