Our expert says:
First see a counsellor to deal with your own perhaps excessive grief and guilt, or you won't be able to help her.
All loss is awful, at each age a different kind of awful. Purple is experienced in such matters, and her advice is sound.
I find people often err when a friend is grieving, by getting hung up on not knowing what to say, as though there were somem magical words you should uter to make it feel OK - there are no such words, but being available to listen to whatever they need to say, or to share a silence, is more useful than most words.
I very srongly agree about avoiding the terribly cruel, often religiously-based comments that cheekily tell the grieving that we should rejoice, and so on. If they are religiously minded, in time, such consolationsm may have their place, but in the early stages they are simply cruel and fatuous.
The Compassionate Friends is an organization of people who have los a child, at any age. I knew the chaplain who started this ; and they may have a locl or reachable branch, which may be helpful for her.
Maybe some of the guilt you feel is a variety some of us experience, a form of Surivor Guilt - guilt at feeling relieved that you are no in her situaion, and that your child survived. Forgive yourself for being normal.
I also like the point about the Possible Later value of a visit with our own child. This might be bothersome to her as a reminder of what she has lost, but I have found a common component in the complex grief in the loss of a very young child, is that beause the child was with you so briefly, you are mourning both a reality and a theory - the child he/she would have been, and another child can help to make this more real, and offer assistance in coming to terms with the loss.
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