- What does it mean to be a good friend?
- How do you be a good a friend?
- Am I good friend?
Part of a good self-care routine includes investing in others. Over the next few posts, I will explore what it means to be a good friend. This first post looks at being a friend when someone has experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Miscarriage and Stillbirth
After baby Loftus died, I found myself searching for other moms who shared my story. I wanted to be reassured I was not alone in my pain, that there were others who had felt the vulnerable hurt of pregnancy-loss. My grieving heart yearned for a friend who would listen with compassion, patience, and understanding.
Sometimes you may feel scared or don’t know what to do when a friend or family member experiences a pregnancy-loss. Let me reassure you, your feelings are normal. Most people are a bit nervous when talking about grief and loss.
A helpful hint: Loss and grief are universal experiences. When you reach out to comfort another heart in her grief, you touch on your stories of loss and grief. Helping others grieve means revisiting your own painful experiences. Draw on what you felt and learned from your journey with grief and use that as a stepping stone in understanding your friend’s story of loss and reaching out to her in her time of need. It does not matter if your stories of loss do not match-up. What matters is you are willing to be a grief companion.
Helpful ways you can support a friend through baby-loss.
- Simply listen and be a companion in her grief . It is a gift just to have someone there to listen to your story.
- Help the the family with day to day tasks, such as child care, meals, or household chores.
- A mom can have a wide range of reactions to the loss of her baby. Reassure her that numbness, frustration, confusion, anger, anxiety, sadness and feelings of helplessness are all normal and natural feelings. Let her know it is okay to express these feelings with you.
- In the weeks following the loss, gently encourage her to draw on her own strengths.
- Sensitively and kindly allow her to grieve her loss in her own unique way.
- Acknowledge and remember important dates. There are two very important dates in a baby loss; the day the parents were told their baby had died and the expected due date. Most moms and dads appreciate when others remember these dates with them. A card, a call of encouragement, or any simple acknowledgment of this day validates their baby’s importance and aids in their healing.
4 resources in Rochester MN for families who are grieving a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Hearts Like Hannah: Provides encouragement, support, and friendship for those dealing with infertility, miscarriage, adoption and more. Currently the group meets four times a year in January, April, July, and October but also meets periodically at other times.
Contact: Stephanie, 507-282-5569, email Location: Christ Community Church, Rochester MN
Flourish Counseling Center: Offers professional counseling services for those grieving a miscarriage or stillbirth. Read more here.
Seasons Hospice Bereavement care and Support Groups: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Group: A group for those who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, at the time of birth or within the first month after birth. Meets the 2nd Thursday each month Contact: 285-1930, website.
Heart Overflowing with Prayers and Encouragement: H.O.P.E. is miscarriage and stillbirth ministry of Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester MN.
Mission: to encourage families who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth through the provision of a care package, notes of encouragement from the families who have experienced loss, and weekly prayer through the first year of loss.
H.O.P.E. offers grief mentoring for family members. The grief mentor makes phone calls to the family to assess their emotional and physically needs and establish a positive relationship with the family. Grief mentors also meet with family in person as needed.
Over the past two years H.O.P.E. has extended care in the areas of pregnancy after a loss and families of preterm babies. This program includes weekly prayer for mom, dad, and baby, cards of encouragement, a pregnancy mentor, and post-baby emotional assessment.
Contact: Allison, 507-993-7731, website
If you are grieving a miscarriage or stillbirth know that you are not alone.
allison jean loftus MA, LPC at Flourish Counseling Center LLC