Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Heavy Heart

I'm just gonna say it...

I am not happy with God right now.  Without going into too many details, I just want to say that I don't understand why people have to lose their babies.

So I am going to keep my words short and share with you a little something I found.  After going through losses ourselves, I would agree with most all of these tips on things to say and things to avoid saying to someone who has experienced an infant loss. The ones I agree with the most are underlined.  I realize this isn't a fun post, but I have felt the need for awhile now to do a post like this so we can all educate ourselves on how to best help others while they grieve the loss of a baby.

The list was taken from this site.


DO’s
DON’Ts
  • Do get in touch. Let your genuine concern and caring show.
  • Do be available to listen, to help with the other children, or whatever else seems needed at the time. Offer help with practical matters like house cleaning and meals.
  • Do say you are sorry about what happened to their baby and about their pain.
  • Do allow them to express as much grief as they are feeling at the moment and are willing to share. Accept silence; if the family doesn’t feel like talking, don’t force conversation. Follow their lead.
  • Do encourage them to be patient with themselves, not to expect too much of themselves and not to impose any “shoulds” on themselves.
  • Do allow them to talk about their baby.
  • Do give special attention to the siblings of the baby that died.
  • Do reassure them that they did everything that they could, the medical care their baby received was the best, or whatever else you know to be true and positive about the care given their baby and/or pregnancy.
  • Do encourage them to seek outside help, either from a health professional or another bereaved parent.
  • Do remember the family on the baby’s birthday, anniversary of death, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and other occasions. Permanent memorials, such as the First Candle Tree of Hope, help families know that their baby has not been forgotten.
  • Do be patient with them. Coping with the death of their baby may take a long time. Stay in touch.
  • Don’t let your own sense of helplessness keep you from reaching out to the bereaved family.
  • Don’t avoid the family because you are uncomfortable.
  • Don’t say you know how they feel (unless you’ve lost a child yourself, you probably don’t know how they feel.)
  • Don’t probe for details about the baby’s death. If the family offers information, listen with understanding.
  • Don’t tell them what they should feel or do. Don’t impose your religious or spiritual views on them.
  • Don’t change the subject when they mention their dead baby.
  • Don’t point out that at least they have another child; or could have more children in the future.
  • Don’t blame anyone for the death. Don’t make comments which suggest that the care in the hospital or emergency room, at home, at the childcare provider’s or wherever was inadequate.
  • Don’t try to find something positive about the baby’s death. Avoid clich√©s and easy answers.
  • Don’t avoid mentioning the baby’s name out of fear of reminding them of their pain.
  • Don’t say “you ought to be feeling better by now” or anything else which implies a judgment about their feelings, or sets time expectations or limits their healing process
  • Don't just say "let me know how I can help". No one likes to ask for help.  Try to think of specific ways to offer up your help.  i.e.: Please let me know when we can come over and cut the grass.  Please let me know what night I can bring over dinner.  (This is my personal addition to the list, b/c I am guilty of not being able to ask for help)

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. It was helpful to me, so I'm sure others benefited from it as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is so hard to know what to do. Very good list. I have been so sad for them this week.

    ReplyDelete

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