Our witness to life must address the pain and grieving experienced by those who have lost a child. Just as we recognize the humanity of the unborn child lost to abortion, we must acknowledge equally the unborn child lost to miscarriage. … As members of the body of Christ, the Church, we are called to bear witness to the loss of every life, no matter how brief or small.”
— Life Issues Forum: Loving Parents After Miscarriage (USCCB)
Overcoming Obstacles: Miscarriage is one of many resources provided on the USCCB website. For Your Marriage is an initiative of USCCB offering information for married couples.
"The Catholic Church rightly insists on the sanctity of life from the moment of conception, but we need to do a better job of ritualizing the loss of life when a miscarriage does occur. Couples often bear this grief in silence and confusion. The world seems to be telling them that a life was not lost, that a tragedy has not happened. And yet, parents know otherwise." — excerpt from Overcoming Obstacles: Miscarriage
Here is some wisdom that has helped others through this silent sorrow:
- It is right to grieve. Take the time to grieve and be gentle with yourself as you are grieving. Treat yourself like a best friend and give yourself permission to be good to yourself during this difficult time.
- Surround yourself with people who understand, and avoid people who don’t. Give yourself permission to share with some people and not with others.
- Name your baby. This simple yet profound action is a concrete way of affirming that this life was and is a unique person.
- Pray even when words won’t come. God is indescribably near to the broken-hearted, although it may seem like God is very far away. Speak words from your heart, even if they are words of anger, rage, disappointment, frustration or hopelessness.
- Men and women grieve miscarriage differently. Some spouses may want to be alone, while others may want to meet with a spiritual director or friend to share the burden. Some spouses discover that exercise can be healing, while other spouses find that just puttering around can be helpful. Find out what works for you and be gentle with yourself.
- Ask your local parish to begin a yearly Mass for Hope and Healing. We began this in our parish seven years ago as a way to give voice to our grief and to pray for comfort and strength. Each year, this liturgy attracts people from the area, some who experienced pregnancy loss years, even decades, ago.
- You are not alone: ask for help if you need it.
To read the full article from USCCB, click here.
Several of our parishes have an active Elizabeth Ministry, please find out if your parish does.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin has two opportunities for you to memorialize your loved one:
- Naming a Deceased Unborn Child - The baby's name will be added to the book of prayer intentions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
- Memorial to the Unborn - Nestled on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Memorial to the Unborn provides a means of memorializing unborn children and providing a place of spiritual healing and closure for parents, relatives and friends.
After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman’s Companion To Healing And Hope by Karen Edmisten is an, "authentically human and spiritual" book written for women suffering from miscarriage. It features the stories of women who have suffered the same loss, as well as information, resources and other notes.
Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Heidi Indahl, a local author, invites grieving mothers to let the Blessed Mother accompany them on their journey of grief and healing. Mary not only understands their loss, but wishes to bring mothers to healing through the saving work of her son. For each mystery of the rosary, author Heidi Indahl compassionately shares her own experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, offering insights about how those losses are connected to the experience of Jesus and Mary as revealed by the mysteries of the rosary.
Grieving Together: A Couple's Journey through Miscarriage by Laura and Franco Fanucci. After struggling with infertility, they miscarried their third child in the first trimester. Later, their twin daughters were born prematurely and lived only a few days. Laura and Franco are here to tell you that, while your miscarriage is a deeply personal loss, you are not alone.
Solace and Strength in the Sorrow of Miscarriage is one woman's story of her personal experience comforting a family suffering from miscarriage. To read her story, click here.
"It is estimated that one out of four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. This loss can have a profound effect on the mothers, fathers and families of the children who pass away, and many of us may be unsure how best to respond to those who are hurting."
As in all suffering, we turn to Christ in prayer for the ultimate comfort. A Blessing of Parents after a Miscarriage or Stillborn can be found on the USCCB website here.