Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Things I Have Learned in One Year

I've been wanting to write this post for a LONG time, but just never got around to it or thought it was ever a good time...
Over the past year, I have seen a lot, heard a lot, changed a lot, watched a lot.  I have wanted to write this more of as a reminder to myself when people I know go through hard times of grieving, not really as a list for those reading of "what to do or not do".
 That being said, I do hope it helps those who have experienced an acquaintance, friend, or family member that has to deal with a very personal loss.

I personally have been surprised (both pleasantly and sometimes sadly) at the reactions and responses to us losing our daughter over the past year. It's so cliche, but this year has revealed character. Mostly my own, but those around me, too.

So, here are some ideas of the things that helped me the most.
 If you have a friend who is grieving, or you are struggling with grieving yourself and need to express your needs to your friends or family members, I hope this helps.  I am going to keep it related to losing a baby because that is what I know, but it can be related to any loss.


truly pray for them. Pray, pray, pray.
send notes (email, snail mail, etc.)
take the time to send texts of encouragement.
offer Bible verses anytime you read something that would encourage
phone calls
make meals for them
when with them, talk about their loss. (don't fear tears or "bringing it up")
say their baby's name.
remember anniversary's
do something to honor their baby 


purchase a tree
buy them a plant or flowers
seeds for future tree or fruit/vegetable plant
build a bear/ any stuffed animal
any kind of jewelry that says their baby's name or initials


disappear or wait for them to contact you. (they probably won't.) (And it's not because they don't care about you.)
be scared of asking questions
assume your friendship will "return to normal" after they "get over it"
think "leaving her alone" will be a good thing.
complain about anything related to your kids or pregnancy or baby (assume blank stares if you do)

complain about minor things like a hard day at work or trouble with a relationship and expect them to have much to offer but a listening ear. (Again, it's not because they do not care)
compare losses (especially miscarriage to infant death)  (that's a whole 'nother post)


 that a simple "how are you?" could make them cry.
disappearing/withdrawing (depending on their personality)
not much excitement for big social gatherings.
not much interest in things that used to be fun to them
lack of concentration
not much energy or care for ordinary things (takes a lot of energy to grieve)
still wanting to talk about it no matter how long it's been

I have found a year to be just the start of a lifetime without my daughter. That kills my heart. Makes me not want to live to even 60.  I had previously thought after a year, things may be "back to normal-ish", but I have been wrong.
In writing all these things down, it has helped remind me of the kind of friend I hope to be in the future. Much will be expected of me because I have and still am walking through death.

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:48

I was given the gift of walking through this suffering. Seems weird to write it like that, but if everything God does is good, how can I not at least ask Him to help me view this season as a gift?

 Writing this list has reminded me how thankful I am for the friends and family members the Lord blessed us with to walk hardcore beside us this last year. The things mentioned above (in the good categories) are things they have done for me/us that have blessed us so much. Some things we can never repay.

I am sure there is more I am missing, but I really just wanted to get this published so as to help those just beginning this journey or ones walking beside friends who are. 

"A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need." Proverbs 17:17


  1. Like your idea to share what to do and dont for those with infant loss.

    1. I also.enjoyed the entire post, heart felt and filled with Gods glory

  2. My son died 20 days before his 1st b-day and your post is so true. No one after he died every spoke his name again and when i do ppl look at me like I am from another planet. It was just me and Jesus walking threw the valley of the shadow of death THANK GOD I MADE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PAIN! My God bless you and heal the scar that is not only on your heart but also the mark that the death of a child leaves forever on your soul!