The content of this blog is owned and copyrighted by Rachelle J. Christensen. Please do not reproduce or publish any content on this blog without written permission from Rachelle.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Words Won't Make it All Better, But They Can Definitely Make It Worse

I wanted to continue the thread from my previous post found here.
I mentioned that it's hard to know what to say, but something that can help relieve the stress and discomfort is to know that words won't make it all better. It doesn't matter what you say to a person who has experienced a miscarriage or any kind of grief--it's not going to miraculously change their situation.
But in the same vein, words can definitely make it worse. So how do you find a balance?

I think the key is in realizing that you can't fix the problem so don't try to say something to fix it. This usually ends up in statements that diminishes the other's loss and causes added pain.
Instead, be sympathetic and if possible, empathic. Sympathy is expressing compassion, concern, or care for another's situation. Empathy is when you offer sympathy from a viewpoint of experience. You've experienced the same situation and so you recall how you felt and offer comfort.
Both sympathy and empathy are needed. But sympathy is not telling someone, "At least you know your baby would've had birth defects and died anyway."

That is a person's attempt to make themselves feel better about the situation--not the person mourning. For some reason, no matter what the situation, humans automatically grasp for a reason to provide justice or explanation to the occurrence. What you must realize is that if you are offering comfort to someone, you can't share with them what comforts YOU. You can't explain to them why something happened, offer philosophical insight into how the world is just, etc. and hope that they will smile and say, "I feel better. I'm not sad anymore."
No, those are things that cross your mind and help you understand the world you live in, but they don't comfort someone who is grieving.

So next time you're in a situation where you need to offer comfort, make sure that is what you're offering. Not advice, reasons, justification--offer comfort.
And shake off the worry of needing to say something that will make them feel all better and realize that you're not going to make them feel ALL better, but if you're wise and offer heartfelt expressions of sympathy/empathy you might make them feel better for a time--feeling ALL better is something you can't give to another person. It's up to them and it takes time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Magic Thread

A close friend of mine is going through yet another miscarriage and I paused to think about how hard it is to say the right things. Even though I've gone through miscarriages I still worry about what to say.
I guess I worry because so many people said exactly the WRONG things to me when I had my miscarriages. You know some of them,

"Your baby would've probably had too many birth defects."

"Don't worry, you'll have another baby."

"It's not the same as a death."

"It's been six months, aren't you going to try to have another baby?"

"... "
And sometimes the worst were those that said nothing at all, but ignored me because they didn't know what to say.

It's okay, I know how they felt and I don't harbor ill feelings to anyone. In fact, I've forgotten much of what was said and if it wasn't for my journal and writing my book, I probably would've forgotten all of them.

That's one blessing we all have is our fading memory. For some that causes fear and anxiety because you think,
No, I don't want to forget my baby.

You won't forget your baby, but hopefully you'll forget the raw edges of pain cutting into your heart when you lost your baby. Hopefully, you'll remember the bond that was formed the moment you discovered you were pregnant and not the sadness and sorrow associated with loss.
Forgetting the fine details is one way we cope as human beings, otherwise life as a whole would become overwhelming.

Just remember probably the easiest and best thing to say is, "I'm sorry."
But you could also say:
"Is there something I could do to help?"
"Would you like a hug?"
"I'll pray for you."

You don't have to say something to make it all better, because it won't be. Words don't make it better. The love you share helps heal a hurt.

I'd like to leave you with a thought I shared with one of my readers:

I understand the feeling of a breaking heart and I wish I had magic thread to stitch it back together for you. The only magic thread I know is time.

Let time be your comforting companion on your journey through grief and trial and let fading memory be a salve to help you overcome your sorrows and put on those "rose-colored glasses" and look back in time and see only the good parts.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mending Your Heart

Dianne recently commented on another of my blog posts:
"I had a miscarriage 36 years ago, and it's not something that a woman forgets."

It is so true.
You'd think that for me, with three kids now, it wouldn't even cross my mind. But sometimes it hits me and I know that the loss didn't disappear, didn't dissolve just because I have kids. The pain definitely diminished, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't have loved to have those children too.

It's another myth of miscarriage that you should just get over it, take your short bereavement period and move on. A huge myth that has pervaded this society of women is if you have children either before or after the miscarriage you lose your right to mourn. One of my goals with this blog and my book is to dispel the myths surrounding miscarriage. I believe that if we could rid ourselves of the myths and their baggage, we might have a more successful grieving period and feel okay living in our own skin again.

If you've had a miscarriage and you're grieving your loss, may God bless you. I hope that you continue to feel stronger and know that it's okay to have a tiny corner of your heart that pangs for that loss even several years later, not that I'm debilitated by it, but that I do remember. But now I've accepted that life will not always be happy blooming roses and yet I can enjoy it all the same.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

National Share Organization for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support, Inc.

I've found a wonderful new online resource called Share. This website is an incredible bank of support for those suffering from miscarriage. Share also has a new blog you can visit to read more about how to make it through this tough time.

Share has so many different types of information and maybe something you read will help provide comfort and assurance. I'm the reading type, so I liked to read about different things to help me remember I'm not alone.

Share also has chapters all over the United States, Click here to see if there's a chapter near you.
Related Posts with Thumbnails