It's summer, but many churches are already planning for the fall. Do you have a group in your church that would like a community service project to help with? Contact us about helping our Mommy to Mommy Outreach by cutting out fabric pieces for our memorial bags, diapers, and caps; by following simple tutorials to sew; or by making simple memorial key chains for us to share with parents who have lost a baby through miscarriage.
We will provide the materials and instructions, but we need your time and skills to help meet our monthly goal of providing 15 Brie Bags and Embracing Evan bears to Lexington Medical Center and Palmetto Baptist. You can also donate financially to help purchase the bears and books that go in the bags. Contact us for more information! We will gladly talk with you about what role you can play in this important local ministry of care and compassion. We are also happy to have someone from Naomi's Circle come and speak to your group about the work we are doing and how else you can be involved in sharing it with others.
There are a lot of articles out there about what not to say when someone loses a baby, or horror stories about people saying the wrong thing. But in reality, in that moment, a lot of people say the right things. Things like, "I'm sorry," or, "I'm praying for you." Or they do the right things, like bringing by a meal, or sending a card, or giving a hug, or just sitting in silence.
It's in the days and weeks and months to come that it can be hard know what to do or say. But that is sometimes the most crucial time for bereaved parents, when the funeral is over and family has gone home and they are struggling to find their "new normal", if that even exists. What can a friend do then?
A friend of Naomi's Circle has written a wonderful article on her "No Holding Back" blog. The article is called, "How to Help a Friend Survive the First Year After Pregnancy or Infant Loss." I hope you'll read it and then come back and comment here about what helped you in your first year.
What can I do?
I'm often asked the question, "My friend has just had a loss. What can I do to help?"
Of course, each person's loss is unique, as is their response to it. A miscarriage is different from an ectopic pregnancy, which is different from a stillbirth, which is different from the death of an infant. Not that one is harder or easier, but each is different. Not only that, but my miscarriage is not the same as my friend's or my co-workers or your sister's.
Proverbs 14:10 says it well: "Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy."
That said, there are some things that specifically seem to bring comfort to a grieving mother after the death of her baby at any stage of pregnancy or infancy. Some things that helped me, especially after the death of Naomi:
If you have had a loss, what specific gestures from friends were comforting to you? Share in the comments below.
Naomi's Circle News
Here you will find articles intended to help you in your journey. Some will be reviews of websites and books. Some will be devotionals, some general articles, and some will be guest bloggers. Feel free to comment and let us know if there is something you would like to see addressed here.
Week 1: Devotional
Week 2: General article about loss
Week 3: Testimony/guest blogger
Week 4: Website/book Review