Why Saying I’m Sorry Can Heal a Broken Heart

Rachel Haggerty essays

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Sometimes silence in a situation can be more painful than any choice sentences. Silence creates questions as your heart begs for communication. Your eyes watch just to hear those two words: I’m sorry.

Those two words can change a persons heart. As we say them or receive them, barriers are broken down between two hurting people.

Often miscarriages are overlooked. Whether they happen at seven weeks along or at 38 weeks, people don’t know how to handle it. What do you say that can bring comfort?

I’ve had to get past expecting people to say what’s on my heart. I’ve had to lay down my needs to be loved and cared for in the name of silence.

There are many many things women suffer through silently in this world. I can promise you that the loss of a child before he takes his first breath is one of them. I can promise you many of them cry themselves to sleep, their arms aching for the child they will never hold.

I’ve been asked several times if we will try again for another child. The answer is no.

But can I rephrase that question?

Do you want another baby, Rachel?

Yes. Undoubtedly. Wholeheartedly YES. I will ALWAYS want another baby. I will ALWAYS miss the kicks in the middle of the night. I will ALWAYS miss giving birth and hearing my babies cry for the first time. I will always miss late night feedings and first diaper changes and the newness of it all. I will always miss the first time they open their eyes and your whole life changes, again.

But will I birth another? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean I won’t always desire another. Even when I’m 78-years-old and still drinking wine and writing, I’ll want another baby head to sniff. Another tiny hand to admire in my wrinkled one.


After my miscarriage, I had been going through the motions. Grieving some, but we all know life doesn’t just stop. I had to make myself get out of bed. I still do.

We had a party to attend a couple weeks ago. All of our children received balloons, which often ends badly. Someone pops one. Someone looses one and someone bites one. Then Momma has a heart attack.

Our eldest child Asher had two balloons, one on each hand. He walked up to me while I was having a brief moment of what I like to call “sitting” with one leg on the bench of a table, the other planted on the floor in case I need to run after a toddler headed for trouble.

Momma, what do I do with this other balloon?

The words just came out of my mouth like I was a lunatic.

Give it to your brother.

WHAT MOM? Who!!!?

Oh sorry buddy, I meant to say your sister.

A yeah cuz I don’t have a brother.


Reality slapped me in the face and tears flooded my sunglass covered eyes. You do have a brother son. You just don’t know it yet. But he knows you. He is like you. He has your features and your smile. Your freckles and cheeks.

It was in that moment that I knew. I would always look for Jude. I would always want to include him in our family events. The pain of losing him would fade, but the intense love for the son I never met face to face will not.

I watched Asher scurry up to an open field at that park. I watched him release the other balloon. As if he knew deep down that it would make me happy. I giggled and squealed like a child. Like him, I also found great pleasure in releasing the balloon.

Where did the balloon go Bud?

Into heaven Momma. It went fast.

Sure did. Just like your brother.

I prayed in that moment that Jude would see the balloon I wanted him so desperately to hold. I wanted him to bop his brothers head and wrestle him to the ground to get it back. He was playing with far more fun things than balloons that day, but how I wished he was with me. With us.


I’ve had an outpouring of love from friends and family. Cards and love and meals.

If you are reading this story and you have a friend or loved one that has lost a baby, my one bit of advice to you is this:

Say something. Say you’re sorry. They don’t need a speech or even a silent prayer. They need to hear two words from you. For heavens sake.

I’m sorry.


About the Author

Rachel Haggerty

Rachel Haggerty, blogger of . Wife and Mother of three, finds grace and humor in the ordinary.

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