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How to support a friend through the loss of a child? (4 replies)

Julez Fitzmond
6 years ago
Julez Fitzmond 6 years ago

I have a friend who has just suffered the loss of a child late on in her pregnancy. Although I am affected by childlessness, I also know that it is nowhere near the same situation as actually thinking that you're going to have a child and then having to go through the loss.

I just don't know what to do, or what to say that might help. Should I talk to her about it, or talk to her about other things to try and keep her mind off it? I don't want to avoid her, as she may feel abandoned, but I don't want to make things worse for her, either!

Nina
6 years ago
Nina 6 years ago

Hi Julez, Just let her know that you are there for her if she needs you. I haven't come across the exact situation and so cannot tell you about my personal experience. However, I have had to comfort people who had lost someone close to them and I gave them moral support, without saying too much. I suggest that you allow your friend to grieve without you trying to tell her what you think she should do, since you haven't been in a similar situation yourself. I think she will take comfort in knowing that you are there for her if she needs you. When you meet her, I suggest that you let her do most of the talking. In delicate situations such as this, it is best to listen.

Dawn Kells
6 years ago
Dawn Kells 6 years ago

I agree with Nina, and would like to add that the absolute worst thing that you could do would be to distance yourself - unless of course your friend specifically asks for that. It's a difficult situation to understand unless you've been there yourself, but stop worrying about how to act and just try to be around whenever she needs someone to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on.

Julez Fitzmond
6 years ago
Julez Fitzmond 6 years ago

Thanks ladies. I think you're right. I need to stop thinking so much about how I feel about the situation, and just think about what I can do to help my friend. There is also the added complication that I don't think my friend feels comfortable talking to me about it - because she knows that there is every chance that she will be able to have a child in the future, whereas for me it isn't something that I can do - however that's another issue entirely!

Dawn Kells
6 years ago
Dawn Kells 6 years ago

I can see why your friend would feel as though she couldn't say too much to, because being completely honest I feel a bad guilty talking to one of my childless friends - knowing that I have made the decision by choice even though she couldn't. But being there for her will mean a lot, and maybe even say that you can't imagine what she's going through.

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