To not know what to say?(38 Posts)
My friend has been through hell during her pregnancy and she has found out today her babies have sadly not survived. I don't know what to say to her. I'm so gutted that I can't stop crying but I want to be strong for her. What do I say? I know there isn't anything really, just wondered if anyone else has been through this and had any advice.
I've not been through this, but what an awful thing for her to have to go through.
From the outside I would say to let her know you're there for her any time of the day and night, and any way she'd prefer (like would she rather see you in person, or find it better to email/text if she can't manage it?), and try to find that balance between over contacting her/pressuring her to see you, and avoiding her because you don't know what to say.
Get your marker from her as to what she needs/wants from you?
It must be so isolating and scary.
I am sure someone will be along with some fantastic advice - I just wanted to say that you are obviously a wonderful friend, I would just let her know that you are there for her. Too many people avoid their friends in this kind of situation as they don't know how to approach things.
My thoughts are with you , I want to support you any way that will be helpful, I'm here when needed. love you.
How awful for her.
Could you just be open and honest and say exactly what you've said in your post?
You're a good friend OP. Just be there. Good luck.
Thanks, I have told her that I'll do anything she needs, but I just feel so impotent. Realistically I know nothing I say will make this easier to cope with, but I can't stand the idea that when I see her I'll just be standing there with nothing to say.
God, this is shit.
Sorry, meant to say I've told her I love her and that I'm so, so sorry (as well as saying I'll do anything she needs).
This is awful. I feel utterly sick for her and anyone who has lost their precious child. It certainly made me hug my two little horrors a little bit harder tonight.
Just hug her and say the truth "I am so sorry X. I have no words, and I don't know what to say, but if there is anything at all I can do to help you, please ask. I'm here for you and I love you"
Your poor friend. Tell her that it's shit and unfair and that you're there for her. Give her a hug and just let her cry. Don't tell her that it will be ok, that she can try again and at least she knows that she can get pregnant. Keep calling, give her opportunities to talk and be there all over again when her babies should have been due.
better to offer specific help - can i get you some shopping? cook you a meal? do some ironing?
At a time of loss help is needed but it's not always easy to ask so lots of general offers don't get taken up.
You know her well, what would be helpful for her?
It's ok to cry with her when you are with her. It's a sad time, crying with her is empathy not weakness.
There is good advice here. Make contact, and re contact every so many days, maybe by text so she knows you are available when she is ready.
GiveItYourBestShot - as someone who has had a miscarriage I'd like to express that I hate that phrase, it's used as a generic automatic statement blurted by HCPs (clearly they get told to say this in training).
To be honest she's a total domestic goddess, puts me to shame. Cooking and cleaning are pretty redundant as she's very particular about these and her house is spotless. I wish there were something practical I could do, to be honest I'm more comfortable doing something to help. I can be there though, as much as she needs/wants. While the babies were poorly I just used to sit there and let her talk, about anything at all. I guess I just do the same, but try and not fall apart while she does.
I work with her husband, I can't begin to imagine what he's going through either.
I've lost 2 babies too, I really feel for your friend. it's fantastic that you're asking how to react, it really shows how much you care . definitely DO NOT say "you can always try again" or "it'll be ok". she will want to talk about it eventually, it'll probably just take some time. one of my best friends came round with wine a few weeks later and just gave me a cuddle and let me cry and then listened to what I wanted to say. that was invaluable, honestly. on a more immediate AMD practical note, she probably won't want to think about food for a while but she'll need to eat properly. maybe batch cook her some meals so she doesn't need to think about it, just heat them up. then call to check she has actually eaten. it's a tough time and it will change her so your friendship may have to adjust to that. she may also lash out at her nearest and dearest so be prepared for that too.
If it didn't affect you, I'd worry.
I guess my only advice is to do as you're doing, and try and keep your own heartbreak within reasonable boundaries... not sure if that sounds right. It's OKAY to cry with her, and for her, but your pain has to be secondary to hers when you're with her, when you're not with her, acknowledge your own pain as it's perfectly valid.
I think sometimes you have to lead (bring round a casserole eg., very Neighbours I know) sometimes you have to follow (if she asks something, be prepared to do it)... it's hard to gauge, but I think in my experience of 'being friend' the way is to strike the balance.
I know it's easy to type "thinking of you" and I'm not sure it always means much, but I am thinking of you both, I am sorry for your mate and her loss and I am sorry that you are having to witness it/feel it too. If the wording is wrong please forgive. That's a point, don't worry about wording in the moment, you know your friend, bad wording is better than none. [genuine] x
Give food. Don't ask, just give.
If you're very close, stick on a load of washing when you go round and give the kitchen and bathroom the once over. She will need time to grieve and normal life will be in disarray.
If she goes into distraction mode with cleaning and cooking (dh worries if the cake tin is full and i've hoovered) perhaps just take her out for a walk?
Take your cues from her. Except for food because that is always needed.
Ok, going to call tomorrow offering food (that I'll offer to leave on the doorstep if she's not up for visitors) then picking up the dishes later. She knows my phone is always on, so she knows she can ring me just to cry down the phone if that's what she needs.
Thanks everyone, although you have all made me cry again!
Please don't forget her husband, I loss count of the amount of people who would bouncy up to DH, and ask how quoteunquote was coping, then carry on telling him to pass on message of support,
Very few people grasps that his sons had died, for some reason it was considered much worse for me.
At the baby loss support group I help at, men always mention how often this happens, it has a huge effect on them, when people behave as if they are somehow immune to what has happened.
it is incredibly hard to stay together after your child has died, how ever close you are, it would really help, if fathers were supported as much as mums.
there a hell of a lot of processing to get through, and when people respond in way that makes a father feel he should suppress his feeling, it really does not help long term,
a lot of frustration happens between couples as each of the parents will process, grieve, at different stages, it's relentless, so people get very worn, numb and exhausted.
Can you sew or knit?
What about making some tiny clothes? Ask her first though as very personal xxx
Dayshiftdoris, have I missed something? Why on earth would she do that? That would be really inappropriate imo.
Ask about her babies. Does she want to talk about them, their names, how she imagined them.
Send a card - when friends of ours lost their first ds during labour, we sent a tasteful, low key new baby card - and inside said we were so glad to hear about him but so sorry they had lost him (dh is a doc, had done a grief course, it wasn't our idea) and they did say it was one of the best cards they got - they had still become parents, even in such sad, sad circumstances, and deserved to have that acknowledged.
If you can't cook (and if you do, cook something and package it so it can be frozen if they just can't eat right now) then a nice tesco/ocado etc order of some nice ready meals and some treat foods like nice biscuits goes down well (I was very ill in hospital 18 months ago and his was one of the best helps we got).
And looking forward, don't forget. Send a card next year, and the year after, and beyond, on the day they found out, or on their babies' birthday. Talk about them, use their names, don't forget. I very sadly have 3 friends who've suffered stillbirth and have had a 2nd trimester loss myself. It's the people who keep on remembering who are special friends.
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