“It just wasn’t meant to be”.
5 simple words strung together that are seemingly harmless. But if you’ve experienced a miscarriage – these 5 words have the power to bring you to tears.
There is no way in which I can accurately describe the emotional roller coaster and depth of sadness that each woman goes through after a miscarriage. For some, the news of pregnancy might have come as a shock – it certainly did for me. Once the shock wears off and the realization that you’re pregnant and going to have a baby sinks in, joy and excitement start to weigh in. Then all of a sudden, those hopes and dreams for the future and what might have been are destroyed. You’re left feeling angry, guilty, depressed and numb.
Your friends and family try to say consoling things, but it just doesn’t quite hit the mark. Not only does what they say not help, but it might even hurt your feelings.
I’m sure you’ve been there. Heard that same phrase of “it just wasn’t meant to be” or something similar to it.
Some of the more common miscarriage consolation phrases are:
- It was for the best.
- Something was probably wrong with it.
- You’ll get pregnant again.
- At least you know you can get pregnant.
- You’re trying too hard. Just relax and it will happen.
- It wasn’t a real baby.
- It happens all the time, and it’s not something to worry about.
- At least you weren’t very far along.
- Were you doing ________? It probably happened because you were/weren’t.
- Maybe you just aren’t ready to have kids.
- Having a baby changes your life. At least now you can still do all the same fun things.
- Take my kids for a day and see what it’s like. You won’t be so sad then.
- You should be happy with the kids you already have. You don’t need anymore.
- I wouldn’t let it bother you.
- There are plenty more chances to get pregnant again.
- Things happen for a reason.
- Maybe your eggs are bad and/or old.
- You’ll forget about it over time.
- It’s better than having a child born with health problems.
While it may seem like the above phrases are insincere, uncalled for, hurtful, and cruel, it’s important to remember that the person saying it doesn’t know that. There isn’t a way in which you can accurately explain what and how it is that you are feeling to someone if they haven’t been through it themselves. Even if someone has been through it, one of the above phrases might have comforted them.
So what should people say instead?
Keep it simple – “I’m sorry” and a hug goes a long way. Want to do something more? Great. Instead of saying “let me know if there’s anything I can do”, suggest something that you can do. Something like “can I come over and cook you a meal?” or “How about I come over with take-out, movies and chocolate ice cream?”
Everyone deals with grief in their own way, and most people lose sight of the fact that how they deal with grief might not be the same as how you deal with it.
What phrases have you heard? And what could people have said or done instead?