October is a wonderful month that begins the holiday season. There’s candy, cider, pumpkin picking, and of course Halloween! Although this month is a joyous time for celebration, for some moms, it’s not. For some moms, it’s scurrying past the costume aisle because they are too sad to see what could have been. For some moms, it’s being asked “When are you going to have kids?” and it has been the very thing they’ve worked on tirelessly. For some moms, it’s the beginning of using the past tense in reference to their children.
As October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, it is essential to understand how to support grieving moms and even more necessary to know what kind of behavior to avoid. Grieving moms are completely lost in their world. They are simply trying to figure out their new normal and making it through by putting one foot in front of the other.
This summer, my good friend lost her almost two-year-old son. My heart hurt for her and I wanted to be there as best as I could. Here’s what I have learned:
She will not respond to a lot of texts and that is okay- continue to text her anyway without the expectation of a response.
Send texts that don’t beg a response and let her know she is in your thoughts like:
” Thinking of you!”
” Sending you light and positivity.”
” I hope you’re healing.”
” Praying for your peace.”
When she is ready to come around, accept her with open arms and do not guilt-trip her for her lack of interaction.
Understand that her grief and your grief are not the same. Yes, you may have loved her child and are heartbroken but that’s only a fraction of how she feels. She carried, birthed, and buried her child- it is not the same.
Allow her to lead the conversation. One day she may want to talk about her baby and other days she may want to sit in silence- both are her choice.
DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT tell her she can make another baby-just don’t.
Do not put a timeline on her grief. It is her process and her process alone.
Send coffee or wine or both- she could use them.
Continue to check on her- no matter how long it has been.
Remember her child on holidays, their birthday, and special occasions.
Be mindful that holidays may not be joyous and the anniversary month leading up to their child’s passing will ALWAYS shatter them.
Say her child’s name- You will not make her sad by sharing the light that her baby brought into your life. Celebrate them!
Lastly, do not EVER give up on that grieving mother- she will never be the same. She will never be who you knew. She might feel better one day and the next not respond- this is grief. She will respond one day and she will come back around at some point. She just needs her time to process her new normal and also your unwavering support.
About the Author
My name is Mariah Sklyr and I currently live in Milwaukee, WI. I have an amazing husband and a really cool six-month-old son named Blaise. I am a Master’s Level Social Worker, Wine Enthusiast, Avid Reality TV Watcher, and Social Justice Warrior. I pride myself on being a new mom and utilizing my village to help raise my son into a respectful and loving young man. Follow me on Instagram @Babieedolll to see my highs, lows, and all things baby!