Chances are you are a close relative, friend, or colleague of the bereaved person who wants to help in whatever way you can. You may have read many ideas on things to say and do and the things that may not be such a good idea.
Yet, you may also feel very sad, not only for your relative or friend, but inside yourself. You may be experiencing the normal feelings of grief and loss. If you are a grandparent of the baby, you feel the double pain of not being able to heal your child, a helpless feeling, and pain from your own loss here. You had dreams and plans, too, now they are dashed and you probably have little time to focus on it in your efforts to be supportive. If a sibling or good friend, you may also have helpless feelings. Even if you are a work colleague or know the parents some other way, you may be surprised how hard this hits you. Babies are not supposed to die; this is so out of order. It is hard to reconcile. Find others you can talk openly with. It is best not to keep things bottled up inside. Do share some of your feelings with the bereaved person so they know you care and are touched by their baby. You would be surprised how much this helps them and what bridges it can build.
At some point, it will be helpful if you think about your own losses. If you face them, work on getting your feelings out, and spend some energy grieving, you may be able to recharge your batteries to once again be helpful. Grief can be delayed, but not denied. Whether you do your own work sooner or later, it will be there waiting for you.
We have some books and booklets that may help you at this time. Grieving Grandparents, What Family & Friends Can Do, and a couple of our eZines #5 Healthy Grieving and #10 What Family & Friends Can Do. We also offer a video in the eShop - Shattered Dreams: What Family & Friends Can Do When a Baby Dies.