I delivered my baby boy almost exactly one week ago. He died before we got to hold him. A week has never felt so long. Over the past week, I have heard the following sentence dozens of times. “I don’t know what to say…”. Responding to a friend during a time of loss can seem overwhelming. How often have I been on the other side of the fence? It pains me to think of the many friends I have known who had miscarriages. What did I personally do most of the time? Say the same thing, “I don’t know what to say…”. Or worse, almost nothing.
Grief is a strange thing. It is scary. For us that fear delving past the shallow waters of conversations about our new favorite holiday drink at Starbucks or that awesome movie we just saw, talking about death can be too much.
This post is not really about what to say to a friend who experienced a miscarriage. Because, there is really not much you can say to make her feel better. That is not the point. But there is SO much you can say to her to maker her feel LOVED.
Now that I have been the one to experience something I thought would never happen to me, I can honestly say that hearing ANYTHING is better than hearing NOTHING. Some of my friends wrote me prayers via texts. Some dropped off meals. Some delivered flowers or gifts. Some prayed over us. Some spoke beautiful words of encouragement. Some emailed us condolences. Some decided to babysit our child. Some just sat with us and cried with us. Some, simply listened to us. Some hugged us. And some, said the words, “I don’t know what to say…”.
Do you know what I heard from every. single. one. of them?
It truly didn’t matter what my loved ones said. Because the truth is there are really no words to heal my heart right now.
Yet it was all medicine to soothe my aching heart. Will I heal overnight, next week, or next year? I don’t know. I trust God is the one to mend my broken heart. I know he uses people in my life to help with the process. Every word, even the “I don’t know what to say’s”, felt like medicine for my aching heart.
So, my point is this. Don’t feel like you have to say anything at all. Say what you mean to say. Or say nothing at all. Hug your friend, call them, or just sit with them.
To all my friends I was too afraid to reach out to when I knew you dealt with this, I am so sorry. But, moving forward, I know that saying nothing at all can be just as powerful as saying something eloquent. I am overwhelmed with love from the response of our family, friends, church, and community this past week. I can honestly say that even though I didn’t know what to say back or have the energy to respond, every person changed our life, forever.