sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Sarah Gregory EPLA Vice President
In every community around the world, families experiencing miscarriage need support from their community networks. Churches and other religious communities play an important role in bearing the burden of grief. How can faith communities help in the midst of the invisible grief of miscarriage?
Rituals- Funerals, memorials, and worship
Many families need the sense of closure that grief rituals like funerals provide. Reach out to your local funeral home to find out information about miscarriage burial possibilities. Some families do not have a physical body to bury, so consider potential alternatives like a memorial service, memorial garden, or private ritual for closure.
Many denominations already have child loss and miscarriage worship outlines in their established worship resources. If you are affiliated with a denomination, look into the established worship rituals for services for infant death and grieving families.
Pastors and chaplains can also prepare with established prayers, scripture, and music that particularly fit the burden of miscarriage to share with grieving parents in private moments.
Provide a Meal
It’s good practice to ask first to be sure the family wants the meal support. Don't be afraid to use your network to provide tangible support while a family wades through the logistical coordination, health decisions, confusion, and emotional trauma a miscarriage creates.
Know your Resources
Organizations like the Early Pregnancy Loss Association provide educational materials and other resources to women suffering from a miscarriage. Download our educational resources from our website.
Local community groups also provide support. A quick search online can start you in the right direction. You can also find out what organizations may already exist by talking to healthcare providers, counselors, or community leaders.
Listen, Affirm, and Remember
Perhaps the most crucial piece of supporting a family through miscarriage is to listen to the grief and affirm their loss. Families experience long lasting pain that is invisible to most people. Affirm that their grief is real. Check in on the family during the anniversary of the miscarriage or due date. Simply remembering the loss will instill the sense that they are not alone.
Faith communities provide emotional and spiritual support during times of grief. Be sure to deploy the networks and systems reserved for moments of trauma and pain at the pace and rate at which the family experiencing loss feels most comfortable. Faith communities can and do provide important healing, support, and hope.
“Martin Luther’s Comfort for Women Who have had a Miscarriage” https://blogs.lcms.org/2016/miscarriage-comfort-in-a-time-of-loss/
Othodox Church in America
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Sarah Gregory is a Christian Education freelance writer, consultant, and musician. Sarah lives in St. Louis with her husband Kaleb and her son Cecil.