Miscarriage is often an experience of extreme grief, hurt, and loss. If you are suffering infant loss, you are not alone. In times of death and grief we turn to the Lord for consolation and strength. This is especially true when a child dies before birth. There is hope and healing for you in this pain.
Miscarriage Hurts: This confidential space is for those who are touched by miscarriage, whether the experience happened recently or years ago. Miscarriage Hurts is a refuge for those who wish to tell their story and begin the process of healing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Mom’s Peace: The loss of an unborn baby is tragic. It’s a shock. It’s not at all what we expected. Many do not know their options or legal rights. Most are unsure what steps to take when the unthinkable occurs. We are here to help. We offer burial remembrance services, and assistance including Catholic guidance throughout the process for families experiencing such a loss. Call 1-888-521-6015.
Here are a few ways you can walk through grief with the sacraments and with your child.
Have a funeral: Request a funeral or burial service through your parish. By saying the Funeral Rite for Infants, we can recognize and reflect on the meaning of this loss.
Name your child: Naming a child allows us to acknowledge the profound effect they had on their lives, even in the womb. We acknowledge the “fearfully and wonderfully made” unique child of God that we have lost. Pray for your child by name, and know that he or she has taken his or her place with God.
Schedule a Mass: Consider having a Mass said in memory of your child regularly, even after the time of initial grief has past. Or, consider holding a community-wide memorial Mass for miscarried and stillborn infants, where other families who have experienced this loss can gather to pray together.
Request a blessing: The “Blessing of Parents After a Miscarriage,” as written in the Church’s Book of Blessings, can be conferred by a priest or deacon. It is given by the Church specifically to “assist parents in their grief and console them with the blessing of God.”
Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage by Laura and Franco Fanucci. Written by a couple specifically for couples, understanding that both spouses have experienced a loss and grieve differently. Drawing from Catholic tradition and teaching, Laura and Franco gently guide you through:
After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion to Healing & Hope by Karen Edmisten. A book about grief, healing, and hope after miscarriage. Not afraid to examine the raw emotions that accompany such an experience, the author tells women that they are not alone in reacting strongly, even frighteningly, to their loss and reassures them that hope and healing will come
Journey in Love: A Catholic Mother’s Prayers after Prenatal Diagnosis: A sensitive, supportive resource from an author who knows this suffering firsthand. Kathryn walks with you through the stages of grief, helps you to pray even when you feel you cannot, sheds new light on the comfort and grace of the Church’s traditional prayers, and provides meditations tied to the liturgical year.” Find the free e-book here.
Solace and Strength in the Sorrow of Miscarriage A piece published by the USCCB on the realities and effects of miscarriage, and how we can walk with those we love through it.
For further resources and support, contact the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese of New York.