Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Miscarriage ~ What Not To Say

When any woman suffers a miscarriage, there will inevitably be people who she will meet in the following weeks, who will want to offer some words of comfort.  Almost all of the time, these people are genuinely well-meaning, but often say things that are not comforting at all, or they will say things that are actually offensive.

Having been through miscarriage several times, I feel I can offer some advice on what NOT to say to a grieving woman who has recently miscarried:

"Be thankful for the kids that you do have"

This comment is the worst one in my opinion.  Are we not allowed to grieve for the death of one child, because we have other living children?  What in the world has being thankful for the children God has already blessed us with, got to do with grieving for another child's death?  This comment is offensive and inappropriate to say.

"The pregnancy stopped growing"

Admittedly, this comment is usually used by medical personnel.  We have heard this from hospital staff, whenever we have had to attend hospital due to miscarriage.  While I understand that they have been trained to say only politically correct terms, I find it to be offensive.  My BABY was not a pregnancy, nor pregnancy tissue, but a living human being, with an eternal soul.  

"At least it happened early on"

Again, well meaning, but not comforting, nor appropriate to say.  While I have sometimes felt that it is a blessing to have had a miscarriage early, as opposed to later on in the pregnancy, it is still a very hard thing to go through, and most definitely isn't something extended family, friends or strangers should say.  

"It is a blessing in disguise, there must have been something "wrong" with the baby"

Do people really think that we would have rather had a miscarriage, than had a child with a disability?  Do people really think that we would love a disabled child less, or that the child themselves wouldn't much rather live with a disability, than to not live at all?  Does our society really view only "perfect" children as deserving of our love and care?

"Perhaps you shouldn't "try" for any more"

However well meaning, this simply isn't any of anyone elses business!  Most un-saved people have no idea what the Bible teaches on the topics of the blessing of children and of pregnancy prevention, so can't understand your logic in "allowing this to happen again".  I believe that most people who would say the above comment, are genuinely concerned for your health in having to endure miscarriage or multiple miscarriages.  However, the Bible teaches: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." ~ John 15:13.  The Lord should control the womb, not man, nor opinionated friends and family.

Things you COULD say or do:

"I am sorry for your loss"
"Is there anything I can do to help you?"
"I'm here for you if you need to talk."
Share comforting Bible verses.
Send a thoughtful card, email or message.
Pray for comfort, healing and good health.
Perhaps offer to bring around a meal (but do not be offended if it is kindly refused).

If you are thinking "Oh no, I have said some of those awful things!", then rest assured that most people have probably said one (or more) of those unhelpful comments to a grieving mother, at one time or another, just because you didn't know what else to say.  Most ladies understand that those things are said with good intentions and don't get mad at you.  In the future you will be able to avoid those comments, and perhaps offer a kinder and more appropriate comment or gesture.  I hope that this post has been helpful. 

1 comment:

Diana said...

These are excellent - thank you for sharing!