Sadly, 1-in-4 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth or miscarriage. As a result, most of us know someone who has experience this heartbreaking loss. Caring for a friend who has experienced infant loss can feel difficult at times. We fear doing or saying the wrong thing. Yet as believers, we are called to care for others who are grieving.
Ways to support:
- Pray – “The apostle Paul suggests to the church at Corinth that they help in the most practical sense by praying (2 Cor. 1:11). You can do the same. Pray for her healing and physical strength (3 John 1:2). Pray for comfort as she grieves (Ps. 71:21). Pray for her spiritual protection as she is experiencing the effects of the fall in such an intensely personal way––death within their own body (Eph. 3:16). Pray for the protection of her marriage as a husband and wife experience and grieve this type of loss differently. And then communicate that you are praying for them, and what you are praying for them.” Abbey Wedgeworth for TGC
- Acknowledge their grief & listen – The family is grieving the loss of a precious life. Send a card to show you care and are grieving this loss with them. If the family named the child, use the child’s name. Over the years, I have learned it is better to say less and listen more. The ministry of presence is a powerful thing!
- Help – Drop off a meal, snacks, or breakfast items! Offer to babysit if there are other children. Pick up groceries. “Showing up for another says, ‘I see you. Your pain is known, and though I cannot make it better, I’m here and that’s what matters.’ Showing up for another, extending yourself for another, is always costly.” Kara Tippetts & Jill Lynn Buteyn, Just Show Up
- Give a helpful resource – You might want to give her a copy of Held by Abbey Wedgeworth or him a copy of Ours by Eric Schumacher.
- A Loved Bible – Personally, a Loved Bible is something I would create for only a close friend walking through infant loss in my life. If you are not close to the person who has experience the loss, it might come across as just sharing religious platitudes with them. Coming from someone who is dear to his or her heart, the recipient should know your desire to support him or her. If you have made a loved Bible, you know that it takes time. A vital part of creating a Loved Bible is praying over the Bible as you are working on it. As a result, you will need time to create it and may want to give the Loved Bible to your friend on her/his due date reminding them that you are continuing to grieve with them. We created a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Worksheet using Scripture verses and quotes that communicates God is with them and will not leave them during this difficult journey! If you are looking for more resources to include, consider looking at our Grief and Suffering Worksheets.