My best friend just had a miscarriage. I have no idea what to say to her, or how to help. I don’t want to ignore that it happened, but I feel really awkward bringing it up, too. What should I say? Anything? How can I help?”
If you’re a partner, relative or friend it can be tough to know what to say to someone who’s had a miscarriage. On the other hand, you certainly don’t want to carry on like nothing’s happened, or avoid a person because you feel awkward. Some ideas:
• “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
• “I don’t know what to say, but I’m here for you, please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”
• “Can I babysit/ help clean house/ run errands while you rest?”
• “Do you want to talk about it? If you ever do, please know I’ll always be here to listen, even if it’s 3 a.m.”
• Check back in. The pain doesn’t go away in a few days or weeks. The baby’s due date can be an especially tough time, as can the anniversary of the loss.
• Avoid at all costs saying any of the following: “but you can have more,” “one miscarriage isn’t so bad, so-and-so has had three,” “at least you weren’t that far along,” “it wasn’t meant to be,” “it was God’s plan,” “the baby probably had some kind of defect and wouldn’t have survived anyway,” “you need to ___ “(fill in the blank: “cry,” “cry less,” “move on,” “try again,” “focus on the kids you do have,” “take a class,” or any other unsolicited advice on how to grieve).
Know that while some people might want to talk, others will need space, and it’s okay and normal if your friend or partner doesn’t want to talk about it, or even cuts you off if you bring it up. Everyone mourns in a different way. Often the most and best you can do is to let someone know you care about them and you’re there for them and willing to listen and help, if needed.