Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Please See Me Through My Tears

Please See Me Through My Tears

You asked, "How are you doing?"

As I told you, tears came to my eyes...

and you looked away and quickly began to talk again.
All the attention you had given me had drained away.

"How am I doing?"…

I do better when people listen,

though I may shed a tear or two.

These feelings are indescribable.

If you've never felt them you cannot fully understand.

Yet I need you.

When you look away,

when I’m ignored.

I am again alone with them.

Your attention means more than you can ever know.

Really, tears are not a bad sign, you know!

They're nature's way of helping me to heal…

They relieve some of the stress of sadness

I know you fear that asking

How I’m doing brings me sadness

....but it doesn’t work that way.

The memory of my loved one's death will always be with me,

Only a thought away.

My tears make my loss more visible to you,

but you did not cause this sadness.

It was already there.

When I cry, could it be that you feel helpless,

not knowing what to do?

You are not helpless,

and you don't need to do a thing but be here for me.

When I feel your permission to allow my tears to flow,

you’ve helped me.

You need not speak. Your silence is all I need.

Be patient…do not fear.

Listening with your heart to "how I am doing"

validates what I’m going through,

for when the tears can freely come I feel lighter.

Talking to you releases

what I've wanted to say aloud,

clearing space for a touch of joy in my life.

I'll cry for a minute or two... and then I'll wipe my eyes,

and sometimes you'll even find I'm laughing in awhile.

When I hold back the tears, my throat grows tight,

my chest aches, my stomach knots...

because I'm trying to protect you from my tears.

Then we both hurt...

me, because my feelings are held inside,

causing pain and a shield against our closeness…

and you, because suddenly we are emotionally distant.

So please, take my hand and see me through my tears...

then we can be close again

Monday, November 8, 2010

Poems For Grieving Parents

I thought of you and closed my eyes,
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother,
And I know I heard him say:
A mother has a baby,
This we know is true. But, God, can you be a mother,
When your baby's not with you?
Yes, you can he replied,
With confidence in his voice.
I give many women babies, When they leave is not thier choice.
Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
But theres no need to stay.
I just don't understand this God,
I want my baby here. He took a breath and cleared his throat,
And then I saw a tear.
I wish that I could show you, What your child is doing today,
If you could see your child smile,
With other children who say:
We go to earth and learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly, My mommy set me free.
I miss my mommy oh so much,
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow's where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
"Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here."
So you see my dear sweet one,
Your children are Ok. Your babies are here in My home,
They'll be at heavens gate for you. So now you see what makes a mother.
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of,
Right from the very start.
Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother,
until their time is done.
They'll be up here with Me one day,
And you'll know that you're the best one! ~Author Unknown
"These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings. These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain. You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you, if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mommy and Daddy's hearts. 'Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part."
"I know I'll see the sun shine bright
upon my baby's face....
When I finally get to heaven,
all my pain will be erased.
We'll soar the skies together,
as angels two by two. We'll have a sweet reunion,
this mother's dream come true!"

"Daddy please don't look so sad, momma please don't cry.
Cause I'm in the arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies.
Please try not to question God, don't think he is unkind.
Don't think he sent me to you and then changed his mind.
You see I'm a special child, I am needed up above.
I'm the special gift you gave Him, a product of your love.
I'll always be there with you, so watch the sky at night.
Look for the brightest star and know that's my halo's brilliant light.
You'll see me in the morning frost that mists your window pane.
That's me in the summer showers, I'll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a gentle breeze from a gentle wind that blows.
Know that it's me planting a kiss upon your nose.
When you see a child playing and your heart feels a tug,
Don't be sad mommy, that's just me giving your heart a hug.
So daddy don't looks so sad and momma please don't cry.
I'm in the arms of Jesus and he sings me lullabies!

Forget me not
My little one You have left us too soon
Though my body can no longer hold you
I hold you forever in my heart
As precious and beautiful as this flower caught in time
A mother's love does not forget.

We go through life so often Not stopping to enjoy the day,
And we take each one for granted
As we travel on our way.

We never stop to measure Anything we just might miss,
But if the wind should blow by softly
You'll feel an angel's kiss.
A kiss that is sent from Heaven
A kiss from up above,
A kiss that is very special
From someone that you love.

For in your pain and sorrow
An angel's kiss will help you through,
This kiss is very private For it is meant for only you.

So when your hearts are heavy
And filled with tears and pain,
And no one can console you
Remember once again.....
About the ones you grieve for
Because you sadly miss
And the gentle breeze you took for granted
Was just......... "an angel's kiss."

If tears could build a stairway,
And memories were a lane,
We would walk right up to heaven
To bring you down again. No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say good-bye.
You were gone before we knew it,
And only God knows why.
Our hearts still ache in sadness
And secret tears still flow,
What it meant to lose you,
No one will ever know.
When we are sad and lonely,
And everything goes wrong,
We seem to hear you whisper
"Cheer up and carry on." Each time we look at your pictures,
You seem to smile and say,
"Don't cry, I'm only sleeping,
We'll meet again someday."

To All Parents
"I'll lend you for a while a child of mine,"
He said.
"For you to love the while he lives and mourn for
when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or
But will you, till I call him back, take care of
him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and should
his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories as solace for
your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay; since all from
earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I
want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over in My search
for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes
I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love, not think
the labor vain, Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?"
I fancied that I that I heard them say, "Dear Lord,
Thy will be done!
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the
risk of grief we run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll
love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known, forever
grateful stay;
But should the angels call for him much sooner
than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes and
try to understand."

You never said you're leaving
You never said goodbye
You were gone before I knew it,
And only God knew why.
A million times I needed you,
A million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly
In death I love you still
In my heart you hold a place,
That nobody could ever fill.
It broke my heart to lose you,
But you didn't go alone
For part of me went with you,
The day God took you home.

Don't let them say, I wasn't born
That something stopped my heart
I felt each tender squeeze you gave
I've loved you from the start.

Although my body you can't hold,
It doesn't mean I'm gone.
This world was worthy, not, of me
God chose that I move on.

I know the pain that drowns your soul,
What you are forced to face.
You have my word, I'll fill your arms
Someday we will embrace.

You'll hear that it was "meant to be,
God doesn't make mistakes"
But that won't soften your worst blow..
Or make your heart not ache.

I'm watching over all you do,
another child you'll bear.
Believe me when I say to you,
That I am always there.

There will come a time, I promise you
When you will hold my hand,
Stroke my face and kiss my lips
And then you'll understand.

Although, I've never breathed your air,
Or gazed into your eyes..
That doesn't mean I never "was"
An Angel Never Dies........

Please don't tell them you never got to know me
It is I whose kicks you will always remember,
I who gave you heartburn that a dragon would envy,
I who couldn't seem to tell time and got your days and nights mixed up,
It is I who acknowledged your craving for ice cream by knocking the cold bowl off your belly,
I who went shopping and helped you pick out the perfect teddy bear for me,
I who liked to be cradled in your belly and rocked off to dreamy slumber by the fire,
It is I who never had a doubt about your love,
It is I who was able to put a lifetime of joy into an instant.

Your little heart beating so strongly
All those months
Is silent.
Your little arms and legs
Moving so vigorously
Are still.

Milk falling like tears from your mother's breasts
Will never nourish you.
Your eyes will never sparkle
Your little voice forever silent.

Your mother and father hold you in their arms,
Timidly kissing your soft, smooth cheek
Caressing your tiny fingers
And whispering your name with tears.

We dream of holding you
Of watching you smile and grow
Our love is always with you
Though you will never know.

We couldn't wait to hold you
And see your pretty face.
To count your little fingers,
And check your toes are in their place.

It should have been the happiest day
To remember all our life.
But joy had turned to heartache,
No breath, no beat, no life.

We will never see you smile,
Or hear your hearty cry.
We will never be able to dry your tears,
Or share your happy times.

Our precious little Angel,
We will always know your face.
In our hearts and stars forever,
You will always have a place.

How quietly he
tiptoed into our world.
Softly, only a moment
he stayed
but what an imprint
his footprints have left
upon our hearts.

A million times I've missed you, a million times I've cried.
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
To some you are forgotten, to others just part of the past;
but to me who loved and lost you, your love will always last.
It broke my heart to lose you, you didn't go alone,
for my life went with you -sweetheart- the day angels called you home.
For things on earth didn't matter, but now I feel so alone,
My heart will always be broken, my life will never be whole.
We might be parted for awhile, our hearts will always be together
for one day soon we will hold hands again forever.

Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we long for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
Every beating of our hearts
Says of our love for you.
~ Author Unknown

I have not turned my back on you
So there is no need to cry.
I'm watching you from heaven
Just beyond the morning sky.

I've seen you almost fall apart
When you could barely stand.
I asked an angel to comfort you
And watched her take your hand.

She told me you are in more pain
Than I could ever be.
She wiped her eyes and swallowed hard
Then gave your hand to me.

Although you may not feel my touch
Or see me by your side.
I've whispered that I love you
While I wiped each tear you cried.

So please try not to ache for me
We'll meet again one day.
Beyond the dark and stormy sky
A rainbow lights the way.
~Authour Unknown

Gone Too Soon

This was a life that hardly begun
no time to find your place in the sun
no time to do all you could have done
but we loved you enough for a lifetime

No time to enjoy the world and its wealth
No time to take life down off the shelf
no time to sing the song of yourself
though you had enough love for a lifetime

Those who live long endure sadness and tears
but you'll never suffer the sorrowing years
no betrayel, no anger
no hatred, no fears
Just love, only love in your lifetime..
~Authour Unknown

They Say There is a Reason

They say there is a reason,
They say that time will heal,
But neither time nor reason,
Will change the way I feel,
For no-one knows the heartache,
That lies behind our smiles,
No-one knows how many times,
We have broken down and cried,
We want to tell you something,
So there won't be any doubt,
You're so wonderful to think of,
But so hard to be without.
~Author Unknown

To Mother and Father

There's a corner up in heaven
Where the little babies play,
And our Blessed Mother watches
All throughout the live long day.
They're a happy lot, these babies
Sure the reason's very plain
For they've missed the world's contagion,
Came unscathed, without it's pain.
"Tis an angel band they call them
And you both should happy be
You're the parents of an angel
'Cause your baby's there you see.
Yes, and smiling down upon you
With an innocent sublime:
Waiting: watching for the parents
He will meet again in time.
You should never be rebellious
Rather thank a loving God
For your little guardian angel
As along life's way you plod,
With a faith that never falters
Clasping each the other's hand
Pledge yourselves to meet your baby
In that better happy land.
~Author Unknown

Preventing Miscarriage Naturally

By: Judith Cobb
Cobblestone Health

There is no time during pregnancy when nutrition is unimportant. Of the nine months of gestation, however, the first three are the most important. During this first trimester the baby grows to about three inches in length and weighs about one ounce. Its sex is determined. It can open and close its mouth and kick and squirm - but as yet is too small for 'mom' to feel it carrying on.

This is the time for mom and dad to visit the doctor and/or midwives to discuss birthing options. (Don't just 'go along' with whatever the doctor does 'routinely'. Do some research now on labor positions, drugs, fetal heart monitoring, episiotomy, labor and delivery place, birth attendants, breast feeding, rooming in, vitamin K, erythromycin or silver nitrate, etc., etc..) A visit to an herbalist is also a good idea - just to make sure all of the nutrients are being supplied in the most easily assimilated form. I generally caution pregnant women away from synthetic prenatal vitamins and iron. Often these vitamins are candy coated and so hard that very few people can digest them. They tend to pass right through - whole. Synthetic iron usually causes bowel movements to turn black. It also causes constipation and/or diarrhea. (A dose to three mg. has been documented as causing death in young children.)

During pregnancy there are some herbs which should not be used at all and several others that may be used very carefully. Most herbs are totally safe when used in moderation and with wisdom. Herbs to avoid are rue and pennyroyal. Both of these herbs can cause miscarriages and many other severe complications of pregnancy. Herbs that need to be used with caution include black cohosh, blessed thistle, blue cohosh, cramp bark, damiana, dong quai, false unicorn, ginseng, licorice, sarsparilla, saw palmetto, squaw vine and yarrow. These herbs all contain steroid-like constituents which could possibly affect the secondary sex characteristics of the baby.

Another herb to be careful with is golden seal ".. one of the active ingredients is hydrastine, which contracts the uterus when taken in large quantities. Don't take more than 1/4 tsp. or one 00 capsule per day." (1)

The first trimester is the period during which most miscarriages occur. Early warning symptoms of miscarriage are cramping and bleeding. Most doctors will say they can do nothing to prevent the inevitable, and while herbs don't always result in a live birth after a threatened miscarriage, the benefits are usually pretty good anyway.

The herbalists rule of thumb is "Herbs will stop it if it can be stopped. If not, then the herbs will speed it along and help mom recover faster".

There are many causes of miscarriage including malnutrition, hormone imbalance, and emotional factors. More than one cause is often involved.

Nutritional requirements of pregnant women are very high. To get the amount of nutrients required the diet must be loaded with healthy, whole, live foods. Herbs and other nutritional supplements may be used to enhance the diet. Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, sprouts, butter (not margarine), dairy products (if they are tolerated), nuts, seeds, organically raised animal protein (to avoid the hormones and antibiotics used in producing commercial animals) and yogurt are the types of foods to be eaten.

This is definitely a time to avoid smoking and smoke/exhaust filled areas, refined and lifeless non-foods, coffee, tea, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, deep fried foods, products made with white flour, white sugar and artificial colors. All of these items deplete vitamins and mineral reserves and weaken the whole body. Good nutrition can help prevent miscarriage.

The following chart adapted from Earl Mindell's Vitamin Bible for Your Kids shows his R.D.A. for pregnant women.


Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin C
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Folic Acid
Supplemental Iron

Recommended Daily Allowance

1000 IU
400-500 IU
80-100 IU
80-100 mg.
1.5 mg.
1.5 mg.
2.6 mg.
8-10 mg.
16 mg.
16 mg.
1200 mg.
1200 mg.
450 mg.
30-60 mg.
175 mcg.
20 mg. (1)

Remember that these amounts are only to maintain, not to improve health.

Some of the herbs that can be used to fill in nutritional gaps are:

  1. Red Raspberry - Acts as a uterine tonic, contains many vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and B-Complex.

  2. Yellow Dock - Blood purifier and glandular tonic. Contains many nutrients, a few of which are organic iron, vitamins A & C, calcium and magnesium.

  3. Liquid Chlorophyll - General tonic for the whole body, but especially the blood.

  4. Combination of Alfalfa, Kelp and Dandelion - Glandular balancer, general tonic, provides all vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine, B-complex vitamins, eight essential amino acids and vitamin C.

  5. Combination of Kelp, Dulse, Watercress, Wild Cabbage, Horseradish and Horsetail - Good for the heart, bowels, fluid retention (keeps sodium and potassium balanced which is necessary for proper nerve impulse transmission), rich source of potassium and other trace minerals.

  6. Rosehips - Good for blood, nerves, heart and capillary integrity, excellent source of vitamins A, B-complex and C, also Rutin (for tissue elasticity), calcium and iron. It can be used like a "one-a-day" vitamin for children.

Of course good natural source vitamins can also be used to prevent miscarriages and enhance the health of both mom and babe. Some that I have found useful are:

  1. Vitamin E
  2. Zinc
  3. Vitamin B6
  4. B-Complex

Another cause of miscarriage is hormone imbalance. When I'm muscle testing a client and detect a hormone problem, I work with the anti-miscarriage herbs to prevent a miscarriage. Once the miscarriage is threatening, I have had success working with frequent doses of feverfew, lobelia, red raspberry, catnip and an herbal combination of golden seal, capsicum, false unicorn, ginger, uva ursi, cramp bark, squawvine, blessed thistle, and red raspberry. Many of these herbs are not recommended for long term use during pregnancy because of their affect on hormones. In miscarriages, however, the natural hormones are deficient, unbalanced or ineffective.

Doctor Christopher reflects on lobelia in these words: "Lobelia is a selective herb. When a fetus is dead, or in an extremely weakened condition, lobelia will cause it to abort. However, if the fetus is well and healthy, and the mother is weak, it will cause the mother to heal and strengthen, enabling her to carry the child until the proper time for delivery. Lobelia accurately and intelligently selects which way to go. It is truly a 'thinking' herb." (2)

Specific herbs in the anti-miscarriage formula which act with intelligence to stop cramping include false unicorn and cramp bark.

I generally muscle test to determine the best dose for mom, but when my client is at home or miles away, I encourage her to go to bed and I rely on inspiration to recommend dosages. When a miscarriage is active (bleeding and/or cramping) herbs should be taken every two hours around the clock. When symptoms have ceased, the herbs should be taken four times a day during waking hours for one to two weeks. If the miscarriage does happen, continue the herbs four times a day for three to seven days to help mom get her strength back. Rest and relaxation are vital in the event of miscarriage or threatened miscarriage.

Emotions can also cause miscarriages. A mom in a high stress situation (perhaps unmarried, financial problems, health problems, unstable marriage, unwanted pregnancy, etc.) is more likely to miscarry. Dr. Thomas Verny indicates that a very young fetus is aware of stress outside the womb. He theorizes that some fetuses may choose to die rather than inflict further stress and pain on their mothers or themselves.

When a pregnant woman is under stress, she not only depletes her own vitamin and mineral reserves and her own adrenal and glandular strength, but she drains these things off her baby.

Possible therapies for stress in pregnancy and threatened miscarriage include Bach Flower Remedies, herbs and vitamins, nutrition, massage, and introspection.

  1. Bach Flower Remedies - Flower petal extracts that help to heal the emotional hurts of life. I like to use Rescue Remedy along with any other flowers that seem to fit the individual situation. Many books are available on Bach Flower Remedies.

  2. Herbs and Vitamins - I have discussed specific herbs and vitamins for these purposes already. They are vitally important.

  3. Nutrition - During stressful times, and especially miscarriage, the diet should be as simple, natural and easy to digest and assimilate as possible. Fruit, raw and gently cooked vegetables, sprouted grains, cultured dairy products and broths or light soups should make up the bulk of the diet. I recommend avoiding animal flesh, cheese (except yogurt cheese and crumbly cheeses), milk, breads and such during such situations.

  4. Massage - Any mild form of massage can be beneficial at this time. The key is to keep it gentle and relaxing.

  5. Introspection - (Self talk and baby talk) - This amounts to digging deep into yourself. Do you really want this baby? Why or why not? Share your answers with your partner and the baby.

I have used all these therapies with clients. We have had pregnancies that doctors said wouldn't last the night go to term and produce beautiful children. We have also had miscarriages speed up and end quickly with not medical intervention required, resulting in a very healthy mom. Remember the rule of thumb. Herbs will stop it if it can be stopped. If not, then the herbs will speed it along and help mom to recover faster.

Footnotes: (1) Mindel, Earl, Vitamin Bible for Your Kids; (2) Christopher, John, School of Natural Healing.

References: Christopher, John, School of Natural Healing, Christopher Publications; Gardner, Joy, Healing the Family, Bantam Books; Mervyn, Leonard, Thorson's Complete Guide to Vitamins and Minerals, Thorsons Publishers; Mindel, Earl, Vitamin Bible for Your Kids, McLelland and Steward; Robertson, Laurel, et. alabama, Laurel's Kitchen, Ten Speed Press; Royal, Penny, Herbally Yours, Sound Nutrition; Tenney, Louise, Health Handbook, Woodland Books; Verny, Thomas, Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Collins Publishers.

Sharing Miscarriage with Children

Many couples resist telling their older children about the miscarriage, especially if they didn't even know about the pregnancy. However, you will not be yourself and the children will pick up on the fact that something is not right. We need to tell them about the miscarriage because:
  • They need to understand they are not responsible for what is wrong with us.
  • They need to know that it is a common and normal experience.
  • They need to be prepared for the possibility of you spending time in hospital and convalescing later.
  • The situation is not permanent, we will all get better.
It will not be easy. Be honest, no half truths or phrases such as 'I've lost the baby', 'the baby has gone to sleep', 'God took the baby to be with him', 'he has passed away' or 'our baby has gone to a better place'. These are confusing and may be misinterpreted and children can fill in the gaps and sometimes blame themselves. Perhaps they did not want the baby or did something naughty and feel it is their fault your baby has died. It is important to re-assure them that nothing they did caused this.

It is also important not to simply say ' the baby got sick and the doctor couldn't fix her/him and they died' as they may think they will too. If you need to explain what death means you can say that their body is not working any more, it cannot move or cry and cannot be fixed. If they are old enough to ask why, perhaps, 'Sometimes this just happens and we don't know why.' If you do have a reason for your baby's death explain it in simple terms that they will understand. If you have requested a post-mortem tell them the doctors are trying to find out but still may not know even then.

You may need to repeat this information as it takes time for them to understand. Keep th
em informed about what is happening (like having a goodbye ceremony and allowing them to participate) so they don't feel left out or confused. Many women like to think of their lost baby as an angel and perhaps that could be a way to explain that their spirit has left their body.

If you are keeping a box or similar of cards or mementos they may like to put something of their own in, like a poem or a toy or if you are going to plant a shrub in a garden or pot get them to help you do this. Always involve them so they will think of your lost baby as part of the family.

Let them know how you are feeling so that they know it's okay to cry when you are sad and hurting or to smile and laugh and be happy too. Offer to cuddle them any time they feel sad to help them feel better. They could suffer from as many emotions as an adult. This may all be pretty difficult when you are grieving yourself and their lives go on as normal and you feel anything but, however it is also an opportunity to bring a closer relationship between you and your children. You may also feel overprotective for a while but this will fade as the grieving lessens

Under three years old
Simply tell them that your baby has died and that's why Mummy and Daddy are sad. It is not their fault. Although they have no concept of death they still could become irritable and have disturbed sleeping patterns because of how you are feeling.

Three to six year olds
Children of this age may have some understanding of death but see it as a temporary situation and not the finality of it so they could ask questions about when the baby is coming home. This is the age when they think they could be to blame.

Six to nine years old
These children do understand the finality of death and can obsess about dying, including losing their parents. They need re-assurances but be careful of how you word your promi
se of staying alive. They will need to know more detail including that the baby did not die a violent death (a supposition for some children).

Nine to 12 years old
Most of this age group will have an understanding of death's finality, perhaps from when a pet has died or even a family member. They will probably express their own feelings and may also be able to offer you some comfort.

Not an easy age to have to deal with death as they want to retain their feeling of being bullet-proof which the baby's death will challenge. They may be more comfortable talking to a family friend than your-selves and often also need tim
e to come to terms with the situation. Their re-actions could be anything from loud music to staying out late or a comforting hug.

Explain to your family, friends, kindergarten or school if necessary what you have told your children so that no-one feels they have to make their own explanation. You understand best what your children are capable of dealing with. Ask that they support you or leave the subject alone.

A synopsis from "Life after baby loss" with the kind permission of Nicola Miller-Clendon, Author.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Helping Someone After A Miscarriage

When we offer help to someone through this time, they are often in such shock they don't know what they need. The objectives are to encourage the venting of her grief and re-establishing her self-esteem while recognizing her sorrow. Whatever the person is feeling, they deserve to have their feelings supported by the people around them.

  • Contact is important. Be there if possible, but if not, ring or write. Whatever the person is feeling, they deserve to have their feelings supported by people around them.
  • A hug or arm around her shoulders is comforting.
  • Understand that her tears are a healthy response and should never be discouraged. Having a box of tissues handy is helpful.
  • Let her do the talking. Be the passive partner who asks questions and focus on certain points to help her talk about her feelings. It is sufficient to just listen.
  • Tell her how you feel about her losing the baby and how sorry you are.
  • Acknowledge her pain even if you think you would not react this way in this situation.
  • Ask questions about her experience, how she is really feeling and what she is thinking about.
  • When you ask her partner how she is doing, don't forget to ask him how he is.
  • Encourage her to be patient and not to impose 'shoulds' on herself. - grieving takes time
  • Reassure them they did everything they could and it wasn't their fault - it helps alleviate their guilt.
  • Grieving is a physically exhausting process and she will probably need to sleep or rest during the day. Take whatever steps necessary to give her the uninterrupted peace to do this.
  • The intensity of grief fluctuates. During less tearful times a change of scenery is appreciated.
  • Do something practical such as hanging up the washing/shopping or offer to take around a meal.
  • Put on soothing music for her to listen to, offer a back massage, a walk on the beach. When she feels ready, take her to a movie of her choice.
  • If you are seriously worried about her behavior, seek professional advice. As a rule of thumb, as long as she is not damaging herself, another person or property, you probably don't have anything to worry about.
  • Don't ignore her because you feel helpless or uncomfortable with grief - she will wonder if what happened to her means nothing to you.
  • Don't think that miscarriage is easier to cope with than a stillbirth or neonatal death. The truth is that her baby has just died, and it doesn't really matter how pregnant she was.
  • Don't be anxious or embarrassed about making her cry. It is not what you said or did that upset her, but losing the baby. By allowing her to cry, you are helping her work through the process of grief.
  • Don't confuse support with "cheering her up". Grief is an enormously powerful emotion and needs releasing, not repressing.
  • Don't put on a bright cheery front yourself.
  • Don't be nervous and keep talking. There is nothing wrong with silence. You can share silence with a good friend.
  • Don't be tempted to be judgmental in any way about her feelings or reactions. People in grief often behave out of character or inappropriately and need your unconditional support. Things will eventually return to normal and she will feel grateful that you stood by her.
  • Don't have expectations about how long it should take her to recover. Losing a baby is one of life's most difficult experiences and the depth of her grief is shocking even to her.
  • Don't assume there will be another pregnancy.
  • Don't try to do all the housework. Although well intentioned, she needs to feel capable and useful.
  • Don't minimize her loss by offering platitudes such as "you're young enough to try again", or "it was nature's way of getting rid of an imperfect baby". It is appropriate to deal with this as you would any other death.
  • Don't say that "she's so lucky to have the other kids" - her pain is for this baby and other children don't take that away.
  • Don't forget her children have lost a sibling, and it is natural for them to react in some way.
  • Don't feel guilty if you're pregnant. Just forgive her if she's cold and withdrawn, it's her way of coping.
  • Don't feel you have to keep your children away. She must go through the process of accepting others' children.
  • Don't ask how she is feeling if you only do so as a social obligation as it obliges you to listen carefully to the complete answer.
Seven helpful things to say
  • "I'm so sorry about your Miscarriage." These simple words mean a lot, especially if you allow the Mum or Dad to talk further, or not to talk, as they wish.
  • "I know how much you wanted that baby." Here you are simply acknowledging that something precious has been lost, and opening a door to talk more.
  • "It's okay to cry." - this can sound like Hollywood but it's reassuring for the Mum or Dad to know they are not being judged for their tears and sadness.
  • "Can I call you back next week to see how you are doing?" Often people are sympathetic the first time, then never mention miscarriage again. You can expect the parents to still be grieving for weeks or months, so it is reassuring for them to know your support is ongoing.
  • "I was wondering how you are feeling about your miscarriage now" - it's nice for them to have the opportunity to talk about their miscarriage even if it is a long time later and after a successful pregnancy as well. Parents do not forget a miscarriage.
  • "I don't really know what to say." The good thing about this is that it is honest. The fact that you are available to listen is what's really important.
  • "It must be so awful for you after going through those weeks of IVF treatment to have lost your baby."

Seven things not to say
  • "You can always have another one" - it doesn't help much to know you can have another baby. The parents didn't just want any baby, they wanted THAT baby. Before they can think about another one they need to grieve for their lost one. They have lost their hopes and dreams as well.
  • "There was probably something wrong with it - it's natures way." This may be true but it is no comfort to hear it. They want to believe it was a perfect baby, and that's who they are grieving for.
  • "It's God's will" - People may or may not believe this. Whatever the case, it's still sad. You are better supporting the parents' grief than getting into theology.
  • "At least you didn't know the baby - it would have been much worse if it had happened later" - it does not help to minimize and invalidate a miscarriage, it is not the length of the pregnancy, but the strength of the parents' attachment, that determines the intensity of their grief.
  • "I know how you feel" - this statement can seem arrogant, even if you have miscarried yourself, as everyone reacts differently. Other losses can compound grief.
  • "It wasn't really a baby yet" - that may not be how the parents see it. If it wasn't a baby what was it? To them it was real and they are grieving.
  • "You're young, there's plenty of time. If you'd stop focusing on being pregnant so much it will just happen"

    If in doubt, say something - anything - and be prepared to listen. Possibly the hardest thing, even harder than hearing an insensitive comment, is when people say nothing at all.

Ceremony Suggestions

'To help you eventually complete the grieving process in a healthy way, it is very healing to view your miscarriage similarly to other family deaths, so we recommend a farewell ceremony even when there are few baby remains available adding significance to this life and death.'

To help you eventually complete the grieving process in a healthy way, we recommend a farewell ceremony even when there are few baby remains available adding significance to this life and death. It it can help to create your own personal commemoration in a way that reflects on what your baby meant to you. Think about others who have lost this baby too. This would be especially true for a baby that would have made first time grandparents, aunts and uncles but also close friends who might be grieving with you, and ask if they would like to be included in a small ceremony.
It's never too late to do this. Sometimes a miscarriage has happened years before and at the time you would not have thought anything like that was appropriate - but that doesn't matter. Even if it is only you, do something that has a healing influence on your old grief. We are all different so whatever works for you is fine.

You may find comfort in the following ceremony suggestions:
  • Having a formal funeral service involving a minister, priest or a funeral celebrant.
  • Having a less formal gathering in an appropriate setting, perhaps by the sea or in a park or somewhere with a comforting family association and perhaps gather around a candle to read a piece which is significant to you, e.g. the Bible, poetry or even something you wrote yourself.
  • Or a small commemoration service (even just a glass of wine) on one of the anniversary dates or the 15th October on World Baby Loss Day.
  • Bury a message with flowers.
  • Send flowers or pine cones out to sea or perhaps a message in a bottle.
  • Scatter seeds in the wind.
  • Place a message on or in a balloon and release it somewhere special to you.
  • In all cases play music that feels comforting to you, which can also be a source of healing.

Or perhaps just do something by yourself and perhaps your partner which is significant:
  • Buy a special piece of jewelery; locket, charm, necklace, key chain or birthstone ring.
  • Write a letter or poem to your baby or keep a diary of that time.
  • Make a tape (it's strange, but hearing your own words of grief is quite healing).
  • Creating a 'memory box' for cards, ribbons, dried flowers, a toy or other mementos.
  • Create your own website.
  • Use the internet to find a baby memory site


ca·thar·sis [ kÉ™ th rssiss ]
  1. emotional release: an experience or feeling of spiritual release and purification brought about by an intense emotional experience
  2. emotional purification through Greek tragedy: according to Aristotle, a purifying of the emotions that is brought about in the audience of a tragic drama through the evocation of intense fear and pity
  3. psychological purging of complexes: in psychology, the process of bringing to the surface repressed emotions, complexes, and feelings in an effort to identify and relieve them, or the result of this process
Synonyms: release, purification, cleansing, purging, liberation, freeing up

Catharsis is choosing the experiences that cause our pain to rise to the surface of our consciousness so it can be released. Some ways of achieving this are:

* Talking about our feelings.
* Self expression through artwork, dance, music, writing, such as keeping a journal, etc.
* Confronting painful situations e.g. visiting a friend with a new baby.

"I found that writing about my pain took the sting out of the memory."

Catharsis is like opening a relief valve to allow pressure to escape, leaving the level of remaining feelings more comfortable to live with.

Feel free to leave a comment how you released some grief today...sharing helps others learn ways to grieve.