When we lost our second child to a miscarriage, several people said they didn't know how to help. They were afraid they might say the wrong thing or unintentionally make our pain worse. I've created the list below of things that have encouraged us in our miscarriage. My hope is that you can use this list to encourage someone you love who has had a miscarriage.
Way to Help:
1. Personal Visits. We are all busy, so when someone takes time out of his schedule to make a personal visit, it reminds us just how important we are to him.
2. Calls/Emails/Cards/Facebook Messages. After our miscarriage, my facebook wall was bombarded with messages. I cried as I read through each message, but in some strange way, it was therapeutic. I knew people were thinking and praying for me. When you are sending a message or talking to someone who has recently had a miscarriage, my advice is this: don't try to fix the problem. Some of the best things people said to me were, "There are no words. I'm praying for you. I'm so sorry. I'll remember your baby with you." You don't have to give them any answers. Even if you could, it wouldn't make their pain any less. Instead, just be there and tell them you love them.
3. Provide Meals. Even though I was physically able to cook shortly after my surgery, it was a blessing to not have to worry about it. The meal doesn't have to be extravagant. One family brought over a pizza for us to cook at our convenience. Another made us a frozen meal. Others brought casseroles or desserts. It's not what you make that matters; it's that you thought enough about them to want to help.
4. Remember With Them. My greatest fear after we lost our baby was that no one (outside of immediate family) would remember our child. One way to encourage someone who has had a miscarriage is to make a note in your calendar of when their due date was and when they lost the baby. Those two dates will be especially difficult for someone who has experienced a miscarriage. Think how much a card or kind word would mean on those dates in particular.
5. Do Something Special. Here are some ideas:
a. My in-laws planted a garden for the child we lost.
b. My parents bought me a necklace. In some strange way, when I wear the necklace, I feel like a part of Eden is still with me.
c. My husband bought me a Willow Tree statue. He bought one for Rylan (our first child) and didn't want this child to be left out. Now, every time I look at our fireplace mantle, I remember not just Rylan, but also Eden. She is a part of our family, even if she's in heaven.
d. My mom wrote a poem about Eden. The time this must have taken shows me how much it matters to her.
e. Several people sent me poems they had written when they lost children or songs that they thought would apply to our situation. Music is powerful. Use it to encourage those who are hurting.
f. One of my friends bought us a beautiful blanket. She wanted to give us something that would provide us with some comfort. For someone who never had a miscarriage herself, she really knew how to encourage someone going through one.
6. Talk about the baby like it's a real child. I know this might sound like a strange suggestion, but it's important for those who are grieving to know that you think of their baby as a baby, not as a fetus. Losing in utero is different than losing after the child is born, but it's losing a child nonetheless.
7. Ask how they are doing. Granted, it might make them cry. But I would rather someone ask than ignore the situation. Asking about it shows that you care and that you remember. Not asking might make them wonder.
8. Let them cry. Crying is therapeutic. Don't be afraid that something you do or say will make them cry. Yes, it might. But crying helps.
If you've gone through a miscarriage and have other ideas, please send them my way. I'd love to add your suggestions to the list.