How do I support a family with a loss — The Bump
Late Term and Child Loss

How do I support a family with a loss

Hi Ladies,

A friend of mine has just lost her son at 7 months gestation. I am so upset and horrified for her. I have my own baby, who is approaching 3 months, so I've been keeping my distance somewhat as I assume she does not want to be around moms/babies right now. I have let her know that my family is here for her, and also let her know about "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" (which she wasn't interested in). I don't know if she's delivered the baby or not, what happened to her son, if there are any plans for a memorial or funeral. My question is how can I continue to support her without being overbearing? I was planning on sending a condolence card, a gift card for food delivery, and dropping off a gardenia she can plant for him. Is that too much? What do you guys think? Any help you can provide is great.
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Re: How do I support a family with a loss

  • You are a good friend. I believe the condolence card, card for food delivery and flower are all very thoughtful. You might want to message your friend that you'll be dropping them off  - she may or may not be ready for visitors just yet. Let her know when you plan to leave them at the door. Grief can be so overwhelming I didn't always want to see people or talk and that way if she wants to or if she is able to talk she has the option. 
     In terms of the loss of her son - she may not wish to discuss details - she lost her son and that alone hurts so much. If she chooses to share details that is her own choice. Asking a mother to discuss the details of the death of her child is just so hard. If she wants to share she will. Some families choose to do funerals and memorials privately. 
     But I believe just letting your friend know that you are thinking of her and are heartbroken for her and her family for the loss of her son is kind and I'm sure will bring some comfort. 
  • For me texting was great. I was able to still communicate with people without having to actually talk. People sent me messages and I knew they were thinking of us and praying for us.  
  • Thanks so much. It really breaks my heart, especially as it was just Mother's Day. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • edited May 2016
    This is a late response, but can I say that I am here to thank you as someone who has recently been in a situation similar to your friends situation. Kudo's for taking in consideration on how to contact her and what to do for her. I just lost my baby girl at 21 weeks gestation almost a month ago(tomorrow), and I can't even begin to explain how overwhelmed I was with the mass text messages and people wanting to visit me, and I still get anxiety when I get text messages asking how I am doing, and I have not been able to see my friends yet.I'm emotionally and mentally not ready for the hugs and condolences, although I don't know if I ever will be, as it is all a reminder that my Mila is no longer with me. All I wanted to do was be alone to grieve. I would definitely shoot her texts, and tell her not to feel obligated to reply, or reply when she is ready to,  but don't expect a response right away, or  if at all. Don't be offended, she is going through one of the most traumatic losses. Just send her a text letting her know you are thinking of her and if she needs you, you will be there.
    Married August 2012
    Me:28 DH:31
    Diagnosed with Diminished Ovarian Reserve March 2015
    IUI # 1 May 2015 - BFN
    December 2015 - Natural BFP - Our Angel baby Mila Grace went to heaven @ 21 weeks on 4/21/16 (D&E) due to Triploidy
    Currently waiting to start TTAL
  • I am speaking from our own experience. We lost our daughter on her due date (Oct 2015) a result of cord accident. Although we didnt necessarily want to see anyone,  we truly appreciated cards,  flowers, meals to let us know we were being supported/thought of.  It still hurts today to think of the people who failed to acknowledge our loss/grief. Even if you dont bring her anything,  just offer to be "there". Even with support, the indescribable feeling of feeling so alone in ur grief is pretty over whelming. 


  • I know this is late too but for anyone else who might be wondering and reading this, I echo a few things. First, it is so good to know that people care. My husband and I have been so grateful for the love and support we have gotten. He has noticed who of our friends and church has and hasn't been there for us (it's too much of a blur for me still). Second, everyone's different. I even feel differently depending on the person. For me, texts are great because I can communicate in small doses at my own pace. Some family can stop by, but I wouldn't want random people just dropping in. Cards and flowers and food are nice. Sometimes it lifts me up and sometimes it makes me cry. Overall Id say doing something is better than nothing. Even if it hurts right now (one girl brought food this week while she was on her own maternity leave) I know I'll appreciate it down the road. 
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