Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s a day to remember the babies we’ve lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, and the death of a newborn or infant. Hopefully, it’s a day when parents, siblings, grandparents, and others can find comfort that their children are remembered and they are not alone in their grief.
The loss of a child stays with families always, and it affects more people in our lives than we realize. “I will so often have parents come up to me and tell me the story about the baby that they lost to miscarriage or stillbirth—even thirty, forty, fifty years ago. And I’ve learned from them, no you don’t ever forget this child,” said Laura Kelly Fanucci, author of Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey Through Miscarriage, in an interview on Morning Air®.
When parents go through the loss of a child, they might wonder if they will ever heal from the immense pain. “The rest of your life builds around it—it’s not the end of your own life but we carry that loss with us forever. And really if you think about what our Church teaches, that’s not the idea of a baby or the hope of a baby. That was a child beloved by the parents and beloved by God. So of course we could never forget them, of course we will carry that love with us forever. So I think that’s both a really hard truth and a beautiful truth,” said Fanucci.
Though many have experienced the pain of losing a baby, it’s a grief that so many suffer silently. Feeling that you’re alone in your grief can compound the pain; that’s why it’s vitally important for families, friends, parishes, and communities show their support.
In order to help console, we must consider how we speak to someone experiencing a loss. “Sometimes in our hope of comforting someone, we unintentional try to minimize it,” explained Fanucci. Avoid “at least” statements such as: “At least it was early”, “At least you can get pregnant,” etc.
Perhaps one of the most comforting things you can do is acknowledge their great and painful loss. You could say, “I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby,” and “‘I’m here for you, I love you, I want to help you,’” said Fanucci. With these words, you are also acknowledging that the miscarriage was the loss of a baby, not a blob of cells but a beloved little human being.
A fear of some parents is that their child will be forgotten. “So often, that’s the parents’ deep fear that not only have they lost this child whom they love and were hoping for, but they worry that because that baby was so young or it was so early in the pregnancy, that they’ll be the only ones that remember that baby,” said Fanucci. Show your support by picking up the phone and asking them how they are doing and let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them. You could even set a calendar reminder in your phone to remember the anniversary of their miscarriage or the due date of the baby they lost. Remind your loved one that they are not alone and their child will never be forgotten.
Lord, comfort our family, friends, and neighbors who are suffering the loss of a child or the pain of infertility. Bring your healing and allow us to be your light to those who grieve. Amen.
Listen to the full interview for more insights from Fanucci on supporting those who grieve the loss of a child:
Tune in to Morning Air® weekdays at 6-9am ET / 3-6am PT only on Relevant Radio®.