Supporting Bereaved Parents
Do you know someone in your community circle who lost their baby? Most likely you do know someone who went through or going through pregnancy or infant loss. The gestational age and size of of baby has nothing to do with the depths of the grief the parents are going through. Loss is loss. The lives of these babies matter even when they were here on earth for a brief moment. Every person grieves differently and take note, there's no right or wrong way to grieve. There's no timeline either. There are no stages or steps; rather, it is a cyclical process that one has to go through. One can feel isolated and very lonely at times. YOU play an important role as a family, a friend, a colleague, or even a neighbor to someone who lost their child.
Give them space as needed but don’t walk away from them. Allow them to have time for themselves but don’t leave them hanging for too long. They lost their precious child and they are experiencing the darkest season of their lives. If they can’t see the light, sit with them in the dark. Make time to truly listen as they share their raw, unfiltered emotions. Open your heart, offer a shoulder to cry on, show empathy and really be there for them. Acknowledge the life of their baby, say their name and allow them to talk about their baby. It means so much to know that they are not alone. This is a great opportunity for your relationship to grow deeper in a new level if you stick with them on this journey.
Action speaks louder than words...so instead of saying something, try to do something instead. Express your love in action by doing acts of service from your heart.
Some people choose to be silent because they just honestly don't know what to say. They want to be there for the bereaved parents, but they are unsure if their words will be hurtful instead of helpful. Here are some of the words that you can say. Always use kind words. Be considerate, emphatic and understanding because they are going through an emotional turmoil. The least they need to hear are insensitive comments and unsolicited advices from someone who haven't walked in their shoes.
Have you experienced pregnancy or infant loss yourself? Share what are the words of the heart that were helpful to you? What are the acts of service that others have done to you that were helpful in your grieving and healing process? Let's give others more ideas on how they can express their love not just through words but also in action as they reach out to the baby loss community.