Miscarriage is painfully common, and yet it tends to be a subject that is both hush-hush and intimidating for us to talk about. Statistics show that one in every four women will suffer a miscarriage. When a friend suffers a miscarriage, it’s natural to want to support her, but when it is something you have not walked through personally, you may find yourself stuck on how to respond to her loss and simply let her know that you care.
Everyone grieves differently, that is certain. But one thing every grieving mother needs is the support from those around her. You can do this by simply acknowledging her loss with the words, “I am so sorry. I am here for you.” Sometimes we feel like we need to find all the answers, mark a silver lining, or seek solutions for all the heartbreak. But these well-intended responses can cause more harm than good. We hate to see someone we love is hurting and wish we could take the pain all away, but it is important to understand her pain should not be invalidated. It is part of the journey one needs to move forward towards healing and a new sense of normal. Avoid comments that start with “At least you…” Never say, “I know exactly how you feel.” Even if you have experienced miscarriage yourself, every loss is unique, as well as how we process it.
Here are five practical ways that you can offer some love:
Simply show up. It may not seem like much, but the smallest gesture of a kind text, a listening ear, and acknowledging her loss can be a balm for a broken heart.
Offer to bring a meal. Whether it’s her favorite takeout, coffee, or a homecooked dinner — the gift of nourishment and the break from having to prepare meal goes a long way. If she’s not up to visitors, use something like Door Dash or Favor, or drop it off on her porch.
Offer childcare. If she has other young children at home, offer to watch her kids so that she can rest, go to an appointment, or simply take advantage of some much needed ‘me time’.
Sponsor a therapy session. If she is open to counseling, offer to pay for a session or two with a mental health professional. Talking with a kind yet neutral third party is an excellent way for her to navigate the grief, depression, and anxiety associated with miscarriage.
Give a keepsake gift. This is a wonderful way to both honor and memorialize the life she carried. Choose something unique to her baby as well as her taste. Look below for a gift guide for ideas and resources!
As a bereaved mother myself, I know firsthand the value and comfort that comes from the support of others. I hope these few tips and resources serve as useful guide for you to love on grieving mothers and their families well.
GIFT GUIDE & RESOURCES
It isn’t so much about the gift as it is a way for her to remember and commemorate a life no longer here on Earth. When a grieving mother’s arms are empty, a gift is a tangible source of healing and closure.
Perennials are yet another heartfelt way to remember a baby lost to miscarriage. You can order one online or purchase from your local plant nursery. Consider something that keeps its foliage throughout the year or blooms around her baby’s birth month.
Mental Health & Solidarity
Gretta Rebstock Hendricks is a member of Tanglewood Moms and has written for Madeworthy magazine.