How are we supposed to respond to people’s pain? What are we supposed to say to someone who lost a child?
Kendra Broekhuis says, “Since our 20 week ultrasound when we were told our daughter probably wouldn’t live, and since the death of our daughter, I realized that I was hurt by the kinds of words that tried to fix our pain. And I was comforted by the kinds of words that simply acknowledged our pain.
I was hurt by the kinds of words that tried to fix our pain. And I was comforted by the kinds of words that simply acknowledged our pain.
Individuals try to “fix our pain” by using Christian clichés like, “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.” Kendra says, “I never said God isn’t good. I only said I am in pain.”
Others use Bible verses like, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” But I actually said out loud to my mother-in-law: if one more person quotes Romans 8:28 to me, I am going to hit them over the head with a Bible.
And then there are those words and bits of advice that have the healing effect of a Band-Aid on a broken bone: “Well, maybe this is for the best. You are young. You’ve got plenty of time to have more kids.” But that’s totally not the point.
So how are we supposed to respond to people’s pain?
Kendra advises: “Our words should simply acknowledge people’s pain, not try to fix it. The best things to say are simple, like “I’m sorry,” or “I’m praying for you,” or “I’m thinking of you,” or “I cried some ugly tears over you today,” or “This sucks.”
Kendra says, one friend said, “I know that there are truly no words to heal the pain that you feel at this time. It is so hard to understand how this could be a part of any plan, but I hope that both of you will draw closer to God and let His mercy and grace sustain you each new day.” Laura
So let us remember that we cannot fix another’s pain, but we can acknowledge it.
For more wisdom on what to say and do when there is a miscarriage or death of infant go to Kendra’s blog and read her story of losing a child at the 33rd week of pregnancy.