People often feel obligated to find a silver lining in every tragedy, but sometimes, there simply isn’t one. This card is a good way to show your loved one that you acknowledge the enormity of a situation that just sucks.
Show up when your loved ones are grieving
It was months after Adrian’s death, and I was sitting on the couch, trying to focus on mindless TV. It was the point after death where sympathy had mostly evaporated. And I didn’t want casseroles, but damn—I was lonely!
Sometimes people “freeze” after tragedy; unsure what to do or say. And often, there isn’t any perfect thing. But please do SOMETHING; anything to show that you care. You may not be perfect, but your efforts are still appreciated.
Pregnancy after loss is one of the most beautifully life-affirming and also simultaneously terrifying events your loved ones can experience. If your loved one has shared this news with you, it is likely because they trust you to be there for them, in the bad as well as the good. Be worthy of that trust.
It’s hard to feel sad and helpless when someone you love is struggling after loss. It’s hard to sit there in the darkness and support them when they are most in pain. It’s hard, but if you can do it anyway; if you can accept your helplessless and move forward, you will be more helpful than you know.
There is this trend in modern times, of building all these mental health resources and installing hotlines, but we don’t talk enough about how hard it can be for those who are struggling to pick up the phone. When I was in my darkest place, I didn’t have it in me, most days.
When the bereaved are deep in their grief, they often don’t know what they need. Please consider offering specific things:
I’d like to bring you dinner this evening. Is that okay?
Would you be interested in a walk in the park tomorrow morning?
A simple change in phrasing makes such a difference.
Acknowledge the bereaved parents in your life in the same way you acknowledge parents of living children. Parenthood doesn’t end when children pass away.
Your words may be awkward. You may stumble. You may stick in your foot in your mouth entirely. It’s still okay. What’s important is that you acknowledge the loss. That you embrace the awkwardness. That you show up anyway.