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Hey Lovelies,

I just wanted to quickly say that when dealing with the death of a friend or relative’s baby it is so important to check yourself first. There can be an awful lot of emotional turmoil for, not only the grieving couple, but also those around them. This can be very difficult for the parents to deal with. They are trying so hard to come to grips with their own painful emotions, adding your own discomfort or sadness to it can make it difficult for them to go through their grief in front of you. When you talk about your own grief or take over the conversation to tell your own pain stories you might cause two things to happen 1) they may feel compelled to comfort you. Please don’t do this to your loved one. Give THEM comfort and support, do not seek for them to ease your own grief. 2) They may become less likely to openly share what they are going through. This might mean that they won’t have enough emotional outlets to help them process during the active process of grieving.

Remember grief is a process. It is normal for it to ebb and flow. It will affect people, including the couple who suffer the loss, for many months and sometimes years. Make sure you have outlets for your own grief. Talk to others about your feelings, journal, meditate… but don’t turn to the couple themselves. Do not make them care for you in this time. If you find yourself unable to cope with your own feelings try taking a step back from the situation. Tell your friend how sorry you are for their loss and then collect yourself before asking what you can do for them. If you need to quietly excuse yourself do it.

Do not make their grief about you. Do not tell them it will get better and give them a time frame. Grief is different for everyone. Do not tell them how much it has brought up pain from your past. What do you want them to say? Sorry? This is not appropriate.

Do use their child’s name if they have one. Do offer hugs and Kleenex… though don’t assume, ask permission to touch, they may not want to be comforted physically at this time. Do pick up dry-cleaning, groceries, walk their dog. Do express to them condolences and let them know that you are there whenever they need to talk through the events. Do sit quietly with them. Sometimes your comfort is best given with silence.

If you, and those around you, are walking through this kind of tragedy I am so sorry for your loss. I hope those around you are supporting you well.

XOXXO,

The Chicken

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10 thoughts on “Micro Post: Giving Support Through Grief

  • October 10, 2016 at 6:29 am
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    I love this post, Kayleigh. This hits very close to home for my family, and I echo many of the things you’ve said. Use the baby’s name, and if the parents are first time parents, please remember that the mother will ALWAYS be a mother and the father will ALWAYS be a father. The baby may be forever asleep, but those parents will be parents forever.

    I also strongly agree that a grieving person should never have to comfort you.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2016 at 9:47 am
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      Heather,
      Thank you! Yes it is so important to remember that YES, you are still a parent. Even though your baby is no longer with you on earth.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 8:26 am
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    Wonderful advice. Especially the bit about not making someone else’s grief about you, and not forgetting the grandparents who lost, too. I feel like Mali’s post with the link to the Dump In/Dump Out Kvetching Order circle goes so beautifully with this: http://nokiddinginnz.blogspot.com/2016/10/sympathy-and-grief.html

    Such empathetic advice, I’m glad your voice is out there on this topic.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2016 at 9:48 am
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      Jess,
      Thanks for the recommendation, I love Mali’s blog! I am so glad you felt it was on point!
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm
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    Very good points. My stepmother in law is a bereaved parent (lost her son as an adult). I hardly feel like a expert on comforting but I try very hard to engage and listen when she talks about either of her sons, including the deceased one and not look uncomfortable or change the subject. It can be hard to do because we all like things to be easy and sad endings and messy lives are not easy. But I really hate the idea of anyone’s child being forgotten.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2016 at 9:49 am
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      Turtle,
      It can be very hard to sit with the discomfort and allow a person to process their grief. Good on ya!
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 2:53 pm
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    This is all great advice. Especially saying the baby’s name. That was so important to me.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2016 at 9:51 am
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      Risa,
      Thank you so much. It is important to value that life! They were a person, people have names.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 5:55 pm
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    All good advice. Especially using the name.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2016 at 9:58 am
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      Mel,
      Thanks. Appreciate the read.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

      Reply

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