I originally wrote and published this post on the blog after losing 2 babies to miscarriage, if you would like to hear about my process of finding hope and healing after a miscarriage you can find that here:
It is challenging to walk through a miscarriage and it can also be challenging to know how to support a friend or family member who has experienced this loss.
I confess, that when friends shared about their miscarriages (before I had one), I felt unsure of how to respond. My heart ached with them and I wanted to support them, but I had no idea what to do and say. Maybe some of you have found yourselves in a similar situation, wanting to help but feeling helpless to do so.
1. Say “I am so sorry for your loss.” Through this statement you are expressing what someone who has experienced a miscarriage desperately needs to hear, an acknowledgement that they have suffered the tragic death of a loved one.
2. Acknowledge that you are honored they would share such a personal part of their life with you. Realize that what this person is sharing with you is probably the most difficult thing they have walked through. This may feel overwhelming to you (especially if you have never had a friend share this with you before). Instead of stressing over fixing them or making everything better, focus on your love and concern for the person. Saying something like this can be very helpful, “Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I feel privileged to hear about your baby’s life. This must be a very difficult time for you! I want to be there for you and I am not really sure how to best do that. How can I best support you right now?”
3. Act like you would if there was a funeral to attend and an obituary in the paper. While most families will not have a public memorial service for their child, their need for community support in this time is very similar. We received many of the acts of service and gifts listed below after our miscarriages and they were incredibly healing and also helped in a practical way. When people took these actions they not only acknowledged the tragedy we were walking through but expressed a physical representation of sharing in our grief.
– Send Flowers
– Bring a meal
– Send a gift.
– Send a card.
– Clean their house.
– Offer to watch their children (if they have other children).
Having a miscarriage is not only hard on a women’s heart but it also takes a physical toll on her body. The effects vary woman to woman but usually there is a period of time where you are very tired and weak. This is why I suggested acts of service such as bringing a meal, cleaning their home, or watching their children. I remember a friend bringing us a meal after our miscarriage and it was such a blessing, not only mentally to not have to plan dinner but because my body was so weak it was difficult to function normally.
4. Check in with your friend. Dealing with the emotions of a miscarriage can affect you for months and even years afterwards. Depending on your relationship with your friend, it can be helpful to check in with your friend to see how they are doing. I received texts, emails, and calls from friends months after the miscarriage asking how I was doing and letting me know that I was loved and they were praying for my husband and I. This meant so much to me. Their taking a moment to realize that I was in a season of grieving and that I was on their heart and in their prayers was helpful for me because I didn’t feel alone in my grief. The message or call can be as simple as, “ I just want you to know I am thinking about you and praying for you today. I love you! How are you doing?”
5. Pray for your friend. It sounds nice to say, “I’ll be praying for you” but it is A LOT nicer to share in the burdens of your friend and actually pray for them and their spouse. Here are specific things to pray, if you are unsure what to pray for.
– Healing for their physical body and also for their heart.
– For their doctor to have wisdom.
– An increase in intimacy with the Lord in this season.
– For complete health in their body, that miscarriage would never occur ever again.
– That there would be an increase in love, intimacy, good communication and trust in their marriage through the season of grief.
If you have experienced a miscarriage, what were things you needed to hear or acts of service and support that were helpful to you?