What NOT to say to a Loss Mom (written by Lisa Giordano)
If you have not experienced loss but someone you love has, you can love them and be a great support to them by considering your choice of words. I know that you feel you have to say something, but simply showing up for people and comforting them goes a long way. You will never go wrong with “I am so sorry for your loss, my heart breaks for you” or “if you ever want to talk about how you are feeling or if there is anything I can do to support you, please know I am here for you.” Or “I am so sorry for your pain and heartbreak, I am praying for you.” Please see below to help you understand things that would be hurtful to say to a loss mom.
I polled loss moms on Instagram and asked them this question: “Tell us what you should NEVER say to a loss mom”. One of the most common responses was starting any sentence with “at least". Here are some of their responses in no particular order:
The 2nd most painful thing is when my baby passed away at 2 days old - I invited a close friend round to talk about Tommy and tell her what had happened. I told her the whole story and she said that when she had her baby - a year previous - she didn’t love her little girl straight away and it took weeks to love her…… she was pregnant with her 2nd child at the time. Whilst I was organising my baby’s funeral
It obviously just wasn’t meant to be
“He’s not suffering anymore.”
Ooh so this is a good one, it's been a month since delivering my stillborn son, my mum was literally in the room when I birthed him but last week, my mum told me to "just ignore the babies" so I'd sit on the table next to them. When I replied "I can't, mum, can't we sit outside?" "Well it's a bit cold" 😳
“Don’t worry, you’ll have a baby someday” which is hard after losing our ivf twins.. I mean what if I don’t. What if that was it. 💔
“At least it was early..” 😐
“At least you know you can get pregnant!”
1) getting pregnant once doesn’t mean it can happen again
2) getting pregnant and having a healthy baby are NOT the same thing.
You are still young
You can have another one
Pray about it
"We will do your labs, get you cleared and you can try again in the next couple months." The morning after I had my miscarriage right after they did the ultrasound at the OBGYN. Something about him acting like I'd be in a place to talk about wanting wanting to get pregnant again when I wanted to just hold the one I lost was so not okay.
“There was probably something wrong with the baby so be thankful it’s in Heaven now.”
You’re dramatic about everything and I’m just not. Sorry I had a healthy pregnancy and you didn’t
Any statement that starts with “at least” …….
Everything happens for a reason, or you can always try again
Ugh. So many things. What really irked me was the dreaded “dead baby face” look where a coworker would see me, not know what to do and turn around. Baby loss seems so unnatural and it’s hard on us all.
“If you hadn’t lost X, Y wouldn’t be here”
You can always adopt
“At least” ..followed by literally anything
“Only god knows why he does things.”
Oh how sad, my dog just died. I know just how you feel.
It’s your fault - and I didn’t even do anything wrong 😢
"You're doing so good!" "Good luck on this pregnancy"
"I know how you feel my grandma died". Ummm no you don't know how I feel. Grandparents are supposed to go before you. It's unnatural for your child to go before you.
Get over it! Glad nobody had said that to me.
“You’re young and you still have time to try again.”
“Well we’re expecting”
“Everything happens for a reason”
If that was true, why did he take four babies from us?
You can have other babies!
It was gods plan 😢
I had a twin die and multiple people said “at least you have one”
Nothing. It hurt me when no one said nothing. I wanted my loss to be acknowledged 😢
I hope XXXX heals you” said 3 months after a benefit walk for the hospice service that cared for our daughter in her final days.... I’m sorry, no. Raising money and walking around the zoo is not going to “heal” me, and neither is anything else in this word.
“Everything happens for a reason.” I am sorry but that is not true!!!
After my miscarriage when I was pregnant with my rainbow baby, someone said “When can I get excited about this one?”
At least you have your other children. Heard that one a few times.
May God help you move on with your lives 😳 move forward carrying our daughter in our hearts but certainly not moving on 😢
Anything that starts with “at least” or “I just can’t believe”. A few that still sting.. “at least you can do everything right this time”(response to announcing pregnancy after our daughter was stillborn at 37W). “I can’t believe you’re already home from the hospital! I was still there bleeding profusely with my daughter at the hospital right now!”(well.. I was too, except when your daughter dies they discharge you after you turn them over to the morgue..). “This is gods way of taking her when it’s “easy” instead of when she was 2 years old” (because that would somehow be easier?).. I could go on…
“God is saving you from who your child might become someday” “God is punishing you for having sex before marriage” “You’re a teenager, get over it. You shouldn’t be grieving because you did this to yourself”.
“you are still young, you can have more” the worst when it comes from close family!
Maybe this is a sign that you shouldn’t have any more. (Yes, this was said to me.)
Concentrate on the kids you do have😢
God needed them, you can have more, at least you have other kids ❌
At least you were able to have the kids you have. Completely a no no to say.
Never describe motherhood as “just keeping tiny humans alive.”
“You need to start letting go now” “i know someone who’s had it worse” “maybe it was for the best, something must have been wrong with the baby” “you’re young” “things happen for a reason” “this might happen to you multiple time, it might be because you can’t carry boys” these were all said within a matter of days from me coming home after giving birth 🙃
It wasnt meant to be, you can try again when you're ready..
Leave him in the hands of God, where he is. He doesn’t need you any more
You can try again, it was not meant to be, you have your other children.
Lisa Giordano is Christ follower. She is a member of Joy Community Fellowship of Williamstown in NJ. She is married to Greg and they are blessed with 5 children here on earth and 8 babies in heaven. She is a stay home mom and homeschools her children. She works part-time from home in her shops that create personalized remembrance prints for families who have lost babies. She considers it a great privilege to come along side hurting families and care for them and bring them comfort. You can go to her shop here. She also has a ministry called Heavenly Birthdays where monthly lists of heavenly babies names are recorded and the loss families are prayed for on their child's heavenly birthday. She also offers a number of free personalized digital files for loss families and families experiencing infertility.