Mom Calls Out the 10 Worst Things People Have Said Since She Lost Her Baby

Horrible things to say to grieving parents
A Rainbow From Onyx

The loss of a child can be unimaginable, and it may be hard for others who aren't experiencing the pain to know the right thing to say to a parent who is doing their best to weather the storm. That's why Ariel Mendoza created her heartbreaking and informative post about the "10 Horrible Comments Said to Parents After Baby Loss." Ariel lost her son Onyx after he was born prematurely with complications, which caused him to pass away quickly after birth. Losing Onyx was incredibly difficult for Ariel, but she noticed that sometimes when her friends and family tried to comfort her, they ended up saying something that made things so much worse. Now, the blogger is using her platform to share her grief and explain to others what they should never day to a grieving parent. "It's important to put the grieving parent first," she advises.

  • Ariel lost her son Onyx only 6 weeks ago. Although loved ones were supportive, their comments about her recent loss were not always tactful.

    Ariel Mendoza
    Ariel Mendoza

    "Despite people 'meaning well,' impact is often greater than intent," Ariel tells CafeMom. Which means that although her family members were trying to help, they often said things that reinforced how painful the grieving process can be. 

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  • Now, Ariel is sharing the actual things people said to her that hurt more than they helped so she can raise awareness.

    Ariel called her post "10 Horrible Comments Said To Parents After Baby Loss" and she says that she wrote it "because I have gotten so many hurtful comments from family, friends and strangers since losing my son."

  • "I wanted to make a post that would put grieving parents first and uplift a conversation that needs to be had about pregnancy and infant loss," she says.

    "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,'" she wrote in her post.

  • And the mom even shared the heartbreaking story of Onyx's death.

    She tells us that Onyx had been healthy all throughout her pregnancy. "He was super active, always had a strong heartbeat," she explains. 

    But on August 28, 2018, Ariel went into labor and then "was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix that showed bulging membranes (meaning the amniotic sac was protruding out)."

    "The doctors told us that there was nothing they can do so I was sent home and told that I needed my body to hold Onyx for at least another three weeks," she says.

  • Onyx was born prematurely at 20 weeks and 4 days due to preterm premature rupture of the membranes. 

    "Doctors told us that because he was so young and tiny, he would be stillborn, but Onyx was born alive and survived for 46 minutes," she says. 

    As a way to deal with Onyx's loss, Ariel created her blog, A Rainbow from Onyx, "to honor his life and the impact he continues to have after his heart stopped beating."

  • After Onyx's death people have said all sorts of things that just were not helpful.

    "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," Ariel wrote.

  • And strength had nothing to do with withstanding Onyx's loss.

  • Ariel says that the response to her post has mostly been positive. Many other parents said that they too have felt the sting of a tactless comment. 

    "I’m glad that I can spread awareness about pregnancy and infant loss, but I’m also sad that so many others have also experienced loss and that they’ve been told the same hurtful comments that I have," she explains. 

  • Ariel says that she's had some backlash from people who say they "get" her message but don't feel like grieving parents should be offended.

    "Some people have taken the post as a place to 'debate' whether grieving families should be offended by such comments and that’s not what the post is for -- the post is not for people to tell others how they should/shouldn’t feel about pregnancy and infant loss," she says.

  • Instead, Ariel says that she hopes her post will educate people on they right things to say to parents who are in mourning.

    "The post is to spread awareness about what’s happening to babies and families all around the world and to let people know that we can do better even with the simple act of thinking more deeply about how we communicate with families after loss," she shares.

  • And in the end, Ariel said, "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," she says.

    And the mom offers some helpful advice for what to say to a parent who has recently lost a child. "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."

miscarriage & loss