Day 28: Compassion
I am putting my own spin on today's topic. I want to share some practical ideas for showing compassion to mothers who have experienced the loss of their baby.
Acknowledge. That their baby was real and an irreplaceable part of their life and family.
Speak their name. It's a melody to the ears of a mother whose lost their child.
Ask questions. About the meaning behind their baby's name, details about their birth story, special pregnancy memories, etc.
Do something. Don't be one of those people who says "let me know if I can do anything," and then who goes on with your life pleased with yourself for saying it, but not actually do anything. Send flowers, a card, take a meal or groceries, toilet paper, milk, tissues, etc. Put together a little comfort box, like the one pictured. Pamper the mother with all things lavender and chamomile, which are both known to be soothing and calming.
Don't pressure. Don't try to force them to act how you want them to act or "recover" from this, as if they had the flu.
Just listen. Sometimes they don't need advice. They aren't looking for you to "fix things." They just need a listening ear, a warm hug, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to pray with.
Share resources. Send information to them with resources to help them realize they aren't alone, such as Still Standing Magazine.
Show sensitivity. With your words and actions. Before thrusting that pregnancy announcement or baby photos in their face, try to imagine how that might make them feel. Ask them if they want to see them.
Remember. After a short time, the flooding of phone calls and cards will stop. It's in these times that they will continue needing love and support. Keep reaching out. Remember their baby on their birthday/death day. Remember their baby on Christmas. Remember their baby on October 15th - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and light a candle for them. Tell them that you remember. Do something special for them, such as getting them a piece of jewelry in honor of their baby from somewhere such as My Forever Child, planting a tree in their baby's honor, mentioning their baby by name in the cards you send them, getting a Christmas ornament with their baby's name, among so many other possibilities. Get creative in how you can honor their motherhood and their baby's valuable life. The smallest of gestures can speak a thousand words that will never be forgotten.
***These ideas are from a post I wrote called "How Family and Friends Can Help When a Baby Dies."***
-Click here to see all of my photos from CYG 2016.