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The Death of Your Baby

Whether you have lost your child during pregnancy, or through stillbirth, or shortly after birth, you have suffered bereavement and will experience all the emotions that come with that. No matter at what stage you lost your little one, he or she was a human being, loved by you and your family, and loved by God.

 

Give words to your sorrow

Counsellors tell us to give words to sorrow, and this is good advice: but the death of a baby is so overwhelming that we cannot find words to express the depths of our despair. We were looking forward to holding, nurturing, and protecting our child; and so sudden and cruel a departure leaves only pain, black thoughts, and unanswered questions instead of the joy of parenthood. We feel robbed, confused, and bitter.

So, how can we cope?

Firstly: with great difficulty.

Secondly: by not blaming ourselves. However many 'if onlys' we keep on saying to ourselves, we have loved this child and done our very best.

Thirdly: by realising that this dreadful situation is not without hope and meaning. Whether baby lived only in the womb, or for a short time in the outside world, that life was not unfulfilled. It was a sufficient preparation for entry into the next stage of eternal life.

We all flourish in an atmosphere of love. This applies to those who have left this earth, just as much as to those still with us. When you think of those you have lost, send them love. This may not be easy, but it speaks to their need. Regard it as spiritual nourishment for them, something which enhances their spiritual growth. It can be done at any time and in any place. Whenever your child comes to mind, whenever you are reminded in any way of them, send them the love of your heart. Eventually you will find this eases your own grief.

What can we do now?

For many years, the loss of a child during the early stages of pregnancy was not considered a true bereavement and generations of parents have suffered in pent-up grief with no space to say goodbye. Those who carried to full term but lost their little one before or shortly after birth will still have moments where they wonder what their child would be like if they had had the chance to grow up. Whether your loss was recent or many years ago, it may help to hold a short service to acknowledge the life of your child, no matter how brief, and to give thanks for them and entrust them to God. This may be especially important following a miscarriage or termination where no funeral service could take place.

Click here to learn more about holding a service for your baby.

A prayer

Creator of all, whose wisdom is
beyond human imagination:
we cannot understand
why our child has gone from us,
even as (s)he was entering
the threshold of earthly life.
We grieve over the loss
of one so young, and struggle
to understand its purpose.

Ease the turmoil of our hearts,
and remind us that one day
we shall be reunited, and share
eternal life with our child;
for we are assured
by the death and resurrection
of Jesus that (s)he is alive
and continues to grow
in beauty and understanding
in your heavenly kingdom.

Amen