how can I help if my friend has experienced a miscarriage?
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I feel empty and sad.  Actually the word “sad” does not describe it.  “Raw” would be the closest word I could come up with.  My emotions, my thoughts and
my insides are screaming.”

Devastated.  Sad.  Lonely.  Empty.  Mad.  Hurt.  Guilty.  Angry.  Confused.  Her hormones are raging, her mind is spinning, and she will likely feel many
things all at once, nothing at all, and everything in between.

Having a miscarriage sets your world upside down.  Rips the carpet out from under you.  Smacks you in the face.  All at the same time.  

The baby.  Our baby.  My baby!  It is all you think about and all you try not to think about.  

Time has stopped and this moment, the actual date, time and place of the miscarriage will forever be part of your history; etched in your heart.  Time will
be referenced, if only by you, as “before the miscarriage” or “after the miscarriage”.  

Your body feels empty, your mind feels overwhelmed with thoughts and questions.  Your heart feels very, very heavy.  Crying and yelling or even the
combination of the two, can’t seem to take any of the pain away.

Everyday normal seems far away and previous priorities don’t seem to matter or can even seem trivial at this time.  All you can think about is what you lost
– your baby.  How could life be so cruel? Unfair?  

You don’t feel like yourself, only a shell of who you were just moments ago before the miscarriage.  This is not my life.  It doesn’t feel like you're living but
rather watching a movie.  And then it hits you again. The feeling that you have had the wind knocked out of you, puts your life at a standstill and brings you
back to reality. You realize this is your life. Your body.  Your mind.  Your feelings.  Your baby.  And now your miscarriage.

It is normal for your friend to dwell (you know how we women can be our own worst enemy) on the following:  Why me? What did I do to cause it? Did I do
anything wrong? What is next?  Your friend didn't do anything wrong.  

Your friend could be experiencing these feelings all at one time or all at the same time.  The combination of these feelings can be overwhelming.  Not to
mention the hormones.  Remind your friend to be kind to herself or at least allow you to be kind to her.

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    Journal entry:  “For the time I was pregnant before my miscarriage, I had experienced joy that filled me completely.   A time that changed my life.   
    Thinking about the miscarriage, I remember an emptiness that went straight into the core of my being.  At work I would find myself going over and
    over my daily life.  Did I eat something not on the pregnancy list, did I walk too long on that beautiful day or was that basket of clothes too heavy?  
    Thoughts of what the baby would look like came flooding into my head on the way home in the car.  I felt like I was consumed with what would
    never be.  

As every friend is unique, every woman and her situation will be different.  Some woman may choose to put their miscarriage behind them sooner and
look to the future with hope, while others will take more time to get to that same place to begin healing.  

There is no right or wrong answer, amount of time to heal or way to go about it.  Allow your friend the time she needs.  Don’t pressure your friend in any
preconceived way based on your time line or how you would grieve.  

Grieving is a very personal process and should be respected.  Letting your friend know that you are there for her will go a long way.

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    Journal entry:  “I know everyone is trying to help.  My husband.  My parents.  My in-laws.  My friends.  I appreciate the effort.  The words, the thoughts
    and cards and gifts to cheer me up.  The daily phone calls to see how I am feeling.  Sometimes talking helps.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes
    quietness and staring out the window does.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  This is going to take time.”

Really there are no magic words that you can say to comfort your friend. She is going through a very difficult time in her life. Let her know that you are there
for her.  That you want to support her at this time.  That you recognize her feelings and you are sorry for the loss of her baby.

Giving her the time she needs to heal is important, as her grief can come and go.  Everyday events, specific words, other pregnant women, babies and
baby related items can remind your friend of her loss.

If you have had a miscarriage, tell your friend at this time.  Something as simple as, “I am sorry.  I know what it is like, I had a miscarriage too.”   Then let
her guide you in the conversation.  She may want to know all about your experience, or she may not be able to listen at this time.  Be patient.

Do realize that everyone copes with loss, even the same kind of loss, in different ways.  Letting your friend grieve and mourn in her own way and time is
important.

What we found most helpful while we were coping with our loss was having a friend who:
was a great listener
acknowledged our baby
acknowledged our feelings
supported us
hugged us
cried with us
was quiet with us

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    Journal entry:  I know people mean well, but I am not sure they think before they speak.  Today 3 friends told me, "don't worry you can get pregnant
    again".  Although I hope this is true, that's not what I wan't to hear right now.  How can they just discredit my baby.  Don't they see I am grieving?  
    What if I told them, "Too bad your husband died.  You can get married again."  
     
Most people when faced with the news of a miscarriage can sympathize in the abstract.  But feeling comfortable talking to your friend about her loss may
be difficult for many reasons.  

Get over it!  Your friend needs you.  Now is the time to think of her.  Even if you get it wrong, she will know you meant well, and will appreciate all you do.

People close to your friend may think it is better not to remind her of the pain of the miscarriage while she is trying to “forget it” or they may not understand
the importance of her loss.   Actually acknowledging the baby she lost will provide more comfort.  

Pretending it didn't happen or avoidance of any kind come across as insensitive.  It is OK to convey that you are not sure exactly what to say, but that you
are there for her.

We have tried to put together a list of comments that we heard from well meaning friends and relatives.  Just keep in mind that during this sensitive time
there are many sentences that once said, do not sound as great as intended and may actually be insensitive and hurtful.  Try to think of another type of
loss (death of a spouse or grandparent) and how the following sentences would sound relative to that loss, it will help you see if what you are saying is
comforting.

Try to stay away from saying to your friend:








































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    Journal entry:  I feel a little better today.  i can't believe it, I didn't think I would ever start to heal.  My friend Laura confessed that she had a
    miscarriage too.  I instantly didn't feel so alone.  She told me of a special bracelet that she wanted to lend me; it had helped her.  I eagerly accepted
    through my tears.  Good friends make the difference!

You will not be able to take away your friend’s pain but you might be a bright spot in her day.  Having someone to remind your friend that she is special
and that she is cared about goes a long way.  

Based on how we felt going through our own miscarriages, here is some advise on what to do or say:
    There may be days when your friend needs to:
    -talk specifically about the miscarriage and the baby she lost.
    -talk about everything but the miscarriage
    -give her mind a rest from thinking about the miscarriage (sport activities, shopping, movies, book club, gardening)
    -talk with other women who have experienced the devastation of a miscarriage – sharing is power

    Remind your friend:
    -to find her own path to healing (that if she needs to cry in the shower first thing in the morning to make her day a little easier – then do it)
    -to enjoy time with her spouse or significant other
    -to enjoy time with her other children
    -not to blame herself for what has happened
    -that it is OK to have jealous or envious feeling of pregnant women or women with children, she will not always feel like this
    -that one day  - even though her heart will never forget – she will feel better
    -to have a little hope for the future and think positively
    -there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Do what she needs to do to feel better.
    -visit our website – www.OurHopePlace.com

Many women who experience a miscarriage can be overwhelmed by daily activities and chores, and they likely won't ask for help. Letting your friend know
specific ways you would like to help her and when (ex. I want to baby sit on Tues from 2 PM - 4PM, cook dinner for your family on Thursday) can be
comforting.   If you say “Let me know what I can do?” without being specific, that puts the effort on your friend to contact you and doesn't she have enough
to deal with already?

Some specific ways to help:
    -help around the house (cleaning up, folding laundry, outside chores)
    -cook (drop off a meal for her and her family)
    -baby sit (either at her house or ask if she wants some time alone and take her kids with you )
    -do errands for her

You should feel good about yourself and what you are trying to do for your friend.  We created OurHopePlace.com to be an enabler of hope allowing
friends to help their friends feel comfort, understanding, healing and ultimately hope in their time of need.  We hope we helped you.

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link to send a gift:  customize cope and hope care package
link to bracelet of hope story
You can always get pregnant again
You are diminishing this lost pregnancy, this baby and the hope
and dreams already formulated for this baby.  (You can always
get another husband, grandmother, etc.)
You have other children, consider yourself lucky
Every child is a blessing and if you were trying for another baby,
you were hoping for another baby.  (You have other grandparents,
best friends.)
Good thing the pregnancy ended itself, it was God’
s way, it’s for the best, there could have been
something wrong with the baby
Although intellectually she may think of this, emotionally she still
lost a baby.
You were only a few weeks pregnant, how can
you be so upset, you were not attached to baby
yet, it was not a full term baby
A few days, weeks or months of being pregnant, many women
have already bonded with the baby and have imagined a future for
that baby in their mind.  It does not matter how long they were
pregnant for to be attached to the dream that will now not
happen.  (You only were married for a few weeks when your
husband died – how can you be so upset?)
You have an angel up in heaven
Although this may seem comforting, your friend would rather have
a baby in her arms.  (You have your grandmother up in heaven
now looking over you instead of on earth enjoying life with you.)
Have you thought of not having children? Or
adopting?
Some couples may eventually decide to adopt or not have
children, but they need to get to that decision themselves and
probably not this close to having a miscarriage.
I understand what you are going through
Even if you have had a miscarriage – everyone grieves differently
and heals differently.
You are young, you can try again.
Every child is a blessing and if you were trying for another baby,
you were hoping for another baby.  (Sorry your husband died.  You
are young, you can get remarried.)
I have a friend who had many miscarriages and
now has children
Although this may sound comforting at first, your friend may not be
able to see beyond the moment and for her that moment is that
she just lost a baby.  (I have a friend who lost her husband and is
now married again.)
Not acknowledging the baby and her miscarriage
as a serious loss
This could make your friend think that you do not care.  (Not letting
your friend know that you are sorry for the loss of her parent,
grandparent, etc.)