10 Horrible Comments Said to Parents After Baby Loss

Talking about loss can be very uncomfortable for some people, especially pregnancy and infant loss. Sometimes people feel a need to say something to a grieving parent to acknowledge their loss but the words often turn out to be really hurtful.

While I understand that people are usually coming from a good place, the words still hurt. I've had my fair share of hurtful comments since losing Onyx and each time I thought "wow, it would have been better if they just hadn't said anything at all". There have even been a few times that I have gotten into heated arguments with people because they try to justify their comments even after I've told them that they're hurtful.

Here are some of the things people have said to me in response to baby loss - And why they should never be repeated:

"You're young, you can have another" - You don't know if I can have another. And even if I can, another baby will not replace Onyx.

"Guess he wasn't meant to be" - My baby wasn't wrong, he was meant to be, the world just sucks.

"At least you know you can get pregnant"- You don't know if I can get pregnant easily or if I can get pregnant again at all. You don't know if I can carry a baby to term or that they'll survive. Where's the happiness in getting pregnant if your babies keep dying?  

"Everything happens for reason" - There's no reason in the world that makes this okay. 

"God needed him more than you" - I NEED HIM. He belongs here WITH ME. 

"Maybe you weren't ready to be a mom yet" - Maybe you should get out of my face. 

"God only gives us what we can handle" - Let's hope God never thinks you can handle losing your baby. 

"Well I'm glad I have my baby" - That's great, you should be. Now is probably not the right time to talk to me about how grateful you are to have your baby though.  

"You are so strong, I could never handle that" - I hope you never have to. I have no choice.

"At least he wasn't a real baby" - Gestation does determine if the loss will be painful or not. No one "has it worse". Whether I lost him at 20 weeks or later, it still hurts. My experience is still valid. Whether you think he was a "real" baby or not, he was real to me.

If you've said any of these statements to a grieving parent, you're probably thinking "that's not what I meant though!" and I get it, but sometimes the impact is greater than the intent. Take a moment to process why you felt (or feel) a need to say something to a grieving parent - is it because you want to make them feel better? Because the silence is awkward? Because you want to make yourself comfortable with the uncomfortable?

By pushing your own feelings on grieving families you are really just making things worse. Grieving parents should not have to make you feel better about their loss. It's important to put the grieving parent first. You may be angry, sad, and confused about what happened to their baby but imagine having to live with those memories every single day.

Think deeply about what you're going to say before you say it. Just because something might make you feel better doesn't mean it's helpful to grieving parents. If you aren't sure what to say, say that. Say "I don't know what to say but I just want to let you know that I'm here for you and I'm so sorry for your loss."

Most of all, don't try to find a purpose for a loss. There's no reason in the world that will make parents feel better about losing their child.


  1. Powerful article. Nothing ever replaces the child lost.

    1. A Rainbow From OnyxOctober 22, 2018 at 11:04 AM

      Thank you so much <3

  2. So, So Sorry for your loss. Wishing you all the comfort you need at this time. There is a powerful message to be heard within your article. I hope people who read it will truly try and understand where you are coming from. I know from experience myself that these words can grab you deeply after you lose a child. Hugs and love sent your way.

    1. A Rainbow From OnyxOctober 22, 2018 at 11:06 AM

      Thank you so much Christy. I've gotten a mixed response from this post but I'm glad to know that there are people who resonate with it and find it helpful <3

  3. This is very powerful. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  5. "Maybe you weren't meant to be a mom yet."
    I'm so sorry someone said this to you. For some reason this comment- although they are all terribly misguided things to say- really hurt my heart. My first baby was stillborn, I've gone on to have a rainbow baby. I absolutely love them equally. I consider myself a mother to both, because they both take up equal space in my heart and mind. I don't think anyone losing their baby in any way invalidates their parenthood.

    I hope lots of people see this post and keep away from saying some of these awful expressions and I'm very sorry for the loss of your precious baby Onyx.

  6. Ouch, this hits right at home for me...The "Well you're young, you can have many more babies" was said to me and it hurt. Also, I was never that religious but I have actively become angry with God when he decided to take my first son away. "It was Gods' plan" destroyed me: apparently God was sadistic and cruel enough to make it his plan to kill my firstborn son...how Old Testament of him.

    I'm sorry that you had to go through this. I wouldn't wish this on anyone...I wish you never had to feel this agony either.

  7. I am personally envious of the people that give these horrible responses... for them .. life is simple, the world works as the way it should be. Either there is a God that takes all responsibility, or that they way of the world is so intrinsically ingrained in their psyche that the can't even see how painful and stupid what they are saying is.

    It makes me smile... at how dumb humans can be at times that they are incapable of hearing what they are saying. and envious of their innocence.. and how I wish that I never lost my own innocence.

    My advice for people trying to comfort someone.
    1) don't say anything. If you feel you need to say something, say "wow that sucks" You are not sorry - you did not do anything to me, so what have you got to be sorry for ?
    2) acknowledge my pain, give me the room to feel my pain publicly - let me know that it pains you.
    3) understand - you can't help my pain. All you can do is help by letting me dump on you, listen to me rant at god/fairness, let me cry on your shoulder, take me out dancing to enjoy life and not think about my pain for 5 minutes today! ... its what ever I WANT TO DO at this specific time... and I reserve the right to change that with no notice.
    4) pour me a drink, and just let me know that I am not alone dispite the world abandoning me, that the whole way I saw my life just got ripped out from under me in the blink of an eye.. and that I am lost - I don't know who I am , where I am, what I am suppose to do and feel.. and i'm just soo afraid... and I just need someone to hold me, and let me feel safe again.

  8. This really hits home deep within my soul. Thank you for posting it!! I lost my son (11-23-2013) when he was 2 1/2 years old and every single time someone says these things to me I still crumble inside! People almost made me feel like there was a time limit on my grief, but I couldn't put one on it. Thank you again!!!!

  9. I feel your pain. My stillborn daughter would be 40 years old this summer. I still feel the .and emptiness of her loss. I adopted a child after that loss as I didn't feel I could physically go through a pregnancy again. I want you to know that it does get easier. Each year i quietly celebrate her birthday, I take out and touch all the things in her box of memories and then move on with my life. You will certainly experience a life filled with joy and keep a place in your heart for this little one