People can say a lot of stupid things, especially when they’re uncomfortable. Fertility struggles, grief, real life makes people uncomfortable, I get it. Here’s some common “I don’t know what to do with my hands” word vomit that you should really avoid saying. This post is marinated in some very pungent snark, so mind your toes.
“You’ll get pregnant again.”
And? My child died. There is no replacement. I hope and pray every single day we will get our rainbow, but I’m still mourning all of my babies. Years and years from now, regardless of how many living children we go on to have, I will always be mourning the ones who are gone.
What to say instead: “How are you doing?” Open up room for them to talk. They, we, may want to be hopeful and think about the future, about next time. Don’t be surprised if we’re not. Go ahead, talk about the baby. Let us know you remember them too.
“God needed another angel/has a plan/etc.”
Are you God? No? Didn’t think so. If you really have to say this one, I will accept a signed statement that you’re allowed to speak on His behalf.
What to say instead: “Is there anything I can do for you?” The danger in this one comes from the consequences of assumption. Hey, you know what happens when you assume, right? I know what you’re going for, and I really have let this one slide many times. Thank you, for the attempt. Try to remember not everyone, not even most people believe exactly the same thing you do, even if you share the same religion.
“Why don’t you just take one of mine!”
Yes, please rub it in my face that you have children to spare. I will show up at your house with a lawyer and adoption papers. Don’t try me.
What to say instead: Nothing. Seriously. Unlike the previous things, there’s no replacement for this. There’s no good meaning behind it, no offering of anything that resembles an attempt at empathy. I know you’re exhausted and your kids are acting like heathens, and your shirt is covered in God only knows what, but you’re talking to someone who would chew their own arm off for that. Don’t talk about your blessing like it’s a burden
We need to really stress how important the talk of what to say and how to help those going through this is. To a bereaved parent, one conversation can be the making or breaking point of a day. If you’re ever at a loss for words and can’t remember anything else, just offer a sincere, “I’m here for you, do you need anything?”