This is the description for today’s subject –
So often in this community of bereaved parents we speak about all the things that friends and family should not say to us. There are countless articles about things never to say to a bereaved parent but not as many on actual things to say to a bereaved parent. If we want to break the silence surrounding baby and child loss we need to communicate our needs of what people can do and say to help. We must educate society on what real empathy is. What does empathy look like for you? What do you wish people would have said to you? How could they have helped you better?
Letting me talk and cry, and then talk and cry some more.
Sending an email once in while to say you are thinking about us and miss Elliot too.
Texting at random times to say you love the three of us.
Sending articles and memes related to pregnancy and infant loss.
Getting excited with me about all the signs from Elliot.
Sending cards in the mail to let us know we’re still in your thoughts.
Not being afraid to hear Elliot’s name.
Saying Elliot’s name with me.
Asking about Elliot and my time with her.
Smiling with me as I talk about all the wonderful memories I have of Elliot; there are so many.
Some people have said things along the way that weren’t helpful. It mostly comes from a good place so when I get those comments, I gently try to educate the individual. For the most part, people have been very empathetic. These are some of the most helpful comments/questions –
I love Elliot and I will never forget her.
Elliot made you a mother.
I am so sorry this happened to you and your family. I don’t know what to say other than I am thinking of you and I’m here if you need me.
It’s okay to cry and be angry.
How is Ben doing?
How are you feeling right now, in this moment?
How can we support you around the holidays?
Life is so unfair and you did not deserve this.
You were a great mother to Elliot when she was alive and you are still a great mother to her now.
I miss Elliot so much.
Please, tell me about your daughter.
What was your pregnancy like?
Elliot was meant to be your daughter and you and Ben were meant to be her parents.
Elliot will always be a part of our family.