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Helping a Grieving Friend or Relative

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 263 Posts
August 27, 2007

A young woman grieving.I was raised to pay my respects when a death had occurred in a friend's family. We brought prepared food and beverages for the grieving family to give them more time to be with family and friends. I recently talked to someone who said she took foods only occasionally to the grieving families.

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What she mostly did was babysit for the family members who had small children, as it was very much appreciated as well.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 153 Feedbacks
April 20, 2010

I have a question of a sensitive nature. Our oldest daughter has never had a child. Two years ago, at age 42, she conceived only to miscarry. She still grieves for that baby, because she feels this was her last chance.

She has always "mothered" every child in the neighborhood. She won't talk about it, but I would truly love to send her a single rose as a remembrance. I have miscarried and think I understand, but I don't want to go blundering into something that might cause her more pain.

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Is it better to let her grieve in silence? Or to let her know that her dad and I understand her pain and love her? Please help.

By Coreen Hart from Rupert, ID

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April 20, 20100 found this helpful

How thoughtful of you to want to remember your daughter and your grandchild. Sometimes gestures such as "thinking of you" cards or "sharing in you grief" cards with the single rose would mean more than you know. Maybe this is what she needs in order to share her burden with her family. I am so sorry for your loss.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
April 20, 20101 found this helpful

Since this was 2 years ago, then I'd only send her a rose on the anniversary of the miscarriage. Because on this day, she will already be remembering it, because you don't want to bring it up unless she does. Also, instead of a single rose, how about a small garden angel, or a plaque in remembrance around the time of year of her miscarriage, or around the due-date from this lost child. We had a family friend buy my mother a lovely azalea bush when my father died, & we remember my father every time we look at this lovely bush that is planted right outside of our back door. That gift was far better than all the cut flowers that were sent to her that died a few days after the funeral, whereas this lovely azalea bush is till blooming year after year.

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Many miscarriages happen for a medical reason, but even though she understands this, it does nothing to ease her sadness & depression. I understand her pain, but maybe the best thing you can do for her is to just be there to listen & to offer her love & comfort. I have a feeling that her grief is not just for this miscarriage, but instead she is probably grieving for never being able to have future children. My sister is now 45 & has also never been able to have children, so he lavishes lots of love on her pets. I know it is no substitute, but does your daughter have a pet she can giver he love to? Also, offering her home to a young foster child would be a way to help others & also to help herself at the same time

As far as your question "Is it better to let her grieve in silence?" I remember after my father died suddenly at age 43, that the people I worked with did not know what to say to me, so they just stayed clear of me or kept quiet & ignored my grief & this hurt even more. I wish they would have simply said "I am aware of our loss, & I am so sorry about your fathers early death & I am always here if you'd like to talk".

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Everyone grieves differently, but to me, two years seems a long time to be in deep grief over a miscarriage, but it's been my experience that grief never entirely goes away, but fades with time. It might be helpful if she had someone to talk to, especially a group of other women who have also gone through painful miscarriages. You might Google "miscarriage counseling & her town" & call these groups & if they seem like they may be helpful, you could give your daughter their phone numbers & e-mail info so she can think about talking to others that understand her pain & can offer comfort.

I hope I've helped.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

Maybe all she needs is a hug.

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April 22, 20101 found this helpful

Why don't you plan a day out for her? This could help her to have other thoughts on that day. If she needs to talk, she can.

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Your time could be the best thing for her to deal with her grieving on this day.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I think that it is always better to share grief, as it is less of a burden if it is shared. Generally, women need to talk to others about their feelings in order to cope with them. I think Cyinda has some great suggestions. And, perhaps your daughter might also consider adoption. I have friends in their forties who are adopting from Africa.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I used to work in a hospice and the best thing we ever did was give people a book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross called On Death and Dying. Why don't you see if you can get the book for her?

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

Have your daughter over for a talk complete with tea and cookies. I love the idea of giving her an angel statue. Talk about her loss and let her cry. Cry with her, too. Then come prepared to help her discover ways that she could still become a mom.

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I miscarried at 38 and didn't become a mom (by adoption) until I was 43. Please look into "foster care for the purpose of adoption". I know that many adoption agencies don't want the mother to be more than 40 years older than a child, but rules are often different for foster care and if she lets the foster care program know right up front that she hopes to be able to adopt a child from foster care, they will only present her with children who are ready for adoption.

There are only a couple of regrets for me. I am sad that my child doesn't have my genes and far too many stupid people try to call me his grandma, so she may have to tolerate that, too. Good luck and God bless you and your daughter.

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