How can I help support my friends whose dd was stillborn at 27 weeks?

(6 Posts)
alicet Thu 25-Mar-10 00:23:38

Posting on this thread in the hope that some of you who have tragically been through something similar will be able to help me support my friends...

After a somewhat traumatic pregnancy (anomaly picked up at 20 week scan and then subsequent amnio, MRI, multiple USS in order to try and ascertain its significance) I have heard today that my friends dd was stillborn at 20 weeks.

I have already emailed and left a messag on their answer phone to say that I am there for them but this seems so meaningless in the context of what they are going through. While I am not daft enough to assume I can make it all OK I'd really like to offer more practical and emotional support and I wanted to get some advice about the best way of going about this. For example I have read on MN before (can't remember thread) that wooly offers of support are often not taken up as it is too much for parents who are over whelmed in grief to be able to stop and think 'Oh yes I could ask alicet to do that! and so more specific offers are better.

So if its not too painful I'd really appreciate any insight into what really helped you and also what really didn't.


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lottiejenkins Thu 25-Mar-10 08:30:22

Hi I have linked this to the bereaved mums thread......... Hopefully someone can help you?

NinaJane Thu 25-Mar-10 08:51:00

Hi alicet, I am so sorry for your friend's loss.

After my daughter had died, we received so many flowers and even though I normally love flowers, it had a terrible after effect, in the sense that whenever I smell a certain flower now, even 12 years later (in my case, St Joseph's lilies), the smell just reminds me of what had happened.

To be honest, there is not much you can say or do that will help your friends at this time.

If you can, try to do something practical for them. Don't speak to them directly, by asking what can you do to help - speak to your friend's mother or sister and find out what you can do to help - perhaps you can cook an anonymous meal or two for them or you could help with the memorial service arrangements, perhaps find out if you can help put some of their baby stuff into storage, just practical stuff - they don't have to know that you are doing it - they are too grief stricken to notice in any case - just quietly be there for them.

Months or even years later, when they have a conversation with their mother or sister or brother, they will realise how much you have helped behind the scenes, without them knowing and then they will know that you can be counted as a true friend - they will always remember your quiet kindness.

Hope this helps.

shabbapinkfrog Thu 25-Mar-10 10:48:10

So sorry for your friend and her family.

You are right - bereaved parents dont take people up on their offers to help because they cant help them bring back their precious children and that is the all consuming thought for them. I personally would take some food around for them - maybe a home made dinner? It may not get eaten but it will be gratefully received. If they have other children a helping hand on the school run etc. Practical things are so helpful when someone is in this God awful situation.

Will link you to the most supportive, loving thread on MN. Not just for bereaved parents but for anyone affected by the death of a child.

shabbapinkfrog Thu 25-Mar-10 10:49:56

Bereaved mums thread

alicet Thu 25-Mar-10 13:39:08

Thanks ladies for your thoughtful responses. So sorry to hear about the loss of your dd Ninajane. I wil check out the bereaved mum thread too.

One thing that is difficult at the moment is that we are staying with my parents at the opposite end of the country as I had already thought of going to help put baby thngs into storage. I have asked my friends dh (actually I am as close to them both and ork with him) if it would help for me to go over and help with this when I get back on Sat. Food is a good suggestion too. I don't have a contact number for their parents and siblings as that is an excellent suggestion too to try and help without being in your face with it - I'll try and find out.

Thanks again x

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