Losing a pregnancy or an infant can be one of the most devastating events a person can experience. While human beings are wired to connect with other human beings, it can still feel incredibly uncomfortable to ask for help. This kind of loss creates a unique type of grief, and you deserve strong support. Here are some ways to get support when you don’t like asking for help:
Destigmatize asking for help for yourself
Some people hesitate to ask for help because it makes them feel weak but asking for help is actually a sign of great strength. If you can relate, it may be beneficial for you to reframe things. Instead of looking at asking for help as weak or needy, look at asking for help as a gift to someone you care about. When you share your pain and vulnerability with someone, it can open them up to feel comfortable sharing with you when they’re in pain in the future. Your strength in asking someone to support you can deepen the already meaningful relationship you have with that person. In the case of a newer friendship or relationship, it can create a stronger connection for you both.
Ask someone to ask for you
When you’re grieving such a tremendous loss, it can feel overwhelming or impossible to find the words to communicate with the people in your life. Now is the time to lean on a partner, friend, or family member to communicate for you. Perhaps that one person who knows what you’ve experienced can be your voice so that others can support you. Sometimes it can just be too painful to deliver the communication, but possible to accept support after someone else has done it for you.
It’s okay not to know what you need
Remember that it’s okay to desire support but not know what kind of support you need. Sometimes what you need is clear and at other times you may be hurting and feeling isolated but can’t think of anything specific to ask for. Consider sending a text to someone in your life like, “I’m so sad and I don’t know what I need” or “I’m really struggling today, and I feel lost.” It’s okay to give someone else the opportunity to make suggestions of what they can offer.
Reach out to a professional
Therapy can offer a safe space to share your grief, process your loss, and begin to heal. Though they mean well, your friends and family may not know how to comfort you or to help you express your grief.
Navigating pregnancy or infant loss by speaking with a therapist is different than speaking with people in your life, as therapists are uniquely trained to welcome your pain and grief into the session, allow for your full emotional expression, and hold space for all that you are experiencing.