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How Do You Help A Grieving Parent Who Lost a Child?

Updated: Feb 20

A woman is illuminated by the rays of the sun as she crouches by the window covering her face in portrait view.

October is observed as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month worldwide. And while it is a notable period for parents who have lost a child, to reflect on their pain and remember their little angels, it is also a period for persons who may not have experienced the pain firsthand to support loved ones.

As a person who has never experienced such a loss firsthand, I cannot begin to imagine what thousands of parents across the globe go through. I actually struggled writing this post because I wasn’t sure it was okay for me to speak on this topic – what do I know anyway. But after doing some research and unofficial polls, I have come to realize that that attitude contributes to us not normalizing people talking about their loss and instead drives the stigma that is sometimes attached to the pain many moms and dads face.

This is definitely a serious issue affecting many women, men and families across the globe and we ought to normalize parents feeling and working through that pain for however long they need to. Ignorance is no excuse to not play a part in helping a grieving parent who lost a child. There is always something you can do.

How to Help A Grieving Parent: The Do's and Don'ts

If you’re like me and need some direction on how you can support a friend, relative or even co-worker who is a grieving parent, here is how you can start.

  1. Be present

  2. Keep your condolences simple and honest

  3. Avoid triggering statements

  4. Don’t ignore the situation

  5. Check-in on them

  6. Help parents remember their baby

  7. Listen and acknowledge their grief

  8. Ask how you can help

  9. Try to remember the special dates and plan to be with them during that time

  10. Offer your assistance with everyday tasks, especially for parents who already have children.

Final Thoughts: Facts About Pregnancy and Infant Loss

According to the Star Legacy Foundation, 1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery or infancy. To put it simply, that means 1 woman from your friend, prayer or study group will likely experience this. This may be in the form of a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, each of which is devastating to any family.

1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery or infancy. Star Legacy Foundation

Let’s encourage and support our loved ones through what must be an extremely challenging ordeal. It can not be easy and I imagine no amount of time will help the wound to truly heal.

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