Coping with the loss of a baby can be incredibly difficult for any mother, and if you encounter anyone who is currently going through that, you might want to say some words to cheer her up. But take it from one mom who's been through it before: be careful what you say, because you might end up making a grieving parent feel even worse.
Ariel, the mom behind "A Rainbow from Onyx," created her blog to honor her son Onyx who was born prematurely and passed away on August 30, 2018. In her posts, she documents her journey dealing with life after saying goodbye to her son—her "rainbow child" who was born after two miscarriages—in hopes that she can help others who are also going through infant loss.
In a recent post, titled "10 Horrible Things Said to Parents After Baby Loss," Ariel revealed that unfortunately, part of this difficult journey is receiving hurtful comments from other people, CafeMom reports.
"Talking about loss can be very uncomfortable for some people, especially pregnancy and infant loss. Sometimes people feel a need to say something to a grieving parent to acknowledge their loss but the words often turn out to be really hurtful," she wrote.
In the post, she included 10 photos of her holding a message board concealing her face. Each photo features a different horrible comment she's received on the board, and is followed by her explanation or response to each comment.
As she notes, many were probably said to her with the intention of making her feel better. But, she writes, "sometimes the impact is greater than the intent." Instead, she advises that people take a moment to process why they felt or feel the need to say something to a grieving parent—and notes that often, it's more about a person trying to make himself or herself feel better, rather than cheering up the grieving parent. "By pushing your own feelings on grieving families, you are really just making things worse. Grieving parents should not have to make you feel better about their loss. It's important to put the grieving parent first. You may be angry, sad, and confused about what happened to their baby but imagine having to live with those memories every single day," she wrote. "Think deeply about what you're going to say before you say it. Just because something might make you feel better doesn't mean it's helpful to grieving parents."
She also provides better alternatives to any of the comments above. "If you aren't sure what to say, say that. Say 'I don't know what to say, but I just want to let you know that I'm here for you, and I'm so sorry for your loss.' Most of all, don't try to find a purpose for a loss. There's no reason in the world that will make parents feel better about losing their child."
See below for the pics, and make sure to head to her blog for her explanation on why each one is so hurtful. Some are so obviously offensive, we can't believe anyone had the nerve to say this to a grieving mom.