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The Do's & Dont's - Conversations with Loss Parents

Updated: Aug 21, 2022


When someone passes away, it can be rather tricky to find comforting words to say - I get it. You don't want to offend the grieving person, but you don't want them to think that you don't care, by saying nothing.


Most people tend to try and avoid the topic altogether and pretend it doesn't exist to save the uncomfortableness - Which helps no one.


A good friend of mine recently lost her dear brother, very unexpectedly.

Tragic and devastating for everyone who ever knew him.

When she rang me to personally tell me the awful news, I was so shocked, I went blank.

My brain went to mush and I had no idea what to say or how to even attempt to comfort her and boy did I feel awful afterwards.

There were so many things I SHOULD have said.


But it is important to remember we are only human and we can always aim to do better with our words the next time we find ourselves in an unfortunate similar situation. Language is important, and dealing with grief is often overlooked in todays society. That's why I'm on a mission to help people through it, in the best way I can.

So, I thought it might be helpful to provide a list of common and unhelpful things that I hear and read ALOT in the baby loss community, plus offer some alternative suggestions that could be said instead. I'm all about raising awareness!!


Here are some DOs and DONTs when speaking to a parent who has just lost their baby (speaking from experience)



DONT SAY:

  • They’re in a better place

  • It's for the best

  • They are at peace now


ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • There is nothing I hate more, than seeing you hurting like this.

  • No parent should have to go through this.

  • I wish I could take your pain away.

 

DONT SAY:

  • Time heals all wounds

  • It's time to move on now

ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • I'm always here for you on this path you never asked to be on.

  • There’s no good reason this happened.

  • I think about you and your son/daughter often.

  • Grief has no expiration date.

 

DONT SAY:

  • Everything happens for a reason

ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • I'm completely devastated for you.

  • Please know I’m here for you and will hold your hand the whole way.

  • The pain of your immense loss is real and valid.

 

DONT SAY:

  • Be grateful for the time you had together


ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • I know this isn’t the news you hoped for. I’m so sorry.

  • It breaks my heart to see you suffering.

 

DONT SAY:

  • I know how you’re feeling

ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • I can’t possibly know how you are feeling.

  • If you ever feel like talking, or just taking your mind off things for a while, I’m here for you.

  • May I call or text to check in with you later?

 

DONT SAY:

  • You need to stay strong for your family


ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • I’d love to hear about your son/daughter when you're ready

  • You don’t deserve this pain

  • I can't imagine what you and your family are going through

  • You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Nothing I say can change what happened, but I am here for you and your family during this time.

 

DONT SAY: Any sentence starting with 'At least'

  • At least you weren't further along

  • At least you never brought him/her/them home

  • At least you can try again

  • At least you're still young

  • At least you have other children


ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • I can't imagine what you are going through.

  • If you need anything, I am always here for you.

  • Know that it's okay to feel however you feel during this time and I will be here for you.

  • I don’t know what to say but I can listen.

 

DONT SAY:

  • Your baby wouldn’t want you to be sad

ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS:

  • There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

  • Your life has been changed forever.

  • You are a good mother and your son/daughters death with never change that.


 

I hope this helps in some small way and I’d love to hear if you have anything to add! Feel free to comment below if you have any suggestions!



Sending love x


Showing fellow grieving mamas how to build and monetize their online presence in memory of their angel. Book a 30 minute no obligation FREE Discovery Call with me to learn more

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