To my friend who has lost a baby, these are all the things I wanted to say to you but didn’t know how.
It does. I know I’m not supposed to say that because it’s not very encouraging and certainly not very optimistic. But the truth of the matter is that this is the worst you can ever imagine feeling and I hate that you’re feeling this way. So for now, it’s okay if you’re feeling angry and you want to yell or scream or ask questions or just cry.
I’ll admit that sometimes I don’t know what to say. I don’t know exactly how you’re feeling and I don’t know how to help. But I want to help. I want to say the right things. I want to give you the kind of support you need.
But the truth is that there are no magic words, not magic soup, no magic ice cream. Nothing I can say or do will heal the hurt. But I can come. I can be there with you. I can love you enough to walk through this darkness together, when it would be much easier to drop off a package at the door and squeeze your hand and turn around and shut the door on your dark, grief while I step back into the sunshine. I can sit with you when the only thing we can manage is wiping our tears and sipping our coffee quietly. I can bring pizza, or cake, or wine. Or all of those things. I can bring tissues. I can show up.
But you know what else? I can wait.
I can wait until you’re ready to talk, ready to smile, ready to laugh, or go get coffee, or go the movies. If being a part of the world is too much and all you want is to be left alone so you can take a long, hot shower and sleep under a mountain of soft blankets in the soft glow of the late-night television infomercials, I can wait. I’m not going anywhere. I won’t leave you behind while you’re taking some time off. I’ll be here waiting patiently. And when you’re ready, I’ll come.
I can listen when you talk about the sweet baby you lost. I will tell you how beautiful and strong you are as a mother and how that precious babe has already shaped you into a more wonderful version of who you were before. I can talk about how to preserve the memory of life lost too soon. I can dream with you about rainbow babies.
But if that isn’t helpful to you, I can talk about anything else, too. I can ramble about reality TV or baseball or hockey or Netflix or Fixer Upper. I can talk about pedicures, and pets, or my job, or my weird cousin who just started his own internet dating site for people who love World of Warcraft. I can distract. I can fake it until we make it.
This is the hardest kind of hard. And I know I’m fumbling when you need me most. I’m sorry. Sorry for your loss, the pain, the ache. Sorry for my lack of words, or too many words, or stupid words. I’m sorry this sucks so bad.
I don’t know what your heart has been through, but I’m here, with you. We’ll get through this, friend, together.
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Motherhood Inspired mommas are praying with you and for you.