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Empathy in Action: Understanding What Helps and What Hurts - Part 3: "You can always try again"

In the realm of pregnancy and infant loss, navigating the delicate balance between offering support and unintentionally causing further pain can be fraught with challenges. Today, we embark on a journey to explore a phrase often spoken with the best of intentions but with the potential to wound deeply:

The image displays a graphic with the series title "EMPATHY IN ACTION: UNDERSTANDING WHAT HELPS AND WHAT HURTS" in dark text against a pale pink background. Below the title, a pink watercolor heart is prominent, and to the right, a note graphic features the text "Part 3: 'You can always try again'" written in a handwritten-style font. This image suggests a focus on empathy and the impact of certain phrases on those who are grieving, specifically addressing the phrase "You can always try again" and its implications.

"You can always try again"


In the midst of grief, when the soul is raw with loss, the phrase "You can always try again" echoes with unintended insensitivity. It suggests a future action in the face of present heartache, inadvertently implying that the child lost can simply be replaced. For the grieving mother, the child who was growing within her was already a beloved part of her family, irreplaceable and unique. The possibility of another pregnancy does not erase the pain of this loss, nor does it address the love and anticipation that was felt for this child.


We must acknowledge that each pregnancy carries its own hopes, dreams, and love from the very beginning. The loss of a pregnancy is the loss of this specific, irreplaceable child, and in recognizing this, we honor the depth of the mother’s grief. Rather than suggesting an uncertain future, let us offer support for the pain of the present, affirming that their loss is significant and that their feelings are valid.


What to say instead

In seeking to provide comfort, let us focus on the heart, not on the hypothetical.

Consider saying:


"Words seem so inadequate at a time like this, yet I want you to know how deeply I care. Your sorrow is valid, and while the path of grief is yours to walk, you do not walk it alone. I am here to listen, to sit in silence, to pray with you, and to offer my shoulder and my time. Your child was a precious life, a unique soul who will always be part of your story, and I am here to remember with you, to honor that life, and to support you in the love that endures beyond loss. Your journey through this time may be difficult, but I am here to accompany you with a heart full of prayer, love, and presence."


In embracing this approach, we extend a hand to the grieving, offering them the companionship and understanding they need, rather than suggestions that look past their current pain. It is through this sharing of burdens that we fulfill the love of Christ, bearing one another's burdens with love and empathy.




I love this. Some people can’t try again and it is really hurtful when people assume their miscarriage was just bad luck. Thank you for this.

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