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Empathy in Action: Understanding What Helps and What Hurts - Part 6: "Maybe it was for the best. What if there was something wrong?"

In the realm of pregnancy and infant loss, where emotions run high and hearts are fragile, the path to offering genuine support can feel like walking on a tightrope. Each word spoken carries the weight of intense sorrow and the hope for healing, yet even the most well-intentioned phrases can inadvertently deepen the wounds of grief. Today, we embark on a journey to explore one such phrase, often uttered with the purest of intentions but with the potential to inflict unintended pain:


"Maybe it was for the best. What if there was something wrong?"


In times of loss, especially the heartrending loss of a miscarriage, the impulse to find a silver lining can lead to saying, "Maybe it was for the best. What if there was something wrong?" Such attempts to rationalize a deeply emotional experience can inadvertently cause further pain. The suggestion that the loss of their child could be for the best, regardless of the circumstances, is not a comfort. It overlooks the unconditional love a parent has for their child, a love that is whole and unyielding, regardless of any potential challenges their child may have faced.

 

Every child is a precious creation, fearfully and wonderfully made, and is loved fully by God and their parents, without condition. To imply that their not being here might be for the best is to overlook the sacredness of their brief life and the impact they have had on their family.

 The image features the title "EMPATHY IN ACTION: UNDERSTANDING WHAT HELPS AND WHAT HURTS" in dark, capitalized letters against a pale pink background. Dominating the center of the image is a large heart with a watercolor texture in shades of pink. Overlaying the right side of the heart is a paper note graphic with the text "Part 6: 'Maybe it was for the best. What if there was something wrong?'" in a handwritten-style font. This image continues a series focused on empathy and the nuanced effects of our words on those experiencing loss or hardship, particularly exploring the implications of trying to find reasoning in painful situations.

What to say instead:


Instead, let us offer words that affirm the love and value of the child's life, regardless of its length, and the validity of grief. Consider saying:

 

"In the face of such an inexplicable loss, I find myself at a loss for the right words that could bring solace. Yet, I am reminded of the profound love that your child has known from the very beginning—love that has its source in you, and in God, who is Love Himself. Your precious little one was cherished from the moment of existence, enveloped in love from the womb and now held in the eternal embrace of our Savior. And while we grapple with the mystery of why these things happen, we can take solace in the truth that your child’s life—however brief—mattered and that their presence was a gift. As we mourn their absence, we can also be comforted by the knowledge that they are now in a place of perfect peace. My prayers are with you, asking that the God of all comfort will draw near to you as you navigate this season of grief."

 

Through these words, we strive to gently remind those grieving that while their child's time on earth was short, their life was significant, and their impact enduring. We stand with them in their grief, pointing them toward the comfort found in the promises of our faith, the love of our community, and the hope of eternity.

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