Words can be very painful. Even with the right intentions, words can hurt without you even knowing. Here are some things NOT to do or say to someone grieving:
- DO NOT, Please, please, please DO NOT AVOID THEM! The couple may still be grieving and it may be awkward, but please don’t ignore them. Saying nothing about their loss makes them feel more invisible – like the baby didn’t matter, or that you simply just do not care.
- Do NOT ask how far along she was in the pregnancy. It is irrelevant and will only make her feel like her loss doesn’t matter. A loss is a loss, no matter what the gestation or age of the baby was.
- Do NOT ask “Were you trying?” Parents fall in love with their baby whether they have been trying for years, or it was a surprise. The hopes and dreams for that child were still there.
- Do NOT say you understand if you have not experienced a loss.
- Do NOT tell them to “Get over it.” – We hear this one a lot, from friends or family that are tired of the parents grieving. Everyone grieves differently; telling someone to “Get over it” only expresses that you have moved on and you wish they would too. The loss of a child isn’t something a parent moves on from; we have to carry it with us forever.
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