So, it appears we are at the beginning of two stages: firstly, discovering which friends really make the cut, and secondly, putting up with random people’s unsolicited advice.

Granted, the second is the joy every new parent has to learn to deal with. You smile, go oh really, that’s interesting, I’ll look into that, and proceed to carry on as normal. I’ve never understood why people feel that they are parenting experts because they’ve had a child, or maybe have just seen one from a distance. Its just this really weird bit of human nature isn’t it?

If your child hasn’t died, and you do not know me or my wife, or you do not love Leo or have not been involved in this journey from this start to now, then you can, politely and quietly, fuck off.

Three people at N’s work expressed a strong feeling that they feel I should return to work and then I’ll be okay today. This seems mainly prompted from N having a half day yesterday to come home to be with me – seeming as I was struggling. I don’t know why I hadn’t gone to them sooner. They clearly know all there is to know about me and my life, and are best placed to dare to even comment.

Firstly, I will struggle. I will struggle deeply and I will crumble hard. This will happen now and this will happen in a years time, five years time, twenty years time. What I need is loving support and my hand held. It is okay for me to have dark days. I do not need the ridiculous advice of someone I have only met at the 2014 Christmas Social.

Secondly, she will also struggle. Just because she is back at work, does not mean for one second that she is okay. Our bodies can fake it. Our minds cannot. Just because she’s polite and says I’m alright thanks does not that mean she is. It isn’t just about me. Stop asking just about me. I’m interested to see what wonderful advice they have for her should she be honest.

Thirdly, going back to work will not fix this. There is no fixing this. It is something that we have to learn to live with, to interweave with daily life. We have to be able to find a comfortable place for all the usual day to day crap, to sit alongside, safely. Somehow we have to learn how to cope with all of the boring crap, and not let it be the thing that makes the boiling pot overspill. We are learning this currently for her, we do not need to learn it for us both at the same time.

We set the pace, thank you. No, going back to work right now will not help. I know my work place, and I can tell you, eight weeks after my son died, that is not an environment that will help me. I am not rocking backwards and forwards in a dark corner just waiting. Everyday, I get up, have breakfast, get dressed. Most days I do some exercise. Some days I even manage to leave the house. Shocking.

I’m inclined to think that those that dish out unsolicited advice do so more as a means to make themselves feel better. To find a way to fix this for us, so they can go about their day, not having to give our welfare and mental state a second thought.

After all, I’m sure it would be easier for the randomers, if we moved on, got over it, and smiled? Well, sorry, not now, not today, thank you.

I’m sure we will get worse advice. To be fair, it isn’t that radical an idea. Well, actually we did… Someone today also suggested I go to see a hypnotherapist. Not knocking it – has its merits. But he felt it was good advice because his wife did it and then lost the weight she wanted to loose. Child loss and weight loss are obviously two very similar things. SILLY ME! 

I’m sure it all comes from a good place, and in some situations the same advice might be warranted and helpful. It’s more who and when and why that makes it so ridiculous. So, can we just take a minute to name and shame the most unsolicited pieces of “getting over grief” advice you’ve all had, please? I’m curious what is next! 

12 thoughts on “Unsolicited Advice

  1. Oh, goodness, I’ve heard a lot of bullshit since we lost our daughter and then suffered a miscarriage.

    I think the “advice” that made me the most angry was “think positive” or “find the positive in every day.” While that isn’t even bad advice, the thing is that I DIDN’T ASK FOR IT and I wasn’t in a place to receive it. And then when we were trying again, and then again, it was that we should “stop trying and it’ll just happen.” Really? If we interfere somehow with getting the sperm to get to the egg, we’ll end up getting pregnant? I guess I don’t know as much about biology as you, so thanks for the advice. :-/

    Comments included, but were not limited to:

    “Your time will come.” (How could anyone possibly know that?)
    “Better luck next time.” (REALLY?!)
    “Life goes on.” (Yup.)
    “Don’t worry, you’ll have another one.” (Yes, but my child died. Which of yours are you ready to say goodbye to and replace with another?)
    “At least you know you can get pregnant.” (Heard this one a lot. Eff. Off.)
    “Everything happens for a reason.” (Oh really? Please enlighten me on the reason my daughter died.)
    “Maybe it’s better this way, if there was something wrong.” (There was nothing wrong with my baby girl, and I have the autopsy to prove it. Just a crappy placenta and cord. Even if there was something wrong, I still wish she was here and alive!)
    “I can’t even imagine what that’s like. You’re so strong.” (I know you can’t. And survival is not strength.)
    “You’re so brave to leave your pregnancy photos up on facebook/to talk about her.” (Why, exactly? She still lived!)
    “I am hugging my kids even closer tonight.” (How nice for you to remind me that your children are alive and mine is dead.)

    I know there are many more, but that’s off the top of my head.

    I know most people mean to encourage somehow with this BS, but it always made me so angry when they presumed to know how I was feeling and what I should do to “feel better.”A simple “I’m sorry” and/or “I’m here for you” is all that is needed. Remembering my daughter, that means a lot. The rest is just crap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, it just gets better and better, doesn’t it?! Some of those made me laugh – like, how do people allow themselves to get to the end of some of those sentences without wishing the world would swallow them up! I’ve luckily not socialised too much with idiots, but once I do “go back to work to make it all better” I’m sure I’ll encounter it more and more! It would be so much easier if people learnt the difference between advice and support! Hand holding is all it takes – and so much easier! Grr.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally! I was often just too in shock that they said those words to know how to respond. Something I really liked was this video – it summed up some of my feelings on the matter. 🙂


  3. Yeah – people are going to say some horrible stuff/offer terrible advice. It’s just another reason it makes it so much harder to function in the world after something like this. Most the world doesn’t seem to understand child loss. Here’s some of my faves:

    Everything happens for a reason.
    It was God’s plan.
    Better just jump back in the sack.
    Have you considered adoption? Because this didn’t work for you.
    Better luck next time.
    You have to move on.
    Maybe he died because something was wrong with him. (Nope.)
    You really need to watch “Heaven is for Real.” (Yeah, I’m sure that’ll make it all better.)
    Regarding fear I expressed over a subsequent pregnancy – You need to just have faith next time. (Ummmmm… I did the first time.)
    God only gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.
    I just need you to get back to normal. (My boss, and she wasn’t speaking about my work performance.)
    Focus on the positive – everyone has bad things in their lives.
    You need to be thankful for what you have. (As if I’m not.)
    He’s your guardian angel.
    Matthew’s death taught me to be thankful for my kids. (Great. So glad.)

    I wrote a whole post on this too. The stupid comments never stop coming, unfortunately. So sorry people were giving you advice to go back to work. As a baby loss mom, my unsolicited advice is actually the opposite – stay away from work as long as possible. Or, better yet, obviously, do what’s best for you – you’re correct that only you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh gee, I am not looking forward to socialising and having to try and bite my tongue at these gems!! Though, if they can’t bite theirs, I doubt I’ll bite mine. Better luck next time?!? How do people even utter that without choking on their own BS?! However, I’ll gladly take your unsolicited advice, because it’s completely warranted, with knowledge and wholly welcome. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I went back to work 6wks after my daughter died. I quit for good 5 months after her death. It has only been 2 weeks since my last day, but I know it was the right choice for me. Returning to work at all, and that environment, was absolutely the wrong thing. I am now hoping to focus on myself and maybe even some healing. As Christine said, only you know what is best for you, please listen to you! And for fuchs sake, ignore all unsolicited advice ❤


  5. I have had many but the worst advice I received was from the doctor treating me for complications post labour, ‘you’ll only feel better when you’re holding a live baby in your arms’. Umm, first, Cacia isn’t replaceable. Second, you know you’re treating me from Asherman’s syndrome, right? Likelihood of successful future pregnancy is low to non existent. Over a year later, that one plays on my mind the most!


    1. Wow, that’s beyond insensitive! And from a medical professional too – although, sometimes, they are the worst. So sorry you had to receive such shitty advice. As if you needed anything else. Xx


  6. He didn’t mean it maliciously, most people just naturally want to say or do anything to help when they see pain, unfortunately it isn’t always that helpful. To be honest the only reason that comments sticks so much in my mind is because for a while I latched onto it thinking maybe it would help, I now know that nothing really helps – there is no magic answer, just the journey of living with her missing space.


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