Our witness to life must address the pain and grieving experienced by those who have lost a child. Just as we recognize the humanity of the unborn child lost to abortion, we must acknowledge equally the unborn child lost to miscarriage. … As members of the body of Christ, the Church, we are called to bear witness to the loss of every life, no matter how brief or small.”
"The Catholic Church rightly insists on the sanctity of life from the moment of conception, but we need to do a better job of ritualizing the loss of life when a miscarriage does occur. Couples often bear this grief in silence and confusion. The world seems to be telling them that a life was not lost, that a tragedy has not happened. And yet, parents know otherwise."
— excerpt from "Overcoming Obstacles: Miscarriage"
Here is some wisdom that has helped others through this silent sorrow:
- It is right to grieve. Take the time to grieve and be gentle with yourself as you are grieving. Treat yourself like a best friend and give yourself permission to be good to yourself during this difficult time.
- Surround yourself with people who understand, and avoid people who don’t. Give yourself permission to share with some people and not with others.
- Name your baby. This simple yet profound action is a concrete way of affirming that this life was and is a unique person.
- Pray even when words won’t come. God is indescribably near to the broken-hearted, although it may seem like God is very far away. Speak words from your heart, even if they are words of anger, rage, disappointment, frustration or hopelessness.
- Men and women grieve miscarriage differently. Some spouses may want to be alone, while others may want to meet with a spiritual director or friend to share the burden. Some spouses discover that exercise can be healing, while other spouses find that just puttering around can be helpful. Find out what works for you and be gentle with yourself.
- Ask your local parish to begin a yearly Mass for Hope and Healing. We began this in our parish seven years ago as a way to give voice to our grief and to pray for comfort and strength. Each year, this liturgy attracts people from the area, some who experienced pregnancy loss years, even decades, ago.
- You are not alone: ask for help if you need it.
To read the full article from USCCB, click here.
LOCAL ASSISTANCE WITH BURIALS AND MEMORIALS:
- Bernadette May, R.N., 214-537-5363,
- Calvary Hill Cemetery and Funeral Home in Dallas, 214-357-5754
- Memorial boxes - Call Gloria 214 861 5063 (donations for materials appreciated)
- Columbarium for miscarried children at St. Joseph Parish in Richardson
- Masses of Remembrance for Children
Hope Wins is a ministry of 330 Supply Co. committed to walking alongside families who have experienced the loss of a child and provide care and comfort when they need it most. Through a mentorship program, Hope Wins seeks to offer a relational approach to grieving and bereavement. For assistance, please email .
M.E.N.D. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) is a Christian, non-profit organization that reaches out to families who have suffered the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.
For those wishing to memorialize a child lost, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photography provides free portraits to parents suffering from miscarriage or stillbirth.
Life Perspectives offers healing pathways and resources at www.miscarriagehurts.com.
After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion To Healing And Hope by Karen Edmisten is an, "authentically human and spiritual" book written for women suffering from miscarriage. It features the stories of women who have suffered the same loss, as well as information, resources and other notes.
"It is estimated that one out of four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. This loss can have a profound effect on the mothers, fathers and families of the children who pass away, and many of us may be unsure how best to respond to those who are hurting."
As in all suffering, we turn to Christ in prayer for the ultimate comfort. A "Blessing of Parents after a Miscarriage or Stillborn" can be found on the USCCB website here.