My Musings

I’m Sorry For Your Loss

Sorry (adjective): Feeling sad or distressed through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune

I’ve been in your shoes too, you know. I’ve been opposite a loss mum, who’s awaiting a response and I’ve paused, thought “I don’t know what to say!”

Me! Me who’s going through it. But I try and I persevere, because I know that it’s important. For me and for them. Many times though, I’ve said this:

“I’m sorry for your loss”

And have followed it up with “I wish I could think of a better way to say that. I wish I could come up with a phrase that fully captures what I mean.”

It has become the “fine” to the “how are you?

“I’ve had a miscarriage”…. I’m sorry for your loss.
“My baby died”… I’m sorry for your loss.

It’s a perfectly acceptable thing to say. I am sorry for your loss, I’ve just wanted to be able to say something less generic, something more meaningful for all. Less of a soundbite. Something to tell them, that I see them, that I get it and that I feel it too.

Sometimes, I have wanted to say, I am sorry for OUR loss. To indicate that it’s a shared sorrow, that I am sorry to have missed out on their child being in my life too. But if I say that, people might just think that I’m talking about my babies, so the sentiment gets lost entirely.

Today I saw something on Instagram, it was a post which tackled this exact “I’m sorry for your loss” situation I’ve been battling with. So I’m going to try my own version of it, by expanding upon it here. It still doesn’t help me come up with a better phrase, but it shows you the predicament:

When I say I’m sorry for your loss…

  • I’m sorry that this is your experience of pregnancy
  • I’m sorry that you can’t bring your baby home
  • I’m sorry that you no longer call yourself a mum
  • I’m sorry that you don’t know what to do with all the love that was created
  • I’m sorry that you’ve lost your innocence
  • I’m sorry that you feel like a piece of meat
  • I’m sorry that you feel your body failed you
  • I’m sorry that you think you deserved this
  • I’m sorry that you think you made this happen
  • I’m sorry that nothing feels like it’s enough anymore
  • I’m sorry that you now have to reassess every aspect of your life
  • I’m sorry that you have to convince yourself you’re normal
  • I’m sorry that you have to minimise your pain
  • I’m sorry that you’re learning the meaning of grief
  • I’m sorry that you’re questioning what you believe
  • I’m sorry if you’ve lost your religion
  • I’m sorry that this makes people uncomfortable
  • I’m sorry that you have to learn how to live with this
  • I’m sorry that you no longer want to live
  • I’m sorry that you know what heartbroken means
  • I’m sorry that you understand my blogs
  • I’m sorry that sadness sits so close to every other emotion
  • I’m sorry that you can only be 80% happy
  • I’m sorry that music makes you sad
  • I’m sorry that random things will make you cry
  • I’m sorry that you terrify yourself
  • I’m sorry that it’s hard to be positive right now
  • I’m sorry that people expect you to be positive at some point
  • I’m sorry that people have said nothing
  • I’m sorry that people think “you’re over it”
  • I’m sorry that people are worried that you’re not over it
  • I’m sorry you have to explain yourself
  • I’m sorry that people will inadvertently upset you
  • I’m sorry that people will advertently upset you
  • I’m sorry that people will surprise to the downside
  • I’m sorry that you are going to be mourning more than your baby
  • I’m sorry that you didn’t get to raise your child
  • I’m sorry that you didn’t get to hear them laugh
  • I’m sorry you didn’t get to find out what they would have been like
  • I’m sorry you didn’t get a first day at school
  • I’m sorry you had already planned your baby shower
  • I’m sorry you’ve lost your identity
  • I’m sorry you’ve lost your joy
  • I’m sorry that your dream died
  • I’m sorry that you think this might happen again
  • I’m sorry that you worry a pregnancy might not happen again
  • I’m sorry that you feel old
  • I’m sorry that you feel bitter
  • I’m sorry that you don’t like yourself anymore
  • I’m sorry that you are grieving differently to your partner
  • I’m sorry that you have all these thoughts in your head and nowhere to put them
  • I’m sorry that this list still doesn’t capture half of it
  • I’m sorry
  • I’m sorry
  • I’m sorry

“I’m sorry for your loss”.

It’s sad, right? Do you know what’s even sadder?

I’m sorry how easy it was to write that list.

The Instagram post which summed up what I’ve been thinking about.

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(3) Comments

  1. Claire says:

    I am starting to think that maybe it’s not just what we say that matters but who is saying it. We all know that some people are saying the right thing because they want to offer comfort and they don’t know what else to say and that is ok (and we’ve all been that person to many people). Someone else can say the exact same thing but the weight behind their words is so much more. When you say this, Anj, those loss mums know the weight behind those words. I am sure they don’t doubt the sincerity behind it for a second. They know that list is as relevant to you as it is to them and that you get what they are going through in a way that I never could.

    1. Anjulie says:

      Except I feel that you do get it and always have done. And I just know that if you say these words to others going forwards, you’re probably going to remember the weight of this too. So thank you for that, Claire. Because you have always understood that my babies were my babies, and you were sorry for OUR loss (yours also) 😘 xx

  2. Karen Palmer says:

    I’m sorry that that list was so easy to write. But the fact that it was, is all the more reason to be kind to yourself and patient with yourself xx

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