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 clichés 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.
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.