Having a miscarriage is bad enough, without having to hear insensitive comments from friends and family. Unfortunately, many women have to deal with both.
One of the worst things to say to someone who’s had a miscarriage is “at least you have other children,” according to the blog “Things People Said After My Miscarriage.” (The very worst thing you can say, according to the blog: “It’s nature’s way of getting rid of an unhealthy baby.”)
But what if that someone is Michelle Duggar, mother of 19 children and grandmother of two, who, with husband Jim Bob, revealed Thursday that her her current pregnancy has ended in a miscarriage? How does that complicate matters?
“Because the whole world knows she has lost this child, it might make it very difficult for her,” says Patricia Loder, executive director of The Compassionate Friends, a nationwide organization that provides support to families who’ve lost a child at any age. Loder’s 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter were killed 20 years ago in a traffic accident that she survived.
“I’m sure people are going to say, ‘Well, she’s already got 19 kids. This was God’s will. This was the way of doing away with a mistake.’ All of those terrible things that people say,” Loder says.
But, says Loder, “It’s not for you or me to judge or to say this was God’s will. This woman is mourning the death of this baby that she wanted as she wanted all the rest of them. What we need to do is give her our love and our sympathy and our support.
“Our opinion should be, ‘I’m really sorry for her loss.’ Let it be left at that.”
The blogger who writes "Things People Said After My Miscarriage" echoes that advice. For people who don't know what to say to a friend or relative who's had a miscarriage, she writes: "You might think, ugh, I just don't know what to say. It's so awkward. Man or woman up and say I'm sorry. Express sympathy. It's the right thing to do."
What do you think is the best -- or worst -- thing to say to someone who's suffered a miscarriage?