Myths about grief.
In MY opinion, one myth about grief seems to be that if you mention the person that passed away, it will make their loved ones more sad. That they will suddenly remember about them and get upset.
I would say most of us love to hear our baby's name. Yes it may make us cry. But guess what - we think about that child very often anyway. It makes us feel good when someone brings up our baby because it means that person remembered them. We don't want out babies forgotten. No matter how short their life was. Most of us find healing in talking about our dead children.
I say "most." We all grieve differently. Those of you that are Little House on the Prairie fans, did you know that Laura and Almanzo Wilder had a baby boy? He did not live long and apparently Laura did NOT want to talk about her dead son to anyone. I would say though, that Laura is in the minority.
The other day, my husband shared an article with me entitled "How to Mourn with the Parents of Stillborn and Miscarried Children" by John Patton. (Read the article here.) I really liked the last section of the article subtitled "Comforting Those Who Wait for the Resurrection." Here are 6 things the author lists that can bring comfort to those who have had stillborn babies or had miscarriages (the list is a direct quote):
- Be content simply to "mourn with those who mourn" (Rom. 12:15). Know that your words of comfort will not be much consolation in the short run, even if you have experienced miscarriage yourself. As with most other kinds of loss, each person's experience is profoundly different.
- Don't try to be the hero. Your may desire to utter just the right words that will bring healing and resolution to mom and dad's pain. But that desire may arise more from your own struggle to reconcile the reality of death with the hope of Christ than from the need of those suffering to hear your words.
- Remember mom. Her pain will linger after most people have ceased asking about it. Don't be afraid to broach the subject and encourage her six, nine, or even twelve months after the fact.
- Remember dad. A miscarriage is not a set of circumstances in which mom suffers the pain and dad gives support. It's tempting to think that mom bears all the pain, but a father feels helpless in his own way. He needs much love and encouragement.
- Be patient. My wife and I have struggled over and over again to choose worship and dependence rather than despair or indifference. Sometimes we have failed. Be patient with those who seem not to be "getting over" their loss. Pray for the truth of God's goodness to break through. Love, love, love on your friends who have lost.
- Read them the Psalms. Just pick them up and start reading. They give lyrical shape to the confusion, anger, pain, relief, hope, and every other possible emotion the suffering feel. Reading the Psalms helps us to live emotionally with a doxological mindset. Psalm 34 has been a key text for me.
I would say that list would apply well to anyone mourning a loved one lost at any age.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." - Romans 12:15