Honoring the Loss: How to Respect and Remember Your Miscarriage
When you honor the loss, it’s not because you want to play the victim or hold on to the past. It’s about loving your baby, even if he or she is no longer with you.
Suffering a miscarriage is life-altering, to say the least. One moment there was life growing inside you, then the next, that life is no more. What’s left of the child that should have been are just memories of pain and loss. Not surprisingly, some women choose to ignore the feelings — after all, who wants to celebrate or think about ways to memorialize a child to remember such sadness?
Ignoring the sadness won’t make it go away. Not allowing yourself to feel the grief, or denying what happened, will not make you feel better. Instead, step by step, first, acknowledge what happened; second, allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling; and third, follow the doctor’s orders about what to do after suffering a miscarriage. After this, if you wish to remember your baby and pay him or her respects, try these methods of honoring the loss and ways to memorialize a child.
5 ways to memorialize a child after a pregnancy loss
1. Display an affectionate reminder of your angel baby in your home
For women who suffered miscarriages later in their pregnancy, it’s likely that they have a photo of their ultrasound. Kat, who had a stillbirth, has the photo of the ultrasound image enlarged and displayed in their family home. It’s a reminder that her family will always include their little angel who could have been her second child. She adds, “I buy flowers every chance I get to place on the corner I assigned for our angel. His urn is with us at home.”
For others, even if the mother will never forget their miscarriage, small touches around the home serve as touchpoints for everyone who is part of the family. Photos, mementos, even a Christmas stocking with the child’s name on it are reminders of how your child belongs to your family, whether they’re physically with you or not.
2. Lay your child to rest
Teresa, who lost her child a few months into her pregnancy, was able to bury her child. That way, she is able to visit her little one and spend time at her grave.
Mary Grace experienced a miscarriage around six to eight weeks into her pregnancy, and while suffering from a miscarriage, she was able to bring home her child with her. “I have saved the tissue from the ER bleeding and put it inside a pink baby bottle and placed it in our home altar.”
3. Celebrate his or her day
Just because your child isn’t physically with you, it doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t exist. Some mums believe that their unborn child turns into their family’s guardian angel who looks after them. With this in mind, you could give your angel child his or her own “feast day”. You can choose to either celebrate it on the day that your child went up to heaven, or the full-term birthday. A simple prayer, good food, and a lot of hugs and love from your support system would make for a great commemoration.
4. Find a remembrance
Mary Grace is currently a mother of two children, but she suffered a miscarriage prior to both of her pregnancies. She says, “My husband gave me a beautiful cherub pendant for my birthday. The pendant was pure gold with very detailed eyes, hands, toes and even a belly button. I always wear it around my neck. Whenever I have something special going on, I always wear it to be close to her. I feel that it gave me some closure that I was able to ‘see, touch and feel’ her.”
Some women have droplets of blood or ash made into necklaces they wear, or have their child’s name written on a piece of paper and stored inside a locket. Some carry with them a stone with the name of their child written on it. Whichever remembrance you choose to have, keeping it close to you will help you keep your angel baby’s memory alive.
5. A name is a beautiful memory
Giving your child a name might feel painful for you, knowing that even if you call out the name, you’ll never hear him or her answer back. Having a name for your child might make your heart twinge in pain, but it also makes your baby, and what you went through, real. It reminds you that your little one existed, mattered, and that you love this child all the same, even if he or she is no longer with you.