I’m going to ask you to imagine something horrible: Let’s say a good friend of yours dies. You are devastated. You are wrapped in grief. And even though it just happened, whenever you talk to people about your friend, the first question they ask is whether you have started looking for a new one. It’s disrespectful. It doesn’t make any sense. It carries the connotation that humans are replaceable. It’s not something we do.
So please don’t do this to someone who has lost a child. Having a child subsequent to loss is a beautiful thing. It’s not, however, automatic or required. It’s not the immediate next step after the burial. It’s not a “cure” to the “problem” of grief. Children are individuals, not consolation or replacements. Parents who lose children may go on to have a subsequent child, but these things are not related to each other. Please don’t assume them to be.
Bereaved parents don’t need to be asked or told to “try again.”
The best thing you can say, under any circumstances, is, “I’m sorry. This sucks. I’m here.”
Graphics Blog: Notes for the Support Team
Graphics Blog: Notes to the Support team; Words Matter
Miranda’s Blog: The Phone Call you Never Expect to Receive; Supporting a Loved One after the Loss of a Child