Sweet friend, please know I'm no expert on miscarriage or suffering. I have never experienced a miscarriage myself, to date. And it's so hard for me to imagine how painful it would be to lose a child at any age - in the womb, or out of the womb. My heart breaks for those who have walked this road. I can not know the extent of their pain or the depth of their grief (even if I do one day experience miscarriage because everyone's story is different), nor will I pretend to have all the answers to how to comfort others in this particular type of suffering.
*However* as I've stumbled through learning how to be supportive for friends who have lost a baby, there have been a few resources and/or gifts that have stuck out to me as helpful or meaningful along the way. And since October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, this seemed like a good time to share the following thoughts with y'all, in case it helps you too!
1) One thing I have found in coming alongside others in suffering is we want to do something to comfort the hurting person, but we don't know *what* to do. Well, this blogpost was extremely *practical* and insightful, offering very *specific* ways and/or things to do as you walk with a friend through miscarriage and loss. I would highly recommend reading it and/or sharing it with friends.
2) Another thing I've noticed is we tend to shy away from the process of grief or acknowledging the hurt. We want to hurry up and feel better, or we want our friends to hurry up and be happy again! But, some of the healing comes from going through the process of loss and mourning, not trying to skip it, however painful.
This short Bible Study is broken up as a 2 week study (could certainly be stretched out a lot longer if you wanted) covering rejoicing AND suffering. The book itself is beautiful, the content is meaningful, and the structure helps you personally explore a Biblical concept of lament - something I didn't know much about beforehand or had previously studied. The "formula" of lament and how it is clearly modeled throughout (much of!) the Bible was so helpful to examine and apply in my own life, as well as identify and help apply in a friend or family member's life. It helps you see mourning and loss in a healthy way that allows you space and time to grieve, but also maintain hope that it won't always feel or look the way it does at present (and that's okay!).
Sidenote: Even if you haven't experienced miscarriage or significant loss yourself, I bet you would still find it interesting and healing to check out for other trials/loss you may have endured (or with something you are currently experiencing!) Because, at some time or another, we all experience loss of some sort and we all go through hard things!
3) One of the ways we can be comforted is through hearing and believing truth and experiencing beauty. This book offers both! It seeks to comfort others going through suffering, including miscarriage and loss, with bite sized pieces of wisdom and encouragement scattered throughout the beautiful pages. As a stand alone gift or accompanied by flowers or a meal, it could help someone feel loved or comforted in a time of grief.
4) Sometimes we know a friend is suffering, but we aren't even sure what to ask or what specific struggles she may be grappling with after losing a baby. Perhaps because I have not miscarried myself, I didn't realize how many questions, fears, and things come up for someone who walks through with this particular type of suffering! It. is. so. many. things! And this podcast series has gently opened my eyes to more of struggles women have walked through when losing a baby or multiple babies.
It is chockfull of truth, encouragement, advice, and practical ways on how to work through the pain and questions of miscarriage yourself or alongside a friend. I have listened to the intro and over half of the episodes so far and would confidently say I highly recommend it! The host has experienced miscarriage herself and is not only careful and sensitive in her interviews (each episode has a different "topic" concerning miscarriage and loss and a different guest), but sincerely exudes compassion, hope and empathy.
5) Often we know we need to process through our pain, but we aren't sure how to do it. Working with a licensed counselor can be a wonderful way to do this, and reading truth and journaling can be really helpful too! This 30-day journal is actually written by the host of the podcast in #4 (Abbey Wedgeworth) and walks a women through Psalm 139, with questions and space to write as she grieves. It is intended to help a woman journal and process the loss experienced from miscarriage and could be a helpful tool for you or someone else!
And these are just a few resources! I hope you found this helpful and are able to use even one to love a friend who is suffering. If you have any resources you'd like to share, please DM me on Instagram @forgloryandbeauty or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org because I'd love to hear from you!