Comfort in a loss: Part II

21 Sep

I know everyone offering comfort is well-meaning.  However, those with the best of intentions can still do or say something that hurts someone grieving.  Before I went through my miscarriages I was a fixer–wanting to solve others’ problems.  I was too quick to offer comfort and even give an explanation.

Explaining away one’s pain seems to happen often when dealing with miscarriage.  “One in three pregnancies ends in miscarriage.”  “The baby probably wasn’t normal, and it’s better for it this way.”  “At least it happened early.”  “At least it’s not infertility.  I went through that, and it was terrible.”  None of these explanations helps heal–they only leave one feeling more alone, guilty for grieving, and ashamed of her pain.

Mike and I were discussing this on Friday.  We had said that those who offer the irreverent comfort of statistics aren’t trying to hurt, they just don’t know how to be empathetic.  Someone who has never lost a loved one might respond to a new widow with “Everyone dies.”  It’s true, but not empathetic in any way.

When comforting a friend through a miscarriage the best way is through empathy and sympathy.

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