After losing a baby, support can be such a healing outlet. I say ‘can be’, because there are times when support from others can actually be a nuisance.
Choosing who to talk to can be a bit tricky, so instead of making a simple list, I’m going to go ahead and share a bit of my experience in this area, and hopefully it will bring some insight.
I remember when I had my miscarriage, I didn’t really choose to talk to anyone until months after the fact. Immediately after learning that we were losing our baby, I had my husband tell my mom, who we then asked to tell me grandparents. He also told his family as well. He did all the communicating, I did all the crying in my bedroom. I really had no desire to talk to anyone except Franklin, and even then I knew he wasn’t exactly on the same page as me grieving-wise.
When I finally did have the heart to reach out to others, it was actually quite freeing, and I even felt that it was important to tell others so as to be a support for them if they ever went through what I had. It became healing on multiple levels, and I’m glad I finally made that choice to open up about what I had gone through.
New/stronger friendships were even formed through my opening up about my loss, as I learned that others had also gone through the same thing but were also keeping it private. A good friend of mine is actually one of those who went from being an acquaintance to a friend rather quickly because of our miscarriages. The same holds true after the loss of Briela… people who I had hardly known quickly became good friends after opening up about their own child losses.
So how do you know who to talk to?
I’m not sure you’ll ever really know who the ‘right’ people are to talk to, and some might even surprise you with their quality of support. I came in contact with a few people after losing Briela who took me completely off guard. When I was cringing at the thought of seeing them, I had actually left our exchange with a weight off my shoulders and a smile on my face. Amazing!
I will say this though, that the best people to talk to after losing a child are those that have also lost children of their own. You may not agree with everything they say, and you may grieve differently than they had, but there is a different level of respect among people who have gone through the same storm and conquered it, that no one else will understand. I do believe there is a line though, and when you feel like you’ve shared everything there is to share with these people, there should be no pressure to be buddies and continue meeting up, unless there is a genuine bond between you.
I’ve experienced this first hand. I became quickly close to a lady who had also lost a baby at 8 months into her pregnancy, and she became my confidant. I shared my heart with her and she shared hers with me. It was a genuine and safe relationship where I felt I could tell her exactly the way I felt that day, and she would have a great and encouraging response. As I continued with my emotional healing and felt I didn’t need her comforting words as much, I had a moment where I immediately realized that I had nothing in common with her except our babies up in heaven, and that the desire I once had to constantly be in contact with her was no longer there. We are still in contact, but not nearly as often and not at all on the same level it once had been, but I am glad that she was in my life in such a devastating season. She definitely helped me through it.
I also have a few friends that started out as acquaintances (actually, one I didn’t even know beforehand), and are now some of my closest friends. They had both lost babies as well, and we were able to encourage each other and remind each other of God’s truths over our lives. That, I must say, is also very important! Finding someone who is a lover of God to bring you comfort, they are great people to choose to talk to. But I found that these ladies not only helped in the hardest season, but we had so much in common that we continue to stay in each others’ lives today.
There have been some surprises along the way too. People who I thought would be the best to talk to, hadn’t been. I have a couple people in mind who fit into this category. They are both God-loving women who had every intention and desire to bring comfort to me, but because they had never experienced this type of loss, they just couldn’t quite find the ‘right’ words to say, or maybe they thought they did, but the words just didn’t quite make the impact they wanted them to. I wouldn’t write these ladies off though, their hearts were and are in the right place, but in this scenario, they weren’t the right people to talk to. I definitely kept them busy with prayer requests though 🙂 Sometimes that’s the best thing you can ask someone to do for you when you know you don’t really want to talk with them, but you know they want to be there for you.
How do you find people to talk to?
If you are in a place where there is not much support around you, don’t lose hope! You are never alone, even if you feel like you are.
There are plenty of forums online where you can connect with others who have been in the same shoes as you. I would be wary though, and look for ones that are Christ-centered, where hope is much more abundant. It’s easy to go on forums and find people who have gone through losses, but are hopeless and have nothing positive to say. If you are noticing this, I would try to find a different group who will shine some light into the situation, before you start grasping onto a negative thought pattern as well. When you lose a child you become so vulnerable and can easily grasp onto anything you can relate to.
There are also some church’s who host sharing sessions where people who are grieving can come and find comfort with others experiencing losses as well. It’s a place to find healing and hope in an otherwise hopeless situation.
In today’s world though, I really do believe the internet would be the easiest way to find people to talk to. Whether you find other blogs created by parents who have lost children, or on forums, or even Facebook groups, there is such a vast amount of information and support offered to those who need it.
But, and as corny as it sounds, if the internet doesn’t interest you and you don’t know who else to talk to, talk to God! He really does listen and he really does speak to you. He is the best person to talk to, and He knows the best ways to comfort you that is unique to who you are. So open up your bible, your journal, put on some music or just kneel in the quietness of His presence, and He will meet you there. And if you need some inspiration, check out these hopeful verses to get you started.
All the best, and I pray God will put the right people in your life who will be the support that you need at this very important time!