Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What Not to Say to a Parent Who's Lost a Baby

1. You'll have another baby.

2. It wasn't meant to be.

3. It was God's will.

4. God needed another angel in heaven, or, the variant, God needed your baby in heaven more than you needed your baby here. (You really think God is that freakin' cruel? That's not a God I want any part of.)

5. Your baby couldn't have survived if he'd been born.

6. I know just how you feel. (Hint: Unless your baby died too, YOU HAVE NO IDEA. None whatsoever.)

7. It happened for a reason. (There is no good reason for my child to have died. He was not meant to have died. But he did anyway.)

I hope someone comes here, someone who is in danger of saying some of these horrible phrases to newly bereaved parents, and learns something. The best thing anyone can say is simply this: "I'm sorry."

Readers, do you have anything to add to my list? I'm sure you do, so please, help me enlighten the rest of the world.

14 comments:

Cant Quiet Me! said...

This is one of the worst things a person could say...and it was said to me:

"Your baby died because it was satins spawn!"

and when asked about my uterus, a "friend" said:

"It was flushed down the toilet with the baby!"
She knew perfectly well that I had given birth to Amia at a hospital.

Debbie said...

Oh, one of my personal faves:

"God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Thanks, I'm glad you & God know what *I* can handle.

I have more, but I am drawing a blank right now.

Monica H said...

Eeek! i'm convinced people only say these things because it makes it easier for them to accept it. They believe whatever it is they believe and the actual loss of the baby doesn't seem real anymore.

I wish they'd quit trying to cover it up though and accept it for what it is--a major heartbreaking loss.

Virginia said...

How could I forget "God doesn't give you more than you can handle"?!!

That's a great one. (Snort.)

gorillabuns said...

how about they give you baby gifts when your child has died? this is a good one - well, not really.

Cynnie said...

well im late to this..
I hate when people try to 'top' your pain..
oh yeah , well i lost a busload of kids in 98..
stuff like that..
urgh

Monique said...

I just found your blog and wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss.

Yea, the grief comparison (like this is a f'ing competition) - "I know how you feel...when my mom/uncle/dog died it was terrible". Losing parents is hard but we all can anticipate that happening in our lifetime but your child - unbearable and heart-wrenching.

Julia said...

Just went through a miscarriage in June this year.... my two personal favorites were...

"my daughter (friend, cousin, coworker) lost three last year alone! Be glad you aren't her..It could be worse!!!"

I also got this one "Satan comes to steal kill and destroy..." I hate that worse than "God took your baby" because the Satan one makes it seem like he is the one in charge of this situation!!! Satan didn't take my baby any more than God did!!

I also agree with the "you will have another baby" comment being horrible. This was going to be our first. It will always be my first... "another" doesn't replace, it only adds...

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing this, Virginia.

I'm so sorry for your loss...and for all of the crazy things that people say.

blog said...

here is one to add
"we know exactly what your going through we lost a dog last year"

love your blog - just found it!

I have just started on the faith clashes with stillbirth and infertility blog route

God bless

Virginia said...

Thanks for your comment, "blog" - and good god, that's horrible! I'd love to follow your blog, too, if you have one.

blog said...

Virginia - yes I have a blog, it is is http://livingintherainbow.com/

love you to come and "follow it" although I think I am following you! I have just done a post based on one of your early posts in 2007. check it out. http://livingintherainbow.com/2009/07/12/baby-loss-meme/

See you there and make sure you say hi! You are on my feed.

Anonymous said...

" At least you never got the chance to love her"
"Maybe she would have had cancer later in life and God saved you all from going through that"
"You'll find some way to make this better. You'll plan a 5K event for charity"
And the list could go on! I totally agree with all of the other comments too!

Virginia said...

Never got the chance to love her?? Oh, Anonymous, I'm so sorry. I never knew I never really got to know so much.