October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. If you haven’t already done so, try to make an extra effort to reach out to a friend or family member that has experienced this type of loss in his or her life. A thoughtful card or phone call is all that is needed to let someone know that you remember the baby that is now in the arms of Jesus.
Showing support and love for families who have lost a baby is one way in which we can live out our Pro-life values. When we acknowledge the pain that comes with pregnancy loss, we show that we value all life, no matter how short.
Recently, while watching the new show “This Is Us,” I was moved to tears during the scene in which a doctor takes a few moments to offer wisdom to a man who has just learned he lost one of his three babies at birth. It’s not often that a tv show demonstrates such deep respect for life and the words of encouragement took me by surprise. We can learn a lot about how to support those dealing with pregnancy or infant loss from this short clip.
5 Things to Remember About Pregnancy and Infant Loss
1.) “We lost the third baby, Jack, and I’m very sorry.”
I understand that people mean well when they say things like, “Well, at least you have five healthy children!”, but healthy, living children do not replace the child that you will never be able to hold, hug, or laugh with.
2.) “Okay if I try and say something meaningful?”
After experiencing the pain of the loss of a child, a parent may or may not be open to hearing advice. Asking before you give your input shows that you respect the intense amount of grief your loved one is dealing with. If you don’t have any words of wisdom to offer, sitting quietly beside them or praying for them often works even better.
3.) “…but there is not a single day that goes by that I don’t think of the child I lost.”
Though the constant flow of tears will eventually stop, the reminders of a child who is gone will never go away. Due dates, birthdays, and other significant events will always be the most difficult to handle, but the parent who has lost a child thinks about that baby every day. When a friend or family member also remembers and acknowledges these special days, it means so much to a grieving parent. Mark these dates on your calendar so you can call and offer words of encouragement.
4.) “Sometimes life is about taking the sourest lemons life has to offer and making something resembling lemonade…”
Though this line is not necessarily one that I would recommend saying to a friend who has recently lost a child, there is a lot of truth in it. Perhaps instead of saying it aloud, use this as a prayer for your suffering loved one. Pray that they have the strength to take the biggest trial in their life and make it into something that reveals God’s glory. Often, it is our greatest sorrows and struggles that lead us closest to Christ.
5.) “…if you can do that, you’ll still be taking three babies home from this hospital. Just maybe not the way you planned.”
No matter how short-lived, the life of an infant has great value in the eyes of the Lord. It is certainly not the way parents have hoped and planned, but a baby’s life is never without purpose. Help those who are facing the loss of a pregnancy or an infant find meaningful ways to be reminded of the purpose of their child’s life. Hosting a walk to raise money for a crisis pregnancy center or becoming involved in a local charity that helps parents who have also lost a child are just a few ideas of things you can do to honor and remember the life of a child.