Sometimes knowing what to say when someone miscarries can be hard and can leave a person in a state of confusion. However, many times staying silent can make one look even more heartless. Find out what to say in this time of grief without sounding callous.
Knowing what to say when someone miscarries isn’t easy. Most people don’t want to say the wrong thing, so often times they opt to say nothing at all. While this may seem like the best thing to do, those unsaid words may be seen as uncaring or an act of lacking compassion towards someone’s loss.
What to say
The loss of a baby due to a miscarriage should never be seen as anything less than the awful loss of a precious child and human being. It’s not ‘nature’s way’ or ‘for the best’. It’s a grievous time for parents and should be honoured and treated as such.
While it’s true that there are times when no words are necessary, the right words are always appreciated. That’s why when you know someone who has experienced a miscarriage, the following are appropriate and appreciated words to say to someone who has had a miscarriage:
- ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’
- ‘I understand.’ Note: Never say these words unless you, too, have been through the pain of a miscarriage. If you have, simply say you understand and then qualify the statement with something like: ‘We lost our baby three years ago. I was five months along. I can tell you that you will always carry this child close to your heart.’
- ‘I’d like to help by fixing meals or cleaning the house, so you can take time to concentrate on you and your personal needs.’
- ‘I want you to know I am here for you in whatever way you need me to be.’
- ‘When you feel up to it, I’d love to talk to you about doing something special to honour your baby.’
- ‘I don’t know what to say, but I do want you to know how sorry I am and how much I care.’
What not to say
For all the right words to be said, there are definitely just as many if not more wrong words to say to someone who has had a miscarriage. Here are a few you should always steer clear of:
- ‘I understand.’ If you haven’t been in this situation, then there is no way you will understand.
- ‘God has another angel now.’ That’s great, but God’s got plenty of angels. These parents want their baby.
- ‘It’s nature’s way.’ What makes you think these parents wouldn’t love a baby with special needs?
- ‘You can have other children.’ Which of your children would you be willing to give up knowing you still had others?
- ‘At least you have more children to pour yourself into.’ Again, how can you compare to the loss?
- ‘You can try again.’ Yes, there can be more children, but that doesn’t negate the life of the one that is lost.
When actions speak louder than words
Words aren’t the only ways to express sympathy and care. Showing up with food for the family, taking the other children for a few hours, cleaning the house, volunteering to take down the nursery and put baby things away, are all actions that speak the language of love to someone who has had a miscarriage.
Tell us if you’ve ever dealt with the dilemma of not knowing what to say to someone who had a miscarriage. How did you deal with it? We’d love to hear from you.
For more on what not to say to someone who had a miscarriage, watch this video: