What NOT to say/do to Grieving Parents and What can help

So maybe you’re here as a grieving mother, father, grandparent etc. Or maybe you’re here because you’re a friend who doesn’t know how to go about talking to a friend who’s suffered infant loss.

More times than not, people want to be helpful and say things they think will help you. 9 times out of 10 those words hurt worse than saying nothing at all. So after consulting with some other fellow Angel Moms I’ve decided to come up with a list of things NOT to say or do to your grieving friend or family member…. and another list of things to say that will come across more acceptable and understanding.

What NOT to say to Grieving Parents:

1. Everything happens for a reason.

2. This is all apart of God’s plan and only he knows why.

3. You’ll have other children that will be healthy and normal.

4. So when are you trying again for another?

5. What happened? Why didn’t they do something to prevent it? Are you going to sue the doctor or hospital for their care?

6. You’ve got 3 other healthy kids, be grateful for them.

7. You’re not grieving properly and you won’t heal if you continue to do what you are doing now.

8. You’ll get over it and be happy one day.

9. Not bringing up the baby, or being scared to mention their name.

10. Showing pictures of or bragging about your healthy alive child. (Especially right after loss has happened)

11. You can always try again.

12. You’re still young, you have plenty of time to have a family.

13. You have to be strong for your other children, don’t let them see you sad about your loss.

14. You need to focus on your living child and not focus as much on your dead child.

15. I know how you feel, I lost my…. JUST DON’T (if you have not experienced pregnancy/infant/child loss please don’t say you know what we feel)

Helpful things to say to grieving parents

1. I’m sorry this happened to you, I know it was not expected, but I am here for you.

2. I know you don’t understand why, but I will continue to lift you up in my prayers for peace.

3. I hope that when or if you do try to conceive again, it is when you are ready and on your own terms. You don’t have to rush it because people ask when you’re going to try again.

4. When or if you are ever ready to talk about it, I’d love to sit down and learn more about your child’s condition.

5. I know it hurts but I am so glad that your other children are healthy. This will be tough but you can get through this.

6. I know people grieve differently, I hope you are doing well and if you feel like you are struggling please reach out to me.

7. One day when your ready, you will be able to get through daily tasks easier. Please take your time.

8. I am a little unsure how to bring up baby. Please tell me how to approach this topic and if you are ready to talk about them.

9. Your other children are looking up to you. They know you are sad, but they know you are strong as well. If you need help with them let me know.

10. I don’t know what it feels like to go through this, but I am here for you and want to help if you need me too.

Everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Some of the things in the “Do Not” say list may help some, the overwhelming majority of people in my situation that I’ve spoken to say that those things hurt more than they help. Remember that we will have good days and bad days. Days where we want to talk to anyone who will listen and days when we don’t want to speak a word.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please reach out to the suicide hotline by clicking the blue hyperlink. OR text CONNECT to 741741

It is okay to not be okay, it is okay to ask for help, it is okay to take medication for depression, anxiety.

1 thought on “What NOT to say/do to Grieving Parents and What can help”

  1. Katie, what a helpful post today for those who might not know what to say or how to say it when it comes to the loss of a child. You. Are. Amazing.


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