When we hear that someone had a miscarriage, stillbirth or a neonatal death of a child, we want to help them, but unless we’ve been through it ourselves, we can seem paralyzed with not knowing what to do to help.
When it’s your wife or partner who is going through the physical loss, there can feel a lot more pressure to take care of them — to be strong for them which can put a lot of pressure or strain to always “do the right thing” for her. There are some ways you can help your wife/partner through loss:
Don’t Diminish Their Feelings
Losing an early pregnancy or going through the emotions of a late miscarriage will feel physically different to her than it does to you. Her body is dropping hormones at a rapid pace and she may be struggling with guilt that is often felt by those going through perinatal grief. Don’t tell her she shouldn’t be so upset, she should get over it or that “it’s okay, we can have another baby.” The best thing you can do is hold her, listen to her and tell her it wasn’t her fault.
Don’t Place Your Timeline on Her Grief
Share Your Feelings
A big man-myth is when something bad happens, you need to “be strong” for those around you. When it comes to the death of your child through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, sharing your feelings is important. Showing your wife/partner that she is not alone, sharing that you’re grieving as well is important. Keep the communication open and don’t be afraid to “bring it up” with her if you want to talk.
Take Care of You Too
It’s important to allow yourself to grieve as well. It’s healthy for your well-being, your wife/partner’s well-being and your relationship. Seek counseling on your own or as a couple and make sure you watch for your own signs of depression vs grief. Trust me, taking the time to work through your grief early instead of just “pushing past it” will help you all in the long-run.
Share in the comments: How did you help your wife/partner through loss? What did your husband/partner do for you that helped?