I received a lot of response on Facebook for my open letter to Silent Grievers. This affirmed for me that so many people have been touched by some sort of loss associated with growing a family. Everyone knows someone who has experienced infertility, miscarriage, fetal demise, stillbirth, etc. So I thought with so many people affected and so few people discussing it, maybe it was time to talk about what to say and do for those grieving.
So, what do you do? NOTHING.
Yes, you read that right, you don’t have to do anything. Sometimes just being there, letting your loved one know you care, supporting them, and recognizing their loss is the biggest thing you can do. Of course, you can still offer to bring a meal, or run an errand, but, sometimes doing nothing, is doing everything. A hug, a look that says I recognize you are in pain and I empathize is the best gift a griever can receive.
Do we all know the difference between empathize and sympathize?
This brings me to the ever so helpful list of top 10 best and worst things you can say to someone who is grieving. You can find the list here. This is a list made by David Kessler, an author, and leader in the bereavement community.
What is unique to those Silent Grievers? Validation and affirmation. RECOGNIZE their grief. Don’t let them feel shame for grieving as much as they need for as long as they need. Let them know you know their grief is as real and important as any other grief. Show love it goes a long way.
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