June 26, 2017

10 Things Not to Do or Say to a Bereaved Parent



After we lost Colby things got interesting in our familial and friend relationships. Some people were very sweet and supportive, while others ignored our loss altogether. I was shocked at some of the things people said and did (or didn't say and do), especially from my family.

So I've decided to make a little guide on what not to say to a bereaved parent.


1. "It wasn't even a baby yet."
This one hurt the most. It was a baby to me as soon as that second pink line showed up on the pregnancy test. This statement is the most grieved in the online support group I am a member of.


2. "It's probably for the best."
How is me not having my child in my arms "for the best?" Don't assume that there was something deathly wrong with the baby, because that is not always the case. Colby was perfect. He was developing on schedule, and all the tests came back normal. So, no, it was not "for the best."


3. "Just get over it already."
Losing a child is not something you "just get over" after a few days. A lot of healing, both physically and mentally, needs to happen. And I don't think any parent gets over not having their child.


4. "Sometimes these things happen."
Yes. We know. We are living it right now. You don't have to tell us.


5. Rushing the parent to "get over it" faster.
Rushing a person through the grieving process is not good for anyone, ever. Each person has their own needs and their own way of coping, so let them. What you may not help them, and vice versa.


6. Ignoring the loss altogether.
It was the ones who said and did nothing that hurt the most for me. I get it, it's an uncomfortable situation for everyone involved and you're not sure what to say. Well, saying nothing at all is worse than saying something that might come out wrong. Because your attempt means that you care.


5. "Are you STILL sad about that?"
Here we go again with the rushing. Guilting a bereaved parent because they aren't "over it" yet is a horrible thing to do.


6. "At least you know you can get pregnant."
For me, this one was ok. I was diagnosed infertile over 2 years ago, and it was a good sign that I can get pregnant. However, many women are hurt by this statement, especially if they have experienced multiple losses. So it's better to just steer clear of this statement unless you have the full story.


9. Not say the baby/child's name.
Many parents decide to name their baby whether they know the sex or not. It's not weird. Referring to their baby as "the baby" or "your baby" or "it" or "them" or any other non-name word can be hurtful. Saying the child's name makes them more real and more important to others and not just the parent.


10. Not acknowledging the baby is real and important.
Because they are. Very much.


If you have said or done any of these things, it's ok. Just keep these things in mind for the future. If the loss was recent, though, perhaps apologizing to the parent could be helpful. That is up to you though. This list might also help to explain why there may be an awkwardness between you and the parent(s) as well.

All of this poses the question of, "what should I say and do instead?" Well here's the bonus, I'm going to get you started on that too.


What you should say/do instead:

1. "I'm so sorry. We are thinking of you/praying for you."

2. "I'm really am here if you want to talk."

3. "It's ok to cry, take all the time you need."

4. Say the baby/child's name when referring to them (unless asked not to).

5. Validate their feelings and emotions.

6. If you are family, recognize the baby/child as your grandchild, niece/nephew, cousin, great-grandchild.

7. If there is a memorial service or a funeral, go if you can go. If you can't go, send flowers, a card, something to acknowledge the event.

8. Don't make the parent feel bad or guilty for honoring their baby/child in their own way, no matter how weird it may seem to you.

9. Reach out and check on the parent.

10. Wish them "Happy Mother's/Father's Day," even if they do not have any other children.


Has anyone said anything insensitive to you in the past?

June 19, 2017

DIY Flowery Front Door Wreath



The other day, our mail lady came to the door to give us our mail so she could ask about the wreath on our front door.

Ms. Sue: Do you make your own wreaths?
Me: Yes, I do.
Ms. Sue: Oh wow! It's so beautiful! You are so creative.
Me: Thank you!

So I was inspired to make a tutorial for this super cheap and super easy wreath.


Where to shop:
Dollar Tree
Craft Store (if needed)


What you need:
10-12 Fake Hawaiian leis in colors of your choice
Wire wreath frame (if the dollar tree doesn't have any, you can get one at any craft store)
**You can also use a skinny pool noodle cut to desired length and taped with duct tape.**
Floral wire
Wired Ribbon (I found this lovely pink burlap ribbon at the Dollar Tree!)

Directions:
Wrap the leis around the wreath frame and secure with small lengths of floral wire. If you go the pool noodle route you'll want to glue the ends of the leis to the noodle. I recommend E-6000 as it is waterproof. Make a bow, and attach it to the wreath with the floral wire. Voila! beautiful wreath for spring and summer.

You could do blue and pink for a baby shower or white for a bridal shower! Make wreaths in wedding colors for a wedding or your own decor colors for a beautiful wall decor piece.

Do you make your own wreaths?

June 12, 2017

How to Cope with a Long Distance BFF



Many of you know my Llama, Melissa. She's been my best friend for eleven years now. We've been through some amazing times, and some really shitty times. But we were inseparable. Now that I'm living in Missouri, a mere 726.7 miles apart (yes i looked it up), it's not quite the same. However, I think we've become closer and have an even stronger friendship now than we ever dud. And that's really saying something.

Here are some things that we do to help us cope with being so far apart, that keep us close.


Fun Text Tones
You will text A LOT. So make it a tone that you absolutely love and/or associate with your bestie. This goes for ring tones too. You just need that fun and catchy tone to listen to a million times a day.

Give Autocorrect a Name
Ours is Judy. And she's a bitch. Our "smart" phones like to make us look stupid sometimes, or you're fingers just can't seem to hit the right keys. Whatever the reason, someone needs to be blamed, and that's Judy.

Surprise Snail Mail
Whether it'a a small gift or a little card, these keep things special. It's a physical reminder that you have a best friend who cares about you.

Gossip
Just because you live in totally different places now, doesn't mean the gossip stops. Now, turn off your judgey face and admit that you gossip sometimes too, even though we aren't supposed to. And there are time a little Facebook stalking is in order to familiarize yourself with the gossip victim.

Watch Movies Together
You know you both own a copy of Mama Mia, so pop that sucker in and sync it up. Sing all the songs and text your BFF the whole time. Just because you've seen it a million times doesn't mean you are tired of it. It can actually be therapeutic.

Workout Together
Schedule gym session or walks at times that you both can do it. Call each other or start a step challenge to keep each other accountable when you can't just bust in on the other and snatch the Cheetos away.

Keep up with your Inside Jokes
Seriously. In 2006 "drive by wooting" was totally a thing for us (don't ask). And even now I randomly will send her a snap of this.

Be Honest
No matter what. It's a general friendship rule already, but I feel it's even more important when its and long distance friendship. You can't physically step in anymore, so sometimes brutal honesty is what's needed.

Send Photos, often.
Snapchat is amazing for this purpose. It keeps you connected on a visual level (get your minds out of the gutter). We send photos of ourselves, my pets, her kids, my husband, her boyfriend, e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. But mostly coffee.

Drink Coffee Together
This is the same as the movies. Just get a coffee and the same time and chat on the phone. It's almost like your normal trips to Starbucks.


Basically do all the things you used to do, only most of it through text and phone calls. haha


Do you have a long distance BFF? How do you stay close?