Day 6: What not to say

(if you are just joining, this is what I am participating in this month)
Today we are to share what not to say. I feel like I could write a book about what not to say to someone whose baby has died. Sadly, I was on the receiving end of a lot of hurtful comments & actions. In some ways, this was mind boggling to me. I realize sometimes people just don't think but I know for myself, when I know of someone in a situation that I am unfamiliar with, the first thing I do is to google it or talk to someone who has gone through it. To better inform myself and to hopefully be able to help that person and not hurt them. If only other people would think to take a few minutes to look up "how to help someone who is grieving the death of a child", how much hurt would be saved by trying to find out what to do/what not to do or say.

Noah's Grave

-He is in a much better place now.
Yes while this is true, would YOU willingly choose one of your kids right now to leave you and go to Heaven just because it's a better place? I don't begrudge Noah missing out on the pain & hurt of this world but humanly speaking, I sure as heck still want him here in my arms.

-Be thankful for the children you already have.
Huh? I never said I wasn't thankful for them. But they aren't any more valued than Noah. We all wanted him just as much as the rest. This does not take away the pain of not having him here.

-Your new baby will make things all better & you will be happy now.
I don't care how many kids I would ever have after Noah, NO CHILD can possibly replace him! Yes, Olivia brings us joy, just like any child would, but she has not lessened the pain of grief or taken the ache away from missing Noah. In fact, having her adds a whole new level to this journey as she vividly reminds us of what we missed out on where Noah would've been exactly a year earlier.

-You should be done grieving, you need to support other friends now who have their own (minor) issues.
Yes, this was said to me just barely a few months after Noah died by someone who was supposed to be a close friend. Upon giving said person links & info on grieving to try and educate them on where I was at in my grief journey, it was thrown in my face and they walked away. Grief never goes away, it's a life sentence & changes you. You really do find out who cares & who doesn't when faced with a tragedy like this.

-Let me know if you need something.
Many people say this yet few truly mean it. When someone says this, they feel they did something by saying this and it eases their conscience. I can tell you, no one will ever speak up if they do need something as they feel they will be a burden or they know it wasn't really meant. Instead, tell them you will bring them a meal and ask if Monday or Wednesday would suit better. Tell them you will mow their lawn, is Saturday ok? Can I take your kids swimming this afternoon? Be SPECIFIC and directly offer something, anything. Those are the people I leaned on, the ones who stepped up and did things without me asking.

-Why do you celebrate his birthday or have his picture in your family pictures?
Why wouldn't I? Noah is my child, he lived. Therefore we gladly celebrate his day of birth and we include him in family photos because he a part of us. Noah is alive, he just has a different address than us for now. If your parents died, don't you still remember them on their birthday? Just because a baby might not have lived long, their value of life is no less than someone who lived decades.

-I know how you feel, I lost a pet once.
While I realize pets are special to people, losing a pet does NOT even come close to the level of grief of losing a child. Never compare grief, even if you've lost someone close to you as everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

-You are stronger than I am as I don't think I could get through it. God doesn't give you more than you can handle.
I am NOT strong. And I'm no different than you, I can't handle what I've been going through either. And yes things do happen to us that are more than we can handle, it's part of living in a fallen world. This phrase says it best "God doesn't give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we've been given".

And probably one of the worst things a lot of people have said or done is:

It's so hurtful for people to ignore us, not say a word or act like nothing happened. I was surprised at the people who did this after Noah died. On the other hand, I am thankful for those who didn't let our grief scare them away and stepped up & continue to be there for us.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up others according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."


  1. Jenn~ I am really touched and honored that you would share your precious memories and thoughts. I'm learning/being reminded of alot. Thank you for sharing your heart and I'm just blessed to know you.
    Have a blessed week.

  2. Wonderful Well written post! you are right on!


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