Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help After Miscarriage: Knowing Your Friend

It is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, in other words, as many as 25% of pregnant women will not carry a baby to term because of an early or middle pregnancy loss. This statistic does not include the scores of women who lose children through stillbirth or even early infant death. In some medical circles, these numbers reflect nothing more than an assumed defect or chromosomal abnormality. They are just statistics for research. But to a mom and dad, this number represents a life—shattered dreams for a child never held.

In the last few weeks I have talked a lot about how to help a friend in the weeks and months following a miscarriage. God has been so kind to continually provide people who care about us and the baby we lost. They have been a means of grace in our life. They have helped us see that there is hope. They have loved us through tears. But the glue that kept all of this together is that they knew us. Our friends and family not only wept with us, but entered into our sadness by asking questions and understanding us.

Nothing will substitute for knowing your friend in the days following her miscarriage. A dear friend of mine asks me constantly how I am doing, and even goes so far as to ask how I feel when she talks about certain things. This means the world to me. People don’t always wear their emotions on their sleeve. And it might seem that your friend is okay with something, even if she is weeping on the inside. Knowing her and asking comforting questions will provide a window into her life and protect you from insensitivity.

Knowing your friend will help you also remember her baby. As you walk through her grief with her, you will be able to rightly remember the child that was lost. It is difficult to remember one that you did not know, but this baby’s memory most likely has not escaped your friend’s mind.
All that I have shared about our miscarriage is exactly that—how we have been helped in our own loss. Everyone responds to grief differently. Grief is not cookie cutter and it does not look the same in any one person’s life. Some women are more open than others. Some cry more easily than others. Some are more prone to introspection. The important thing is that you know her and care for her individually, not according to a box or textbook definition. As you get to know your friend, you will be able to minister to her in ways that outsiders will never understand. And it will encourage her greatly.

God will use you in mighty ways to breathe life into your friend. The very fact that you have kept reading this far shows that you want to be a conduit of grace and hope. So thank you for reading, and thank you for caring. By knowing your friend and praying for her you can help bring a voice to the silent sorrow of miscarriage.

1 comment:

debt said...

This was so refreshing and so good!! Love you immensely!!!