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Some Thoughts on Coping with Miscarriage & LossSome thoughts on coping with miscarriage loss

Coping with Miscarriage and Loss

Many times when a woman or couple suffers a miscarriage, well-meaning friends and family try to offer comfort by saying things like “You can get pregnant again” or “I’m sure you’ll have a new baby in no time”.

Unfortunately, these kinds of sentiments don’t help at all and can even make things worse. Whether you’re the person trying to cope with a miscarriage & loss or a concerned friend or family member, the following guidance is meant to help you through this very difficult time.

First, for family and friends: The woman (or couple) grieving this monumental loss doesn’t want to hear about some other baby they might have in the future. It’s usually not helpful to say things like “It wasn’t meant to be” or “It’s God’s will”. A miscarriage is a death: the death of a person who was excitedly anticipated and carefully planned for and most likely already had a name.

You might believe the miscarriage was “God’s will” or that it’s not a big deal because it happened early in the pregnancy, but to the person(s) trying to cope with the loss these words ring hollow. Allow time for grieving and never say “I understand how you feel”. Even if you’ve also had a miscarriage, you don’t know how your loved one feels; everyone experiences loss in a different way.

The most helpful words you can offer will be things like “Know that I’m here for you if you need to talk” or “Is there anything I can do to make this time easier for you?” Offer to prepare meals or water the garden; simple things that can feel overwhelming for persons weighted down by grief.

For the woman or couple: You have suffered a huge loss; don’t allow anyone to make you feel that you’re over-reacting or that you need to “move past this” or find “closure”. The concept of “closure” as it relates to death is a myth.  In psychological terms, “closure” refers to obtaining information that will allow a person to eliminate any uncertainty about an event. Death is always uncertain: we don’t know why some people die while others survive a particular experience or what happens to them after they’re gone.

Know that everyone grieves differently, on their own timeline. Perhaps you’ve heard of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s “Five Stages of Grief”: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Another myth! These stages are meant as a guide to help people understand the possible responses to a loss; they are not intended to represent “normal” grieving; there is no such thing.

Take as much time as you need. Do whatever you need to do to find some comfort. If this means having a memorial service for your unborn child, that’s perfectly fine. In short, there is no “right” way to grieve; the process is unique to you.

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