Say, "I know you had dreams and hopes. I am sorry." This may have been a "just a pregnancy" to you. To your friend, it was a welcomed child. Perhaps she was a blue-eyed, curly-haired daughter who would play piano and be a doctor. Or maybe the baby would have been a tall, stocky, dark son who would share his father's love for woodworking. Listen when she needs to share. She loved this baby and she loved the dreams and hopes. Memories are not all sad; many are happy creations. It is healing to remember these.
Say, "What can I do to help you? Could I bring supper? Baby-sit?" While your friend might want to be left alone to absorb the loss, she may also have basic needs you can meet. Offer to help with specific items -- like meals, childcare, or shopping. She might not be able to come up with a concrete need by herself, but may be able to choose what she does need from a list. And don't forget a simple card or flowers. They can speak to the heart and remind her that you care even though you're not there in person.
As strange as it sounds, you may feel guilty because your baby is alive and your friend's has died. You will need to discuss these feelings together. While staying away to spare her the constant reminder of her loss seems like a kind deed, it may not be. She has already lost her child. Does she also need to be deprived of support from her best friend?
Try to understand if it is difficult or awkward for her to be around you for a bit. Acceptance of your pregnancy or baby has to be at her pace. That may mean an emailed note just to say you are thinking of her, or a conversation shared over a split piece of hot fudge cake. The message is the same. You are there.
The most important gift you can give right now is that of yourself -- your love and compassion for your friend. Follow her cues and just be you. A caring friend, willing to share the burden, will make the journey through grief easier.
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