Question Submitted: My friend and her husband were pregnant with their first child this year, but she miscarried. I would like to know how to approach Mother’s Day for her. I want to acknowledge the child that God created in her, but I also want to offer her sympathy in her loss. What words of encouragement would you suggest?
First, thank you for loving your friend enough to recognize that this may be a difficult day for her and for wanting to be there for her. She will treasure your thoughtfulness no matter what you say. I’m not terribly verbose myself, so I prefer the straightforward approach. What you wrote in your question was very sincere and completely appropriate. What if you said something like, “I know today may be tough for you. I’ve been thinking of you and how, even though it was for such a short time, God chose to make you a mother this past year. I’m sorry it was so brief. I just wanted you to know how much I care about you and pray for you, especially today. Can I (take you out for some dessert, come over for some tea, fill in the blank) to commemorate today?”
Maybe you were looking for something more encouraging or Scriptural, I don’t know. But speaking from personal experience, when people have come up to me to express sympathy and they give me a speech telling me things I already know, sharing with me some intellectual or spiritual knowledge, I don’t necessarily feel encouraged. I have the head knowledge, it’s just my heart that’s aching. When someone acknowledges the pain I’m in and tries to put themselves in my shoes in order to best reach out to me, followed by a kind action (or at least an offer) I see a sincere concern and I am comforted. I don’t feel alone then. This is, of course, assuming that your friend is regularly hearing God’s promises to her each week in church. If not, then it is absolutely appropriate to include these in your talk with her.
I’m sure that whatever you say she will be grateful.