Losing our unborn baby at 10 weeks has been the greatest loss I’ve ever felt. I miscarried naturally and after the first week, we shared the news of our loss publicly. I wanted others to know what was going on, I needed prayers, and I wanted a way to express my feelings openly. There are many reasons why I talk about my miscarriage.
When you are open about your loss, it means others are going to try to console you. Others will want to offer their love and support. I am so very grateful that we have so many people who love us and are here for us.
For every 10 supportive comments, there’s one that just doesn’t hit the mark. Believe me, I completely understand that people are trying and they only have the very best of intentions with the things they say. But I imagine every woman who has experienced a miscarriage (or similar loss) had to hear something that hurt rather than helped.
People just don’t know what to say, especially if they have never experienced it themselves. I understand that. But I want to help others find ways to help and know what to say without hurting these already hurting women.
When you find out a woman has recently had a miscarriage, there are really only three things you should say. Only three options, in my opinion, of safe comments that won’t hurt.
3 Safe Phrases to Say to Someone Suffering from Loss
1. I’m so sorry.
This is the best thing to say to someone experiencing any loss including a miscarriage.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for your loss.
It’s as easy as that to show that you care. This is what we need to hear. By saying you are sorry we also hear you confirming our loss, confirming that who we lost mattered to us and to you, and we know that you wish this hadn’t happened.
2. I don’t know what to say.
Rather than trying to come up with some encouraging statement or a reason for why this happened, just be honest and tell us you don’t know what to say. We don’t know what to say either. It’s completely acceptable for you to tell us you don’t know how we are feeling and you don’t know how to respond or help. We would rather hear that than someone using a cliched phrase that isn’t going to take our pain away.
3. Thank you for sharing.
I recently told some new friends that I had had a miscarriage at the beginning of the year. One of them looked at me and said, “Thank you for sharing that with us.” She recognized that me opening up about something so painful was difficult. She recognized that I was sharing as a way to grow closer to these new friends. I was willing to be vulnerable so they too could feel comfortable offering up their own vulnerability. Being open and real with each other is a rare and valuable thing to friendship these days. If someone you know has been open with you about their loss, thank them for sharing.
I’ve also had a lot of people comment on my blog thanking me for sharing my experiences and writing about this topic. Many women out there are looking for others to connect with over their losses. Thanking someone for being open shows them they should keep being real with others. And what a beautiful thing vulnerability is.
Finally, if there is someone in your life who is currently experiencing loss — any type of loss — I encourage you to read my post How to Help a Grieving Friend, where I talk about what to say to someone who is grieving. This post is great advice when you know someone right in the midst of a difficult loss.
What other phrases or words would you find helpful in the midst of your loss? Share with us in the comments things that people have said to you that have helped.
You may also want to read:
- Ways to Help a Woman Who Has Lost a Baby
- To My Pregnant Friend After My Miscarriage
- What I Didn’t Know About Miscarriage … Until I Had One
You can also follow my Miscarriage Pinterest board for other great posts about this topic.
If you know someone who is going through a miscarriage, consider ordering my eBook. Miscarriage & Mourning offers ways to help friends through pregnancy loss. It can also help you better understand such a loss if you’ve never experienced it yourself.