10 Rules for When Someone’s Baby Dies

You will likely not personally encounter a celebrity who has lost a baby. But you will encounter parents who have suffered pregnancy loss, infant loss, and child loss — both in person and online.

So I bring you my top 10 list of what you need to know when someone’s baby dies:

1. Always be kind.

I get that many hurtful words are said with the intent to be kind — and I’ll talk about that in a minute. But first — check your posture: Are you doing everything you can to empathize? Even if you cannot relate, do you assume this person is doing the absolute best they can under the circumstance? Before you do or say anything — first, be kind.

2. This loss is not a lesson.

(And read that again and again if you need to.) A parent may at some point in life after loss discover something about themselves or the world as a direct consequence of this loss. But that does not make this loss a lesson. God nor the universe puts the death of a child on someone so they can learn something. It’s tragic. Period. So if you are either trying to find the lesson in someone else’s loss — or want to teach them a lesson — full stop. No.

3. This is not God’s will.

Not everything that happens on this earth is God’s will. (Why would God create a life just to turn around and say, never mind?) Things happen on this earth all the time that are not God’s will. (And if that were not the case, why does the Bible say to pray for his will to be done?) Whether we agree theologically or not — the thing is, YOU don’t ever have the right to tell someone their loss was God’s will. Not. Ever.

4. Say something (hopefully supportive).

You do not need to tiptoe around the loss in order to avoid reminding them about it and making them sad. They have not (nor will they ever) forget. While you don’t get to demand that they pour out all their feelings out to you — you should still acknowledge that they have feelings. As they should. If you don’t know what to say, a simple, “I’m deeply sad for your family,” will do.

5. Say their child’s name.

If the greatest fear of a parent is to lose a child — the second greatest fear is that once their child is gone, they will be forgotten. You do not bring distress when you mention a child’s name who has passed away. You bring a gift. The gift of remembrance. Say the name. Remember their baby.

6. Remember with them.

If you are close with the person, make an effort on special dates to express that you remember their baby and are thinking of them. Holidays, due dates, Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, birthdays — all of these days are incredibly lonely and can be distressing for a loss family. Put an alert in your phone to send them a simple message or card to let them know you’re thinking about them and their baby.

Rachel Lewis
Rachel Lewishttp://thelewisnote.com
Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joes, drinking coffee, or writing about her journey as a mom at The Lewis Note. Connect with Rachel on Facebook and Instagram.

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