20 things to never say to a grieving parent…. Unless you want a plate throwing at your head!
1. “It just wasn’t meant to be” – Funny that, it really felt like it was meant to be for the nine months I was pregnant.
2. “It’s all part of God’s plan.” Well God needs to F right off then doesn’t he.
3. “You can always try again.” Thank you Captain Obvious, we know that, but it doesn’t really change the fact that the child we love more than anything in the world has died does it.
4. “It’s probably for the best if he/she was going to be disabled.” OMFG. You utter tit. Best to keep those kinds of thoughts to yourself love. No bereaved parent will ever wanna hear that shite.
5. “I can imagine what you’re going through, my nan/dog/teacher just died.” K cool. You definitely get it then. Let’s not compare grief eh. There is probably no worse pain than the death of your child for a start but also, it’s not a competition.
6. “When are you going back to work?” When I chuffing feel like it ok! Unless you’re someone’s boss it really isn’t anything you need to concern yourself with and it’s just irritating being asked constantly.
7. “Aren’t you bored all day doing nothing?” Grief is a lot of things but never boring, trust me.
8. “Better they were stillborn than you got to know them and then they died.” FFS you absolute moron. Dunce cap over here please.
9. “At least you know you can get pregnant now.” You should be a motivational speaker, you’re so insightful. Not helpful, especially for those who went through IVF or suffer from secondary infertility or had genetic issues. Basically just don’t say this to anyone.
10. “When you have kids you’ll understand x,y,z….”. I DO HAVE A KID YOU MUPPET. Parents whose babies sadly died are still parents to those children. It is just hurtful to dismiss them as people who aren’t parents following the loss of their baby so don’t do this! Or you really might get a plate thrown at your head.
11. “You really need to start moving on now.” Why Brenda, because you think I should? OK I will just wave my magic wand, ah there we are abracadabra! I’m cured!
12. “Be thankful you’ve got your other children.” Hardly the point now is it. Those children are also grieving their sibling too FYI.
13. “Everything happens for a reason.” Yes, yes it does. In my case the placenta failing, but you didn’t mean that did you. You just wanted to offer me an empty cliché to try and make sense of this senseless act. Sometimes shit things just happen and clichés don’t help.
14. “At least…..” Any sentence starting with the words ‘At least’ should never be spoken to a bereaved parent. I tried to look for the ‘at least’s’ too when my baby died – spoiler alert - there aren’t any.
15. “One day you’ll get over this.” Hmmm don’t think so huns. I’ve not broken up with some shitty guy that broke my heart, my child has died. I don’t think there is any getting over that.
16. “You need to start moving on now, it isn’t healthy to be wallowing like this.” – If anyone ever said this to me they would have a plasma screen TV thrown at their head never mind a plate! We might hurt slightly less in time but we will NEVER really move on from the death of our baby.
17. “You’ll get back to normal in time.” How do you know that Brenda? I think this might just be my normal now! (I don’t know who Brenda is but she sounds like a proper idiot doesn’t she?!).
18. “They’re in a better place now”. ARE THEY? I would have given my baby the best life ever.
19. “When you feel better let’s go and get smashed, that’ll cheer you up.” OK, LOL. I am pretty sure the answer to my problems isn’t at the bottom of the bottle. We could give it a try though I guess! (As long as Brenda isn’t coming, I don’t like the sound of her).
20. But by far the worst, the absolute worst thing you can do is say nothing at all to a friend or family member who is going through the agony of losing a baby. Please, just say something.
I’d love to hear any of the clangers you’ve heard! Let me know in the comments. I must note that most of these have not been said to me either. I am very fortunate to mostly have the creme de la creme of people around me.