sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
In the traumatic aftermath of a miscarriage, parents must make numerous difficult decisions. They have just lost a child, a son or daughter dear to their heart if not held alive in their hands. Many families want to honor their child by burying him or her. Unfortunately, parents are often unfamiliar with how to go about burying a miscarried child as in most states there limited guidelines for miscarried remains.
The EPLA provides small boxes as part of our miscarriage supply kit, but alone, we can do only so much. We would like to highlight other organizations that provide important information and resources that help families affirm the dignity of their child through burial.
One place families can start is with a local funeral home. Many funeral homes have information about the burial process and they will know what steps to take next if a cemetery burial is desired by the family.
Heaven’s Gain “specializes in providing services and products for families suffering the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.” Their website also has information on how to move forward with a burial.
They offer a family advisor after a family loses a child with the following services:
Elizabeth Ministries seeks to honor all life including children lost to miscarriage. A Catholic ministry, they have services geared toward churches but also provide several burial vessels and bereavement kits. They also have a burial gown that appears to be free.
Parents or loved one may also be interested in the prayer cards that Elizabeth Ministries produces. These prayers may be read at a burial service for a little one and kept as a reminder of the child. Elizabeth Ministries also offers coins and jewelry of remembrance that parents might want to either bury with the child or keep in honor of him or her.
Samuel’s Lullaby was started by April Newell after she lost her son, Samuel, late in pregnancy. Another woman in close proximity experienced a loss around the same time, and April decided to comfort her through a gift basket. She has now created baskets for families in over 20 states.
These baskets are free, though you may provide a donation to help keep them that way. Gifts after a death are common at burial services, and loved ones may consider these baskets as a way to comfort the family and honor the child.
Local Ministries and Organizations
Local ministries and organizations sometimes have resources available for families who have miscarried. For example, Treasures in Our Hearts, a Catholic ministry in Michigan, will have a burial for your child at no cost with garments and a burial box. A religious leader of your choosing will reside over a customized service at your request.
You may want to check with your local funeral home, church, or non-profit to see about burial supplies, services, and other accommodations. They may be able to help you decide how you want to honor your baby through burial.
Burying a Child
Burying a child is never easy. These organizations may make the process a little easier by answering your questions and by providing the necessary resources and accommodations. For loved ones, consider making a special effort to attend a burial service of a miscarried child if the parents invite you. They need to know that other people loved their child and want to honor him or her. It’s one way we can all share the grief of losing a child in the womb.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University.