How to Help and Support a Grieving Mother in October Guest Blog
Today's guest blog is by Kristin Hernandez – a writer, podcaster, and mother to six children––one in her arms and five with Jesus. She has walked through infertility, miscarriages, and the loss of an infant, and is passionate about sharing hope with grieving women. Kristin enjoys sunny days outside with family, connecting with friends over coffee, roller coasters, and telling others about Jesus' goodness in the midst of suffering. She lives in Southern California with her husband and living son. Find Kristin online at www.sunlightindecember.com.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month––a time intentionally designated to remember precious babies lost at any stage of pregnancy or infancy and to grieve alongside mothers with broken hearts. The loss of a child is widely accepted as one of the deepest griefs one can face and showing support can often feel daunting for friends and family who deeply care, but aren’t sure where to begin. For those walking alongside a grieving mama, your care and your presence mean more than you know. Despite how knowledgeable or unequipped you may feel, there are many meaningful ways you can love, support, and help a grieving mother this October.
Remembering the life of your loved one’s baby is one of the most cherished gifts you can give her. Say her baby’s name. Tell her you remember. Acknowledge their precious life by writing their name in a card, giving to a charity in their honor, or committing a random act of kindness in their memory. Remembering can be as simple as speaking her baby’s name out loud or sending a brief message that says,“Thinking of (baby’s name) today.” It costs nothing, yet is a priceless gift for a bereaved mama.
Lighten her load
Grief can feel incredibly heavy. One way you can support and help a grieving mother this October is to lighten her load, leaving more space for her to set aside intentional time to grieve and care for her heart. Bring her a meal. Drop off coffee. Arrange for someone to clean her house. Offer to take her other children for the day so she has some time to herself.
Give a gift
Giving a gift is a tangible way to support a grieving mama this October. Consider a customized print, a personalized necklace, or a plant she can nurture, tend to, and watch grow. Consider sending a care package or purchasing a Laurelbox.
Simply show up, even if you feel awkward or unequipped. Sit with your friend. Invite them to talk about their baby without any expectations of how much or how little they may want to share. Be okay with silence. Don’t feel like you need to fix their pain. Cry with them. Pray for them. Just be there. “I don’t have answers, but I’m here with you,” is a perfectly acceptable response and likely means so much more than any attempt at imparting advice or wisdom.
Light a candle
October 15 is the annual Wave of Light, in which people from all around the world light a candle at 7PM local time to honor the lives of precious babies who have died. Consider lighting a candle in memory of your loved one’s baby. Set aside some time to remember their life. Take some time to pray for your friend. Snap a photo and share it with her. Let her know you remember her baby and that you love her.
Continue to remember
For your friend who lost a baby, the grieving process is not limited to a single month and will continue as the years go by and the rest of the world moves on. Continue to show up for her. Put important dates on your calendar and send her a text on those days. Continue to speak her baby’s name out loud. Continue to sit with her, even when (or especially when) words fail. The simplest gestures are often the most impactful and your remembrance is truly a priceless gift.
You can find Kristin at:Website: www.sunlightindecember.com
Book: Sunlight in December: a Mother's Story of Finding the Goodness of God in the Storm of Grief (Amazon / Barnes & Noble)