Platitudes are among the worst. When someone is grieving, the only thing I can ask is to please avoid minimizing a loss. Miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, child loss, and all the other kind of losses to death and the loss of expectation to divorce or break ups or job losses...none of those things are helped with trite verses or phrases. I know most people don't intend to deepen the wounds. And I try to take people at their intentions and not at their words or tone. But if anyone wants to know what to say to a grieving person? "I'm so sorry." "I'm here for you if you need to talk." "Can I bring dinner?" Send a card. Bring coffee or a cherry limeade--which is all I wanted when I was in the hospital and thank you to my wonderful friends who brought me limeades and sno cones.
I have an off and on series called What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent. It's pretty amazing the things people say. The ones that hurt me the most were suggestions that I might have caused what happened (next time don't exercise as much--exercise saved. my. life.) and the idea that I won't feel better until I birth another child. There's always an awkward silence when I say I cannot have any more children. But even if I could, Garrett was Garrett. Autumn is Autumn. And even the baby we almost brought home to adopt has a place in my heart. He is a loss, too, if not the same kind. All of them are people. Souls, if you will. They aren't interchangeable.
This blog post is for the worldwide event Capture Your Grief in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Day 3: Myths, Do you believe there are any myths about grief? You could write the myth on a piece of paper and photograph it.