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.