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Remembering Those Lost to Miscarriage

Written by Dianna Wiebe on .

It was a beautiful summer day when my son called to tell me that he and his wife had gone to the prenatal appointment and found that their 10-week-old unborn baby had passed. This is never a phone call you want to receive or are prepared for when it comes.

Over the next several days many tears were shed, and prayers offered to the Lord for comfort and healing by our whole family.

Seven years later, nearly to the day, I received a video call from another son and his wife to tell me that they had lost their unborn baby of 16 weeks. This little one, I had the privilege to see when I went to their first ultrasound. Like before, our family entered a period of grieving, but not without hope, for we know these precious ones await us in heaven, along with a host of family members.

As a grandmother, reflecting on the two different miscarriages in our family, I want to share what we found that brought the most healing and closure for the parents, siblings, family, and friends. 

Grieving Alone

In our modern world, when a woman miscarries, the hospital takes care of everything and women are rarely given choices. A baby up to the age of 24-week old are called a miscarriage, but after that it is called a still birth. This is what happened to our family the first time. As I have spoken with many women who have experienced miscarriages, there was no other viable options.

My daughter-in- law, put together a little box of things for little Amy Faith that each of us could put in something special for her. We all grieved, but for the most part, alone. We went forward with our days, and days turned into years.

Grieving Together

When the next miscarriage happened, our son and daughter-in-law made the unusual decision to hold a funeral. They were able to do this, in large part to a doctor, who was willing to allow them to deliver in the hospital, which is rare.

To my knowledge, this is the first funeral, for a baby so young, I have ever heard of taking place. Baby Zion Shalom was born, and the family grieved like before, but not alone.

A week later, we held his funeral, complete with a picture of the family including a shadow baby. We had songs, prayers, and our son and daughter-in-law told the story of Zion. Family and friends came, sent prayers, cards, and flowers. Then we buried baby Zion.

The Healing

A few months passed and I noticed a difference in the speed and completeness of the healing that followed Zion’s death that was much different than Amy’s. With Amy, we were not able to come together and acknowledge publicly that we had lost a daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece. Our society doesn’t recognize these little ones as worthy, but moms, dads, and families never forget and don’t seem to get to fully mourn of their loss.

With Zion, it was different. The grief was still hard, and I still find myself grieving him, like I have for Amy over the years. But, to have the opportunity to gather with family and friends to acknowledge that this was a life, worthy of respect and worthy of burial made a big difference. I saw our son and daughter-in- law heal faster emotionally and have closure with this baby.

As we prepared to bury Zion, our son publicly announced beforehand, that if anyone had lost a baby before and was unable to bury their baby, that they were welcome to include something in the grave for that baby. This brought several women healing and closure they had not had until that day. Many children were grieved that day and many moms received healing that had not come until that summer day.

Going Forward

In the future, when we have members of our family, or close friends lose a child, I am going to recommend holding a service for that baby and family. The difference it made in our family is marked and the impact it had on our friends and community gave voice and tangible evidence in our belief that God is the Creator of each life and each life has value.

Although we were not able to bury Amy’s remains. A few months after we buried Zion, we gather as a family, along with many friends, at the cemetery to mark her life and bury her little box of belongings.

Flowers and Stones

At both gravesides, we brought two things to lay on the grave, flowers and stones. Flowers represent the beauty and color of life, but they are like our bodies, beautiful for a time and they fade away. Stones represent our spirits that live on after our bodies have returned to dust. Both are a reminder of life and death. They show those who see the flowers and stones that this person is remembered and is loved.

Heaven

I heard my grandfather say a he was in his eighties, “Heaven gets sweeter every day.” I agree. Today, my grandfather, and many other family members, have met and held both Amy and Zion in heaven. Although we grieve here, for those who have gone before us, we are not without hope that one day we will hold both Amy and Zion. Until then, we know they are love by our Lord, and many family members on the other side.

So then, with endurance, let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter.

Hebrew 12:1-2

Our Hope

I hope in sharing this with you, that if you have lost a baby, you will find some comfort, and ideas for moving forward. It is also our prayer as a family, that we help others to acknowledge life by burying babies lost in miscarriage or still births. My son hand-made the coffin for Zion. He didn’t just make one, but two, because he knew another family would need it in the future.

As I have watched since, we talk about Amy and Zion, but with hope. We don’t know this side of heaven why God called two of our grandchildren home early, but we trust Him.

And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job 1:12

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