sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Maria Servold EPLA Editor
Most of us do not bear the burden of fame - we do not live our lives in view of the general public. But for those who do, loss of any kind, especially miscarriage, can be particularly difficult to deal with.
On July 4, while many Americans were busy celebrating Independence Day, Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth announced that she and her husband, Austin, had lost their baby to miscarriage at 20 weeks gestation. Joy-Anna is one of the 19 children of the Duggar family, who has been featured in several television series. The young couple has one son, but announced last week that they lost a baby girl to miscarriage in late June. They shared photos of them holding the little girl, whom they named Annabell Elise.
We can learn a few things from this tragic moment in the lives of the Forsyths. First, we see the importance of sharing stories of loss with others. Because they were open to sharing the loss of Annabell with the world through social media, the Forsyths demonstrate the importance of telling stories of loss and how that sharing can invite others to help them grieve.
Secondly, the couple’s announcement gives dignity to all unborn children. By naming their baby, they honor her life and the lives of all children who are miscarried.
Many families who suffer miscarriage share stories of their babies and honor them with names, but it is especially heartening to see a public figure demonstrate this respect for life in such a public way.
Maria Servold is an Editor at the EPLA, Assistant Director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism, and Lecturer in Journalism at Hillsdale College