I have been telling my journey to motherhood which took almost 18 months from the first time I found out I was pregnant on each Friday of the week. Also, October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month due to the fact that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Also, October 15th is the remembrance day when those that have lost a child light a candle at 7pm in their time zone.
Since it is October I wanted to share some advance for those that want to comfort some going through a loss or crisis. This is my experience and everyone is unique and different in how they are most helped in the middle of grieving.
I started this list after my first miscarriage because my mom emailed and asked me send her a list of verses and what helped me most during my loss. She specifically asked me because I had attended a ladies night at my church that covered crisis etiquette and I had passed that information onto my mom previously. She wanted to know my insight after having gone through a crisis myself. How timely that I had heard about crises etiquette right before needing it myself. Now I pass on what I learned from walking through my own crisis.
Below are the information that I put in the document that I sent to my mom on my thoughts while going through a crisis.
Thoughts during a crisis
Verses that helped me. When you don’t know what to say it is always good to turn to the scriptures because they say it better then you can any day.
- Psalms 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
- Isaiah 41:10 – A good friend sent this to me during the first miscarriage because she had recently gone through two herself.
- Matthew 11:28-30 – Reminder that God is where you find rest
- John 14:27- Peace
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 – God’s grace
- Psalms 55:22 “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you…”
- Psalms 147:3 – God is the one who heals
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord and he will guide you
- 1 Peter 2:24 – We are healed by Christ
- 1 Peter 4:19 – Faithful Creator
- Psalms 91:4 – This one my mom sent me because she remembered my husband holding me in his arms just like it talks about God covering us with his wings
- Isaiah 43:18 – Don’t live in the past
- Romans 8:28 – Reminder everything works together for good. God’s good for me.
- 1 Corinthians 13:7 – Love
- 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 – Walk by faith
- Hebrews 11:1 – Faith
- Psalms 37:4 – This one was in my mind daily because my focus needed to be on the Lord
- Psalms 139:13-16 – Reminded me who was in control
- Psalms 56:3 – My life verse since childhood and continues to be true. “When I am afraid I will trust in you.”
- 1 Samuel 1:27 – Hannah’s prayer for a child and my prayer too
- Psalms 23 – The Lord is my shepherd
- Isaiah 55:8-10 – Reminder to trust in God because his ways are not my ways
My faith really helped me through my loss and grieving because I knew who was in control. I know I grew in my relationship with God and that he has my best interest no matter what is going on. But I did and still do need daily reminder of his promises in his Word.
There here are so practical ways you can reach out to help others. These are what helped me the most.
1 – Always ask what they need because everyone is different. As you can see I think this is the first place to start. Ask, ask , ask. Try to think of what need you specifically want to meet, be specific. Just saying what can I do to help doesn’t always work. Being specific helps because sometimes in the middle of grief you don’t realize what you need until asked. If it is refused that is ok because you asked. The biggest comfort to the person is that you offered even if it isn’t accepted.
2 – Send just a note, text or email saying they are praying or thinking of that person. I liked ones that were specific or gave a verse or quote. It built my faith up. It gave encouragement that people were thinking about me. Support was important for me through the loss and I believe it is for anyone hurting.
3 – My surprise flowers from my visual manager at Gap were amazing and wonderful! Surprises are so much more meaningful then I realized. And you can give surprises without infringing on the space that they may want. Also, cupcakes from my husband’s friend and the visit that came with them was at the right time. For myself and my husband seeing people was one of the biggest encouragement that we needed but some people will just need space and alone time.
4 – Hugs were needed. Especially when I went to set up the Christmas dinner and was a little stressed. I felt like I just needed a hug which surprised me because I am not a natural hugger. I have been thinking about just hugging more friends more often because it is amazing how much that can help. I know I have told my husband that I didn’t need him to fix anything just listen and hug me.
5 – Encouragement from other women who were there prior was helpful. I had a mentor who had been through multiple miscarriages and as well as friends. Even though each of ours were different and we handled them differently it still helped to know others had been there. That is one reason why I am open and honest about my loss so others know that they can come talk to me.
6 – Friends bringing dinners the week after our loss was beyond helpful. It was especially needed when I went back to work because I didn’t want to cook or clean because it was soo hard just waking up and going to work each day. My one friend that initially dropped what she was doing to bring us food the day we found out we had miscarried was amazing. Think of what is the last thing they want to do and help with that.
7 – Phone calls were good. I know just talking to my mom helped. I also remember calling a friend after a fight with my husband to just talk. Checking my emotions with a girlfriend helped as my husband didn’t always understand.
8 – Also, being invited over to hang out, on coffee or lunch dates were helpful. I needed to be around people. My best night after it happened with the Christmas dinners being around friends. This one will definitely be different for each person.
9 – Sometimes just showing up with food and chocolate helps. Through my second miscarriage the best thing was a good friend just saying she was coming over while I was physically in the worst of it. My husband was at a lost what to do and it helped once she showed up with food, chocolate and wine. I think just her presence was what helped the most.
10 – Then specifically for those who have gone through a miscarriage or loss of a child. Try to be excited for them when they announce another pregnancy. Treat them with respect but be just excited as you would be for another pregnancy announcement. If you have already lost the joy of the first trimester and to be treated normal by others around you helps. Celebrating the coming child even though fear is probably involved is easier then holding your breath around them and not talking about the baby coming.
I think when I look back over this list the biggest thing is SUPPORT SUPPORT SUPPORT. Be there for your friends and family.