When death happens, it’s natural to want to fix the grief felt by those we care about. Some magic words make grief fade away. It is disheartening to see our loved ones in unbearable pain. We often tend to help them with their tasks and say something to make them feel better.
The death of a child is one of the most painful and overlooked types of grief. When a parent loses a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or after the child is born, their agony and heartache are not explained for long.
People don’t ignore bereaved parents on purpose. Sometimes they wonder what to tell them or even don’t know how to react to grief.
Although it’s hard to control your words when death occurs, there are words that you should never tell a grieving parent. Here are phrases that can cause more pain to a bereaved parent.
1. God Needed Them in Heaven
In the midst of unbearable pain and unanswered questions, bereaved parents don’t want to hear that God needed their child in heaven. Telling them that their lovely child is in heaven looking down on them is not reassuring either.
Although you may say these fictitious statements to calm their pain, to them, it could sound like you are justifying their child’s death.
2. You Can Get Pregnant
Telling grieving parents that they can get pregnant isn’t soothing at all. Remember, they are mourning their child because they liked their pregnancy, and no other child can replace those memories. Additionally, some parents may have faced difficulties becoming pregnant or even complications with their pregnancy. Telling a grieving parent that they can get pregnant again could remind them of the pain they went through in their pregnancy.
3. I Understand How You Feel
This statement is commonly used when comforting grieving parents. Some people go on to give long stories of their loss. Instead of sharing your losses and emotions, make the moment about the bereaved parent. When you share your losses, bereaved parents may feel like you are comparing their loss to yours.
4. Let Go and Move On
Never tell bereaved parents to let go and move on with their life. Remember, they have just lost their precious gift to death. Some people tell grieving parents that they are sad because of hanging onto their child too much. Such statements add unnecessary pain since they don’t choose to think about their lost child.
Instead, walk with the bereaved parent in every step of their grieving process. Talk about their lost child with them, what they miss the most about them and what the child was like.
5. Time Heals All Wounds
These parents might be thinking about their dead child every minute. Although time may soften the sharpness of their grief, they can never forget their child. No matter how much time passes, they will never forget their pregnancy, the time they shared with their child, and how proud the child made them feel.
Instead, try to focus on what could help them heal right now. Figure out ways you can help ease their burdens.
6. You Can Always Adopt
Adopting a child is an option, but it is mostly viewed as a choice for people struggling to grow their families. Adoption may never have crossed the minds of grieving parents. Therefore, telling them to adopt could make them feel like they have lost it all.