Friday, July 3, 2009

How to Help...

I know the next few posts I will be doing won't be for everyone and that's okay. I only hope I can help others through the heartache of a miscarriage.

These tips are adapted from Rachel Keller and can be found here (italics mine). These tips are right on! I know from experience. I have had 2 miscarriages and the first one I completely isolated myself except for family who was in another state. With my second miscarriage the Lord has blessed me beyond reason with loving friends, and of course, my wonderful family! Be open to receiving love and help from those around you! Let others LOVE on you and allow yourself to be blessed during this difficult time! It is important to learn to say, "YES!" to those who offer to help.

How to Help...

Be available. I may need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or your presence nearby. Don't tell me to stop grieving. Give me permission to cry. Be available to listen, but never force me to talk.

Be sympathetic. Acknowledge the importance of my grief. Don't offer explanations or try to minimize or eliminate the situation.

Send a card or short note. Your notes and cards let me know that you care.

Call. Whenever you call, ask if this is a good time or if I want to talk. I may or may not be ready to talk.

Visit. Call first to see if it's the right time for a visit. Surround yourself with people who love you! Go out and do something fun! It can be a nice distraction! Even if it's a simple as taking your kids to the park with a friend or window shopping with your favorite drink!

Offer assistance. Miscarriage can be physically and emotionally draining. Any offer of help is appreciated. Don't just say, "Call me if you need anything." I will probably never call. Instead, offer to clean my house, wash dishes, or babysit my children.

Take a meal. I really appreciated meals, especially frozen meals that I could reheat later. Some friends brought their meals in aluminum pans that I could throw out, and that really helped.

Pray for the family. Sometimes, this is the best thing you can do.

Realize that grief takes time. The pain of miscarriage does not go away after a week or two. The expected due date of the baby was an emotional time for me. Many women who experience a miscarriage have a difficult time being around pregnant women. If you are expecting, be considerate of your friend who has had a miscarriage. Don't avoid her, but be aware that she may not want to attend a baby shower. Invite her, but let her know that you understand if she would rather not come.

Also, don't try to hide your pregnancy. One woman was deeply hurt when a friend kept her pregnancy a secret until it was obvious she was pregnant. That friendship was nearly ruined. All life is a wonderful gift and celebration! Perhaps, tell your good news over the phone so your friend can process and grieve in private before you see one another in person. I'm happy for you, but it just reminds me of my own loss and what I won't experience with my own baby.

Thank you to all who have been the hands and feet of Jesus during this time in our lives!

Stay tuned next time for "What Not to Say!"


Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Great post, girl...well said!

jenny said...

Such a packed full post, Marisa....praying that you are continuing to feel surrounded by those who care and are hear to listen. Love you...enjoy your weekend!