If you've had a miscarriage, you know the unique brand of suck that goes along with it. From the wide range of emotions one can feel to the stupid things people say to you to the physical aches, pains, and discomfort, everything about the process is an exercise in burden and endurance on every conceivable level. It's in those moments when you could really use your bestie... but, unfortunately, too many of us have absolutely no idea what to say when our best friend suffers a miscarriage. We just know we want to say...something.
Women who have had miscarriages form one of the largest, most secretive clubs in the world. Even those of us with membership don't really know what the deal is a lot of the time. Do we talk about Miscarriage Club? Do we not? Do we only talk about it with other members? So we can hardly blame "the outsiders" for not knowing how to comfort us. The inclination, I find, is to stay silent after an initial "I'm sorry." This isn't done maliciously. In fact, I find it's done compassionately: The thought is that any mention of pregnancy loss will make someone feel worse than they already do. Who wants to make their friend upset? But the truth is that this cultural taboo about discussing death can be extremely isolating and prolong the worst of the mourning process. A couple of well-worded, warm texts won't make everything better, but they can go a long way in making your friend feel comforted, loved, and free to talk about her feelings.
"Hey, How Are You Feeling?"
Simple acknowledgment that your friend is going through something tough will mean the world to her, because chances are most other people are going out of their way to avoid mentioning it.
"I Was Thinking About Grabbing Dinner Near You; Want To Join Me?"
Who doesn't love food, am I right? Besides, a girl's gotta eat. It's either going to provide a great time to unburden herself and talk through her pain or it's going to be a welcome distraction from her own sadness. And hey, she might not much feel up to talking or going out, but that you offered is going to be appreciated. (And if she's not up to going out, you could always offer to drop off food. Sometimes, someone dropping off food, giving you a loving look, and then leaving without requiring you to hang out and talk to them, is absolutely the best kind of support in the world.)
"Just Checking In To Remind You That I'm Here If You Want To Talk"
These texts are particularly appreciated perhaps longer after the fact than some would think to send them. Because often people will offer condolences as soon as they find out, check in a day later and then move on because their friend seems OK. But personally speaking, my big breakdown after my miscarriage came about a week and a half later. Mourning the loss of a pregnancy is a process, the same as any other, and it takes time. Yet a lot of women wind up feeling isolated and unconsciously pressured to keep quiet because other people aren't talking about it and they don't want to be viewed as wallowing.
*Group Text* "You Guys Down For Brunch?"
Group activities and keeping your friend surrounded by her loved ones (or at least letting her know they want her there) is another good idea. At the very least, you're reminding her of her network of support. At best, you all drink mimosas and eat avocado toast to your heart's content.
"What Can I Do To Help You?"
Everyone mourns differently and require different things in order to heal. Don't assume you know how your gal is feeling (not only does it vary person to person, but it can vary from day to day, or minute to minute) or go ahead and do something you think she would appreciate. Always check in and see how she can use your friend services.
"Look At This Video Of A Cat Being Scared By A Cucumber"
The Internet can be used for evil (cyber bullying, revenge porn, racist memes) and for good (hilarious animal GIFs, inspiring YouTube videos, and Wikipedia black holes). Harness the positive energy of the Internet by using it to cheer your friend. (Also, if this is something you usually do, it provides a sense of continuity in a good way, when combined with the mere fact that you're texting her, that acknowledges that while not everything is exactly the same, some things always will be.)
"Do You Want To Hang Out? My Place? Your Place?"
Options, options, options! Because maybe your friend does want to hang out, but not in a group and not out in public. Maybe she just wants to hunker down with you, a bottle of wine, and The Twilight Zone on Netflix.
"I Bought Two Passes To A New Paint-And-Sip Place On Groupon — Want One?"
Offering a new experience (and also a boozy experience) can perhaps provide a welcome distraction and break in routine. It's also an extremely thoughtful gesture.
"Do You Want Me To Babysit So You Can Get Out For A Bit?"
If a woman who has had a miscarriage already has a child (or children), it can be tough to take the necessary "me time" she might need to make strides in feeling OK. Giving her a chance to go to yoga, get a mani-pedi, even just grab a quick coffee or take a walk, is a really awesome gesture.
"Hey, This Wacky Thing Happened To Me And I'd Love To Talk To You About It"
Your friend still cares about you and your life. Obviously, you don't want what's going on with you to dominate the conversation entirely at this point (I mean...or ever, right?) but don't feel like you have to hold back from sharing good news, bad news, or random and hilarious stories about your weird co-worker.
"I Love You"
Which might go without saying and is pretty self-explanatory, but I'd be remiss to leave it out. Your friend is going through some heavy stuff, and knowing she's got you looking out for her can be huge in helping her through it.