When someone you care about has recently lost an infant, it can feel nearly impossible to know what to say or how to act. Obviously, your heart breaks for them, but that kind of loss creates such deep grief that you might be worried about doing the wrong thing – even if your heart is in the right place. So, what can you do to comfort someone after the loss of an infant? How can you provide support and stability for them when it feels like their world is caving in?
It starts with having the right attitude. The last thing someone wants after losing a child is to feel like they’re being pitied. With that in mind, let’s look at a few things you can do to comfort someone after the loss of an infant.
Make Their Life Easier
It’s not uncommon for family and friends to bring new parents meals, do their laundry, or run errands for them after a little one is born. Don’t hesitate to do the same after someone close to you loses an infant.
They might not be physically incapable of doing those things, and they aren’t dealing with the constant care of a baby. However, their entire world has just flipped upside down, and it’s likely they won’t have the motivation or drive to cook healthy meals or get things done around the house. Offer to take any burdens you can away from them. The less they have to worry about, the more they can focus on grieving properly and maintaining their mental well-being.
Remind Them Of Your Love
Sometimes a simple “I love you” can go a long way when someone is hurting. Let that person know how much you care about them and let them know you understand how much they loved their child. Tell them you’re sorry that they’re going through so much pain, but don’t suggest that you “understand” what they’re dealing with.
Instead, you can show them your love by sitting and listening. They might not be ready to talk about what happened for a long time, but having your presence there and reminding them that they’re not alone will help them feel more secure – and loved.
Keep Checking In
The grief that comes from losing a baby doesn’t go away quickly. There’s no timeline when it comes to healing properly, so don’t stop reaching out and checking in with someone just because a few weeks have passed.
A parent might never be able to fully recover from the loss of an infant. While the wounds start to heal over time, they’ll always be present. Allow yourself to be present, too. Make yourself a constant source of support for that person no matter how long it’s been since they first experienced that loss.
Encourage Self-Care and Help
It’s not uncommon for parents to abandon self-care after losing an infant. Doing things like laundry and cooking meals is great, but it’s also not sustainable for anyone. Don’t stop doing those things any time soon. But make sure you’re encouraging them to care for themselves as much as possible.
Ask them to go for a walk around the neighborhood with you. Treat them to lunch at their favorite restaurant. Take a yoga class together. While it’s important not to overwhelm them right away, these small acts of self-care can add up quickly. They can encourage that person to start focusing on their mental and physical health again.
If you see that your loved one is really struggling and you’re worried about their health, encourage them to reach out for professional help. The loss of an infant is something no parent should have to deal with on their own. Therapy can help them move through the grieving process while feeling supported.