What NOT to Say To Someone Who's Had a Miscarriage or How to Be Heartless

Let's take a poll, shall we?

What is the number 1 thing you DO NOT say to a woman who has just had a miscarriage?

I'll give you a hint, K?

Try THIS one on for size, "Have you ever thought that maybe God's causing your miscarriages because he doesn't think you should have any more kids? Something to think on."

REALLY?!?! Is that REALLY something for me to think on?

How about instead, you think on THIS you heartless...person (Sorry. That's all I've got right now.)...who OBVIOUSLY is a MUCH better Christian than I could EVER think of being...YOU DON'T SAY THAT TO A WOMAN WHO HAS HAD A MISCARRIAGE!!!!!

Did I yell loud enough for you? Did you hear it? Did you get it? You're not doing me a Christian service in the name of God by telling me that God actually CAUSED me to get pregnant and then CAUSED me to lose my baby!

Is that something you'd say to a mom who lost her 1 year old to cancer? Or their 5 year old to a genetic disorder? Is that what you say to a mom who has lost her entire family in a car accident? That God didn't want her to have a family anymore so He took them away? Of COURSE NOT!


Are you KIDDING me?!?!?!

There. I feel better.

I know there are other readers who've had miscarriages or who know women who have. Any thoughts you'd like to give? I promise not to call anyone else heartless.



Elizabeth Grattan said...

You aren't going to like my comment Amy. But I hope you hear my heart through the text. :)

I can give you an objective perspective.

While the statement is as stupid as telling a person "better now than later", or "at least they are in a better place". Sometimes, people just put their foot in their mouth. They aren't heartless, they are, instead, just not diplomatic.

Now... actually, according to the biblical text, if one follows it, they simply *must* concede to a sovereign deity. That means, yes, there is *nothing* that could have prevented it. And *yes* the deity would have purposed it. A good long look at Job shows this pretty simply. Not easily, but *simply*. That is the barter when believing these stories. The submission to cause only coming from the deity - that "no man can thwart".

That being said... it doesn't diminish your pain or your grief. It also doesn't make you less of any kind of believer if you submit to this teaching. It simply shows according to the text you follow, that this god you serve is well, a god you serve.

Now... the statements that were made by this person that they had insight to *why* are silly. Because according to this text, and again, a good reading of Job... *why* always becomes irrelevant.

When I say irrelevant, again, I'm just using objective terms. It is relevant to you of course... but... there is always the *never know* aspect.

There is this: MANY women miscarry. It's very very very common.

love thru your pain amy...


Kim said...

People really can say some awful things to someone who's miscarried, without even realizing it. My friend told me that people would tell her "Oh, you're young, you can have other children." At that moment, she didn't want OTHER children, she wanted the one she'd lost. In those situations, I figure the best I can do is be loving, be present, and be as silent as possible.

Anonymous said...

Obviously whoever said that has never experienced such for herself....BTDT, and had these kind of comments leveled at me....

Try this one on...."this is why abortion is so bad, since it condemns all the babies to eternity in hell"....Now I know and understand the theological thought (as well as the opposite view) behind that comment, but that is NOT what one should say to someone who is hurting...This was said to me after my first m/ a close family member....I now don't tell anyone except dh now until I am 5 months or so along....
Diane in CA [SHS and FB]

Melissa White said...

Yuck, that is terrible. I thought it was bad when someone said "well, God has a plan". And there is a big difference between even that thoughtless statement and saying that God is cursing you. That is just insane. God does have a plan. However, we all have free will and the choice to follow his plan. Regarding previous statement - something could have prevented it, you could have exercised your free will in many ways, including never having married, having married someone else, abstaining from sex, ect.
Bottom line - you are totally right, some people are idiots or even beyond idiotic to totally cruel.

Unknown said...

That was a very thoughtless thing to, I can't believe someone would think that that was helpful or comforting. I do think that it's hard for some people to understand someone else's pain if you have never experienced that kind of pain yourself, you know? But, just don't say that kind of thing to someone experiencing a loss.

Do you think it has anything to do with our society's view on abortion and children being a burden, replaceable or disposable (ew, icky word to use when talking about children, but I hope you understand what I mean)? I just don't see most people, especially non-believers, looking at children as a blessing.

Anyway. Yes, God has a plan for our lives that sometimes we don't understand. But, it doesn't make your hurt and pain any less real.

Gary Thompson said...
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Gary Thompson said...

Sorry...had some typos. Edited.

He who sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes away a garment on a cold day."

"Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those who rejoice."

Whether wrong or right in our opinions regarding someone's situation, kindness dictates that the timing be appropriate.

The LAST thing I need when I'm grieving is for someone to come along and give me schooling one way or the other as to "Why" it happened.

Actually, the last thing any of us needs in a moment like this is someone with all the answers. Because whomever presumes in our moments of grief to have us, our belief, or out situation figured out is not looking to be a comfort. They're looking to exalt themselves.

And really, who wants be around anyone with all the answers? People like that usually end up with only their intellect to keep them company. There's a time and a place to explore truth.

That time is not during a moment of grief.

Kim said...

That ranks up there with telling a parent of a special needs child that their child's disability "was a punishment from God" upon the parent. And yes that has been said to me. I'm sorry that someone was so incredibly rude and thoughtless to you and your family.

Chelsie said...

What about telling someone you're going through a miscarriage and they say that they're looking for clinics to have an abortion? And that person was family.

To top it off, it was a test run pregnancy. Meaning, she got pregnant before and it ended in miscarriage so her and her boyfriend-yes, wanted to get pregnant again as a test to make sure she wasn't barren. She obviously wasn't. Yup.

God is good though, always. One thing I can say is that God is a God of Life so people, especially Christians, that blame miscarriage and abortion happenings on God doesn't really understand that God is LIFE and the devil is death. The devil steals your peace. The devil is darkness, death and destruction. Not God. So when people say that these unfortunate things are "An Act of God" they are completely wrong. It is an act of the devil.

But glory to God that he brings us through the valleys the devil may build around us but never on us. Glory to God in the darkness of our lives.

Chelsie said...
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Chelsie said...

One more thing, about the book of Job. Our Father basically handed over Job's exterior life to the devil where the devil killed everything that meant something to Job. When our Father handed Job's extrerior life over to the devil but not Job himself, our Father KNEW that Job was an upright and righteous man. He had great faith in Job therefore knew through all the why's & whining that Job would REMAIN a God fearing, God loving, praising and worshiping upright and righteous man.

As the poop hits the fan which it will as it has, glory to God that the faith that he has individually measured into each of us will bring us through, strengthen us and educate us. Another thing, when we ask our Father *WHY*, we questiong his power, authority, love and grace. We question our King, the cross, the blood. Job whined and asked many WHYS but God remained silent because who are we to question, to challenge the creator of life, heaven & earth, light and love?

Job not just teaches us to have faith and have endurance but to KNOW who you are in Christ, in the Father. Healed, an overcomer, more than a conqueror to name a few.

Amy, obviously this wasn't for you. Sorry. The first comment just bothered me a bit. And yes, many women miscarry and in fact I just miscarried last month. Again. But you know what? I have two babies dancing with angels and praising Christ in heaven. That is my comfort that they are home.

Elizabeth Grattan said...

It is very problematic for a theist to claim that God = life and Devil = death. Because it puts the "enemy" of their god equal with their god.

No where in the biblical text does it suggest such a thing.

To suggest that the devil or man can trump god is heresy, according to the very biblical text some say they are following.

You either have to credit your god as a god, or acknowledge you believe that there is something or someone able to override that god.

Most aren't willing to acknowledge that, because it forces them to reconcile that they've got their worship wrong.

Chelsie said...
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Meg @sleepynewmommy said...

I'm late on commenting, but I can certainly chime in.

Here are some to add to the list of DON'T SAY:

1. Maybe your baby was retarded and this is God's way of saving you from that. (I would love a disabled child and I know God does, so that one's crap.)

2. You'll be able to have more. (What if I can't? That's not always the case.)

3. Oh, miscarriages are common. My had 6 miscarriages and now has a house full of kids.

I know that people don't know how it feels until they've been there, but that's still not an excuse for stupid comments. I would much prefer a "that really sucks" to someone trying to be positive or insightful. A little empathy goes a long way.

It definitely makes me think about what I say to anyone who is grieving, no matter the reason. Sorry you had to deal with such heartless comments, but know that I truly feel your pain and understand.

Amy S said...

I sit here today, on the 9th Anniversary of losing our second child to miscarriage at 5 months (we went on to lose a 3rd child at 8 weeks and decided to accept our family as it was).

I also had a "friend" tell me, maybe you should quit trying to have children.

I believe the world would be such a better place if people would just learn to think before they spoke.

My heart goes out to you, and God Bless.