For those walking the path of grieving the loss of a baby or child, we offer grace for the journey and a friend to walk with you... There are moments on this walk when we feel we cannot go on. Moments when a friend comes alongside us to point us again to the One who sustains us. A friend to lift us in prayer. A friend to allow us to lean on her as she leans on Him. A friend, who is not afraid to walk through the valley in the rain, with a storm mounting. She is not afraid, because the Lord is her strength and her shield. She is not afraid because she doesn't walk alone. And because He has walked with her through the valleys and the storms, He has sent her to walk with you. And He will carry you both through the rain, through the storm, through the unknown dark alleys to secure, dry ground. Whether you are a newly bereaved mother or a seasoned mom who has watched the Lord make beauty from ashes in your life. Whether you need someone to lean on or you are the shoulder that can bear the burden, we hope you will walk with us as we are walking with Him. We hope you will join us with our broken umbrellas, with all our little quirks and imperfections in our various stages on this walk, as His grace washes over us in the pouring rain.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Supporting a Grieving Mother...What You Can Do...and This Week's Featured Blogger

I'd like to do something a little different with this Walking With You. There is still a featured blogger listed at the bottom of this post. But, first...some helpful information for someone seeking to offer comfort to a friend or loved one who has lost a child. Please add your own suggestions to the comments of this post. We all know that it is not easy to offer comfort in a situation where there seems to be nothing to say or do to ease the pain.

Supporting a Grieving Mother

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4


It is often very difficult to know how to minister to the needs of a grieving mother who has lost her child. There are no magic words to take away the pain of such a loss, and many find it overwhelming just to look into the face of such suffering. Here are a few suggestions from a mother who has walked this path more than once.

1. Don’t allow the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing keep you from reaching out in love. There are no perfect words. A simple “I’m sorry” and a hug can go a long way.

2. Acknowledge the baby. Refer to the child by name. It is often a blessing to a grieving heart to hear her child’s name spoken. Do not think that talking about him/her will bring the mother more pain. The memory of her baby is always on her mind. Sharing can be a comfort. Be willing to listen. She may need to tell her story over and over again.

3. Those who are grieving are not always able to ask for help. Instead of saying, “Let me know if you need anything,” just do something for the mother and her family. Be available, but also be willing to give space when needed. Bring a meal. Offer to watch the other children for awhile. Come over and sit with her, offering a listening ear.

4. Realize that your friend has been forever changed by the loss of her baby. Don’t expect her to be exactly the same. And please realize that grief has its own time table. Allow her the time she needs, and remain supportive. Everyone grieves differently. Don’t judge her choices or her “performance”. She may not react the same way that you think you would.

5. Avoid clich├ęs such as “You can have more children” or “This was God’s will”. Even words meant to comfort can actually sting a grieving heart like salt poured into an open wound.

 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15


I will be posting a link to this post on our resource page, so that others who visit may find some wisdom from those who have walked this path. Please add your thoughts to the comments.

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Please also take a couple minutes this week to show some love to Purple Moose, mommy to Shelomith, "born straight into the arms of the LORD ~ October 4, 2009". She is currently expecting her rainbow baby, and could use our love and prayers.

4 comments:

  1. Kelly, I'm so sorry that I haven't kept up on these Walking With You posts. I'm trying to get back in my blogging routine. I feel so bad when I miss posts.

    xx

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  2. I think you have great suggestions for others and I agree with all of them.

    One suggestion I would add is to let them know that you are thinking of them and their baby months and years after their baby has died. The most support is there right after it happens but it fades over time so keep checking in on them.

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  3. Thanks for featuring us Kelly.

    I second #3. it is hard to ask for help in a good situation, much less when everything falls apart (so to speak.) Also Holly's suggestion of checking back over time. once life was back to "normal" for everyone else, grieving parents are still on a time warp. . . stuck in the moment of loss. Yes they (we) will move out of there, but it takes long time.

    Another thing ive noticed , that i cant really put into words. . . there seems to be a tendency to give advice about how she's grieving. It especially hurts when coming from people who have not walked thru grief. (child or anyone!) People have told me things (especially "choose joy") and i just dont understand what they mean. Do they think that just because i'm not smiling, happy, jumping up and down, whatever, I'm not joyful? And what does it really mean to be joyful during grief (or any trial) for that matter? i dont get it. i think they want me to do the "pasted on smile" thing, but that is not me and i'm not going there. im not going to lie and say everyhing is fine because it's not.

    wow, that was a mouthful!!

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  4. i agree with what you've shared, Kelly, and also with what Holly and Purple Moose said.

    i'd also like to add acknowledging and showing care for our husbands and their grieving hearts. it was so hard to see Louie hurting and no one reaching out to him. we worry about our husbands pain, too, and by supporting our men, you are lifting us up.

    i also wanted to let you know that i started catching up with the featured mommy bloggers (i'm so behind... as always). so many beautiful hearts out here. <3

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