I Am Sorry For Your Loss

Those 6 words are enough to express your sympathy to a friend who just a miscarriage.

I never quite knew what to say when meeting friends who lost their family members, let alone pregnancy. I became a mumbling fool near them because I’m afraid I’ll say inappropriate things that might hurt them even more. Until an unfortunate thing happened, I had a miscarriage and had to face all sorts of comments from well-meaning friends and family that taught me one valuable lesson. You don’t have to say too much. Just say how sorry you are for their loss.

Moreover, the following is what NOT to say to a woman who just had a miscarriage:

“Makanya jangan kecapean / Terlalu ngoyo kerjanya / Pake hak tinggi / Jalannya terlalu cepet”

(true story, someone actually said it to me) or any remarks that are basically saying that the mother did something that caused the miscarriage.

Most miscarriages happen because the fetus may have been unable to implant in the uterus, or implanted poorly; it may have suffered from a genetic aberration; there may have been significant chromosomal abnormalities that weren’t compatible with life. Whatever the cause, the result was that the embryo or fetus was unable to develop normally. And it is not the mother’s fault.

“Untung baru 2 bulan ya”

Whether it happens during the first, second or third months, it is still a great loss for the parents and most probably they have begun to bond with their baby. So yes, comments like that will hurt.

“Nanti juga dapet lagi”

That may be true but saying this give the impression that you take the parents’ grief lightly.

“Untung udah punya anak ya”

Yes, but they have lost THIS baby and you can’t just replace a baby with a new or existing ones.

There are many more examples of remarks intended to cheer up a grieving mother but end up making her feel more depressed, but the above are the ones I heard the most. I, of course, didn’t show any emotion when dealing with this kind of remarks but I did wish they hadn’t said them. And when I heard those things said to another grieving mothers, I wince.

So once again, keep it simple but let her know that you are there for her if she needs to talk. And one more thing, if you work in the same place, it might be a good idea to tell your colleagues that your friend just lost her baby so that when she returns to work, any awkward situation can be avoided. Learn from my experience. When I came to the office after my miscarriage, somebody in the office ran to me and said in a loud voice “Hi there pregnant mama! How big is the baby in your belly now?” while stroking my tummy lovingly. When somebody told her what happened, her face went bright red and she couldn’t look me in the eyes for weeks after :D Believe me it was awkward for both of us!


61 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. sanetya

    The world may know me as the girl who talks 1000 words/minute but when it comes to this kinda situation, I froze. Just like you, Fi..I’m afraid I’m going to blab, made a complete fool of myself and end up making the mother more depressed. So I make it simple; “I’m sorry for your lost” plus a big hug and lend my ears (& shoulder) to listen to the mother’s story, grief etc. Nice post.

    *and sadly I just said those words to our friend last week*

  2. This is such a valuable lesson!
    I myself have always been in the same group as you were, Fi. The silent friend who chooses to give a deep hug and say nothing because honestly i don’t know what to say when someone had a miscarriage. Now I know at least what I SHOULD NOT say…
    Thanks alot! :)

  3. waktu gw miscarriage, yah banyak juga yang ngomong kalimat 1 sampe 3.
    gw percaya mereka ga maksud apa2, cuma mau menghibur gw aja.
    yang paling nyakitin emang kalimat pertama (yg banyakan ngomong gini tante2 & oma gw nih).. bener2 membuat gw merasa bersalah.. =(
    kalimat “ntar juga dapet lagi” emang paling mending rasanya buat gw, krn gw juga keep saying that to myself, walo uda 2 taun lewat ga dapet2 lagi juga =(

    thanks for writing affi..

  4. Komen nomer satu itu pastiiii bakalan mampir ke kuping deh, dan terutama datengnya dari keluarga, yang udah tua tua ..:D. Kasian banget yah, udah keilangan calon bayinya, ehh masih disalahin pula (Happened to me!!). Jadi kalo emang nggak tau mau ngomong apa mendingan jujur aja..”I don’t know what to say :(” while giving her a warm hug and assure her that it’s not her faults.

  5. ibunya Akbar & Aisha · Edit

    Aku jg pernah ngalamin pas anak ke 2. Anak pertamaku yg msh heboh2nya loncat2 di perutku, gak lama perutku sakit dan keluarlah gumpalan2 itu. Ah sedihnya, ternyata aku ga menyadari kalau aku sdg hamil (baru telat 1/2 bln).
    Stlh dicuret, byk yg bilang akan susah mendptkan anak lagi, tp aku selalu berusaha dan berpikiran positif. Aku sama sekali gak menyalahkan anakku, dia gak ngerti apa2.

    Alhamdulillah stlh keguguran itu aku hamil lagi dan anak ke 2ku udh berumur 5 th sekarang.
    Intinya gak perlu kita menyalahkan siapapun, dlm hal ini org lain atau bahkan kita sendiri. Berpikiran positif adalah lbh baik, utk mendptkan yg terbaik, insya Allah.

    Saat ini sdg berusaha utk menambah adik lagi hihihi…

    Thanks for the article

  6. affi

    sanetya,
    Postingan ini memang terinspirasi dari temen kita itu man :( Hopefully she’ll recover soon ya..

    citra,
    Kebanyakan sih ngomong hal2 di atas emang gak maksud nyakitin kan so it’s okay dear and glad you find the article useful :)

    erwen & amal
    You’re welcome, ladies :)

    lucy,
    Iya, emang kebanyakan yg ngomong komen2 di atas emang bermaksud menghibur sih dan kita jg yg nerima jadi gak enak kan mau ngingetin bahwa omongannya bikin kita tambah sedih. Anyway, tetap semangat ya luc! Kita doain supaya kamu cepet hamil lagi yaaa :)

    Hanzky,
    Iya, gue dulu sedih bgt krn temen mertua gue nanya knp gue keguguran trus dijawab sm mertua “Kecapean kerja” padahal guenya ada di situ and I could have explained to her the reason better :( Agree with you, a warm hug says a lot more!

    kucingpenidur,
    Glad you tried to say the right things :)

    arienda bebekecil,
    Yep, setuju :)

    alinarie,
    Sorry to hear what happened dear :(

    ibunya Akbar & Aisha
    Aduh aku ngilu dengernya. So very sorry about what happened and glad you got through it okay. Nanti kabar-kabari ya kalo udah isi lagi :D

    disti,
    You’re welcome dear :)

  7. Dear Affi,

    I identify with your article so much. I also had a miscarriage in 2008 and heard, among others: ‘Kebanyakan naik tangga sih’ and ‘Ngga boleh capek2′. They always mean well, always. But this rationalisation does not lessen the pain.

    I feel you.

    Best,
    Inaya

  8. when this happen, I really cannot say anything. gue bersyukur diberkahi kehamilan yang ngga ribet dan cenderung kuat. jadi malah takutnya ngomong apa2 ntar malah salah.
    mentang2 situ gampang, mentang2 situ ga pernah bermasalah…
    jadi mostly gue cenderung nanyain penyebabnya dsb (terutama yg medis misalnya kayak karena torch, ato blighted ovum), supaya bisa jadi masukan buat temen2 lain yg punya kendala yg sama.

  9. hmm I totally agree with the list of things not to say. Komen2 kaya gitu annoying sekali dan selalu ada aja orang yang ngomong. Kalo gue mending gak banyak ngomong sih other than saying that you’re sorry for the loss.

  10. gw pernah ngalamin, dan setuju banget sama tulisan Affi di atas. orang cenderung menyalahkan ibunya, padahal kan itu menyakitkan banget ya.. kehilangan kandungan dan disalah2in. seperti sudah jatuh, tertimpa tangga.

  11. affi, artikel yang lo tulis sama banget sama pengalaman yg gw alamin.. anak pertama udah 5bulan harus di keluarin dgn paksa krn pembukaannya udah lengkap.. hikzzzzz.. sementara gw lg nangis2 darah krn kehilangan baby org2 sibuk nyalahin gw.. yang cape lah, yg kurang makan lah, yang krn kucing lah.. aarrghh pengen teriaak rasanya,tp gw cm bs nangis..
    dan omongan “Makanya jangan kecapean / Terlalu ngoyo kerjanya /makannya kurang banyak sih jd bayinya kecil” itu selalu muncul di kehamilan berikutnya.. *sigh* gw memang bukan tipe org yg hamilnya gampang dan lancar.. di kehamilan kedua yg udah extra ati2 pun akhirnya gw musti berbaring d rs selama 1,5 bulan sampe babynya lahir.. prematur pula.. huhu
    kebayang kan udah 1.5bulan kudu terbaring d rs,plus di salah2in.. dan lagi2 gw cuman bs nangis..
    tp alhamdulilah,si baby kuat dan bisa bertahan ampe skrg.. ^^,

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