Ask Kari: How can I support my friend who had a miscarriage?

Dear Kari,

My good friend just had a miscarriage. I feel so bad for her and her husband. I am just at a loss for what to say, what not to say. They were so excited to have their first child. What can I do to help support them at this time?

--At a Loss for Words

Dear At a Loss for Words,

This experience can be one of the most painful experiences that people face in their lifetime. The desire to have a child and grow a family is a deeply held desire for many people. When a miscarriage occurs, it can destabilize people and make them question love, family, and faith. I suggest that you begin by being a caring friend to them; offer to take them out to a meal or meet up for coffee. Then just listen to what they say they are feeling. When it gets uncomfortable being with them in their sadness, when they show you their true feelings of despair, please do not suggest that “they can have other children,” or “that it’s God’s plan.” Neither statement is comforting, but unfortunately, they are often told to grieving parents. Instead, let them know that you are sorry that they are feeling this loss and pain, and that you love and care for them. Then repeat that statement as needed, it will comfort them knowing that you care and are there to listen to them during this challenging time.


As published in the October 2019 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.