They Tell Me

To my readers: This post may be one of those where you’re thinking, Wow, Kristi, tell me how you REALLY feel! as you read it. Sometimes I’m tempted to hold back in what I write because so many of you who read it are people I know personally: friends, family, people I see frequently. It would be so much easier to be even more honest if I didn’t think any of you would see it. I guess I’m afraid that perhaps someone will read a post like this one and think, Oh no! I think I said something like that to her. She must hate me! And then you’ll avoid me and things will get weird. That is NOT what I want! As far as the hurtful comments that I am referring to in this post, I don’t have a name or face attached to any of these. Most of the time these comments come from people who don’t know me very well. So please don’t think that I’m sitting around hating on any of you for what you may have said to me in the last six months. I’m not! But I have heard many of these comments from various people in various ways and they are hard to hear. I have also gotten to know many women - through this blog as well as in other places - who have experienced miscarriage. Women I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t experienced the losses that I have. And one thing I have come to realize is that for all of us who are grieving our lost babies, validation is one of the most important things we need. Sometimes just hearing someone else share their own experience and then say, “It’s hard to hear people say that!” is so validating to me. It helps me to know that I’m not alone and I’m not the only one people are saying these things to. So I decided it was very important to me to write this post. I want those of you who are tired of hearing the same hurtful things over and over to know that you are not alone and it’s okay to stand up for yourself and tell someone, “That’s not helpful. Please don’t say that.” But beyond encouraging my fellow mommies who have endured this hurt I wanted to also share what has been helpful and thank my sweet friends and family for the ways that have encouraged me and lifted me up over and over again. I thank God for the people in my life who have helped to carry me through this journey of grief. May He bless you for your words and acts of kindness!


They tell me, “Sorry about your loss. At least you’re still young. You can try again.” They don’t understand that my end goal was not to get pregnant. My end goal was to have a baby - to have YOU.

They say, “Be grateful for the child you already have.” They don’t understand that my gratefulness for my daughter has nothing to do with the grief I feel over losing you. I AM grateful for her, but I still miss YOU.

They say, “At least you miscarried early, before you got attached.” They don’t understand how attached I already was. They don’t understand that my grief is over not having more time with you. I never got to see you wiggle on a screen. I never got to bring a photo of you home. I never got to feel you kick and move. I never got to see or hold you. I lost all of those special future moments with you. I mourn the loss of those moments as I mourn the loss of YOU.

They say, “It’s for the best. Miscarriages usually occur because something is wrong with the baby.” But they don’t understand that to me you were perfect. They didn’t see the visions I had of you in my dreams. They say it’s for the best - best for who? In my version of what would have been best I got to meet YOU.

They say, “I’m sure you will have another baby.” They don’t understand that no one can know that for sure. They don’t understand it’s just as hard to expect it as it is to admit that it may not happen. And they don’t understand that even if I do have another baby, it won’t be YOU.

They say, “After losing so many babies, are you sure you should keep trying?” They don’t understand that NO woman should ever have to decide whether or not to try to conceive. They don’t understand that giving up on getting pregnant means losing my dream for what my family will become. Yet another loss to mourn. They don’t realize how guilty I feel for losing YOU.

They say, “Maybe it’s time to move on.  You can’t stay sad about this forever.” They don’t understand that I will forever be sad about losing you. You don’t tell someone to stop being sad after their spouse dies. Sure, I will eventually get better at dealing with the sadness and I won’t feel it quite as strongly most of the time, but I will always be sad that I lost YOU.

They say, “Now your baby is your angel looking down on you.” They don’t realize that you’re not an angel, you’re a child who has been taken to heaven so early. I’m so glad you have a new heavenly body, but that doesn’t make you an angel with special super powers to protect me from whatever life brings my way. They don’t realize that I didn’t ask for an angel, I wanted YOU.

They say, “Maybe it was because you took that medicine or because you were exercising during your pregnancy.” They don’t realize that I already feel guilty that my body couldn’t keep my baby safe. They don’t realize the hurt they cause me when they place the blame on me. They don’t understand that I would have done anything to keep you safe and healthy and that I would never jeopardize the life of someone I love - YOU.

They say, “You can always adopt.” They don’t realize that adoption is not easy and it’s not for everyone. It’s hard and expensive and heartbreaking and complicated. And they don’t understand that I don’t want to replace you. I wanted YOU.

They say, “Miscarriage is really common. Most women experience one and get through it just fine.” They don’t understand that each situation is different and that we each deal with pain and loss in different ways. They don’t understand that when they say this they are diminishing your importance. Whether it’s common or not, it doesn’t make me miss you any less. I will always miss YOU.

They say, “At least you know you can get pregnant now.” They don’t realize that I don’t just want to be pregnant. I want a baby to hold and nurture and raise. I want a sibling my daughter can play with. I want YOU.

They say, “Maybe having one child should be enough for you. I have so many kids that my life is crazy! Just enjoy being the mother of one!” They don’t understand that it’s not their place to determine how many children would be ideal for me and my family. They don’t think about how hurtful it is to flaunt the size of their family and then complain about it when I would give anything to be in their shoes and have all of my babies here with me. I wish I had YOU.

They say, “At least you are getting a lot of one-on-one time with your daughter. Let her be the baby for a little while longer.” They don’t realize that my daughter is one of the reasons I want another baby. Now I know how good of a mommy I can be. Now I know that I have this amazing capacity to love and nurture another person. And now I’m ready for her to have a sibling and a playmate and someone with whom she must learn to share. I don’t want her to be the baby any longer. I want YOU.

They say, “At least your baby is in a better place now.” They don’t understand that although I’m happy you’re in heaven I wanted you to be here with me for a long time before you went there. I wanted to spend a lifetime with YOU.

They say, “God doesn’t ever give us more than we can handle.” They don’t realize that in saying that they are diminishing my grief. I believe this saying is true, but I never wanted to handle losing you. I wanted to know you and hold YOU.

They say, “Next time you should try medication, a specialist, or a certain treatment.” They don’t know that I did everything I could to keep you safe. They aren’t experts who know my health and pregnancy history. They think it’s an easy fix. I would have given anything to find the right treatment that could have saved YOU.

They constantly offer advice. They compare their pain to mine or minimize my grief in some other way. Sometimes they ignore me because I make them uncomfortable. Or they forget that I have just been through this terrible experience of loss and complain about their own pregnancies or children. These people seem to make the hard days even harder.


But then there are others.

There are those who offer me exactly what I need. Prayer. Encouragement. Validation. A listening ear. These are the helpful friends. What do they do?

They ask, “How are you doing today?” They know that even if I’m honest and it makes them a little uncomfortable that I need to know they are thinking about me and how I lost YOU.

They ask, “How can I pray for you this week?” Because they know that this question enables me to tell them more specifically how I’m feeling at any given time even though I’m afraid to bring it up. And they know that nothing will help me heal like prayer will while I’m learning to live without YOU.

They say, “I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry.” Because they know that offering any advice or platitudes would only cause more pain than comfort. Sometimes just the expression of sympathy is the validation I need to know that it’s okay to be sad and I don’t have to hide it all the time. They are allowing me to miss YOU.

They say, “When can I stop by or meet you for coffee?”  They don’t want me to feel alienated even though I’m not the best at being sociable these days. They let me know that they are ready to listen because they know that in this grieving process what I really want is to talk about YOU.

They say, “If you’re having a rough day please call me so I can be there for you.” Because they know I have days where I’m just holding it together because I feel like I have to. But they know some days I will just need to sit down and cry about YOU.

They say, “Don’t feel pressured to get back to all of your normal obligations before you are ready.” Because they know that even though my body has healed physically, my emotional state still varies from day to day and I may not be ready to be busy all the time. I am still learning to cope with the fact that I no longer have YOU.

They ask, “Do you have any special anniversary dates that are coming up that will be hard for you?” They know that even after you’re gone I’ll still have a really hard time on your due date and your birthday. They know that on these days I’ll be struggling with how much I miss YOU.

They say, “Can I bring you dinner this week?” Because even though it’s been a few weeks or months since you left, they know I’ll have those days when I’m struggling to get the usual things done. They know that sometimes I’m just lacking in motivation because my heart aches so much for YOU.

These friends love me and loved you. They have lifted me up and made the hard days more bearable. They have not judged me or rushed me to get through this grieving process.  Instead, they have stood by my side and allowed me to do what I need to do - and that is to think of you and to mourn the loss of YOU.


My precious child, you are irreplaceable. You will always be special to me. I will always remember you and think of you. No matter what comes my way, whether my family changes or stays the same, you will always be a part of it.

I will always love YOU.


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