Bereaved Parents often tell of how the comments and things said to them can be so very insensitive and hurtful. They also tell how some situations are very difficult and emotional.
One of the most common questions you may be asked is “How many children do you have” or “is ……… your first baby?”
The way you chose to answer these questions is entirely up to you, answer the way that you know is going to make you feel the best, not the person asking. If you do let people know of your loss be prepared that they may want to ask more questions or not ask anything at all- which may be hurtful & upsetting for you. Also know that each situation is different, sometimes you might feel up to answering that you have had a baby that has passed away or sometimes you might not mention it. Don’t feel guilty about this, your response will very much depend of the timing and the way you are feeling.
Possible responses might be
- “Yes, I have 3 living children and 2 in heaven”
- “…………. is my first living child, i had a baby ………….that passed away”
- “Yes I have …. children” ( including the number of all of your children)
- ” No I don’t have any living children”
Pre warning of generalised comments that are often said by others
Often people say space fillers or cliche’s to a bereaved person in the hope they are helping them but often they are not. Below is a list of these types of comments which you may hear from others.
- “At least …….. didn’t suffer”
- “Time will heal”
- “Life goes on”
- “I know how you feel”
- “You should be over it by now”
- “Its Gods will”
- “These things happen”
- “…… is in a better place now”
- “Don’t cry, be strong”
- “It could have been worse”
- “….. wouldn’t want you to cry”
- “There are others worse off than you”
- “Everything happens for a reason”
- “You’re not the only one”
- “It wasn’t meant to be”
- “You can have another baby”
- “Was gods will”
- “You are young, you will have another baby”
- “Their is always IVF”
- “Everything happens for a reason”
You may come across some of the above comments, these can be hurtful and terribly upsetting. People often mean well but say the wrong things. Try not to take these things to heart, as hard as that is, it will only bring more stress to you at a time when you don’t need any added stress.
Know it is ok to respond to people with they way you are feeling about their comment. It is important that we educate people that the loss of a baby is significant and the heartache that comes with it is something that is just not going to go away.
You may also find it helpful to tell people what your are thinking & how you are feeling. This helps to give others a better understanding of what you are feeling right now and hopefully helps to alleviate insensitive comments and being placed in difficult situations.
Pre warning of difficult situations
- New pregnancy announcements
- Baby showers
- Birth of new baby’s
- Hospital visit of new baby
- Being asked how many children you have
- Certain dates of pregnancy
- Age comparison with other babies/ children
- Milestones.. first Christmas, first birthday etc
You may be faced with attending events or celebrations that you just don’t feel up to attending. If this is the case, don’t attend. If you know attending will only leave you in tears or feeling worse, then it is not worth going. Generally, people will understand.
We have come to hear many stories from all too many bereaved parents and they often talk of how those close to them and even acquaintances often just don’t know what to say. It seems they then say nothing and do their best to avoid you or say the silly comments or put you in the difficult situations. They may want to take your pain away or help fix it. If only they could know that “it cant be fixed” but if they could just be there for us, being considerate & acknowledging our baby’s could make all the difference.