sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
To remember the children lost to miscarriage, we must share about their short lives when given the chance. This practice does not mean forcing the conversation; we rarely jam in memories of other deceased loved ones when it doesn’t fit. We just need to treat miscarried children with the dignity they deserve.
“When Aunt Andrea has her baby, she will have four kids”, my son declared as if we’d asked him a trivia question.
Something rose up in my chest, my heart rushing words to my mouth. I could not leave it alone. “Yes, she will have four children, but she has had five kids. One died in her belly.” I had talked to Tucker about miscarriage before, but the concept still baffles him; he thought I was joking.
As a five-year-old, he does not have a full grasp of death, and the idea that a baby would die without a discernible cause makes no sense to him. Tucker knows that babies form in a mama’s belly, but he sees the womb as a cocoon that ensures immortality.
My wife and I tried to explain how prevalent and tragic miscarriage is: “Your Aunt Emily lost three babies. They were all your cousins and very special. We loved them all.”
Why would we insist on telling him about his miscarried cousins? We want him and his brothers to know how precious life is at all stages, that we continue to mourn the loss of little ones even if we can’t play with them on holidays or send them birthday gifts. We want our kids to recognize the reality of miscarriage: a child was present, loved, and lost.
We do not go into all the details; our little ones are not ready for that. But they will hopefully understand miscarriage better than we did growing up. As they get older, we pray they see and feel the tragedy of miscarriage so they can effectively come alongside the grieving, to both mourn the loss of those children and celebrate their short lives.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University.