Deborah Orr writes in today’s Guardian about the clunky, well-meant yet unhelpful things friends did or said during her gruelling breast cancer – ’10 things not to say’ include “If anyone can beat this it’s you” and “whatever I can do to help”….This brings to mind similar sounding gripes that many women have shared with me in the wake of a pregnancy loss.
Being told a version of any of the following:
“At least you have another child”
“Crack on and have another”
“It was very early on thought wasn’t it?”
“It’s nature’s way”
“Loads of people have them”
…doesn’t quite capture the intense grief of losing a baby that many women can feel – whatever the gestation of their baby. And I’d agree with Orr that a better version of “whatever I can do to help” would include, “Let me take you out to dinner tonight/pick up your dry cleaning/I’ve booked you a facial on Saturday….” Having to think what would be helpful can be a tall order when thinking generally is corrupted by painful feelings.
The Miscarriage Association are one excellent port of call for support here.