Acknowledging the pain of pregnancy loss.

There are many issues in life that causes deep grief. The most common of these is in the area of death. We grieve the loss of loved ones and friends. They are no longer with us and we miss them deeply. There is a deep sense of losing a part of us. There is a deep sense that a part of us has died with them.

This is why funerals are so important. We can see the coffin. We can gather around as family and friends to support each other in grieving process of losing a loved one. Together we can cry, pray, acknowledge and celebrate the life lived and even laugh during the eulogy.

However there is a deeper sadness and grief that happens when the deceased person is not physically there to say good bye to. Seamen lost at sea, never to be seen again. People who just disappear and never to be seen again. Take the recent account of Daniel Morecombe in Queensland whose body was never found. The recent discovery of his body and clothing means a huge chapter can be closed for his family and that a deeper grieving cycle can begin.

Within this framework of pain and grief is the pain of mothers and families who suffer miscarriage. The pain is perhaps more deeply felt for the mother. For there is a special bond that happens in the womb…emotional, physical, spiritual. The mind starts to imagine the future for the child….sex, name, clothes, school, work, and even marriage and future grandchildren. Dreams are dreamt. Visions are shared. Grand parents can start to visualise and dream their part in bring the child up. Brothers and sisters likewise.

But those dreams are shattered through the loss of the child through miss carriage. And deep pain can result. Compounding this problem is there is often no one to say good by to. No one to hug and hold and scream and cry. No hand to hold and say good bye. And so a deep emptiness takes hold. Confusion and even false guilt can arise.  And often the mother is left to just get on with life.

October the 15th is the International Day for pregnancy and infant loss. To coincide with this date – our church is planning to host a community memorial service to celebrate the life of a life short lived, to acknowledge the deep pain and confusion of that loss and to provide a space where individuals and families can gather together to acknowledge the deep loss, the hurt and pain and to cry, to share with each other and to help those within our midst in their journey of grief.

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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6 Responses to Acknowledging the pain of pregnancy loss.

  1. april says:

    This is really good Craig. You have made so many great comments which are so true!
    My sister lost a baby last year to miscarriage. People knew that she was pregnant but when she lost it most people didnt say anything as they were worried about how it would affect her I think. But what they didnt realize was that she wanted people to acknowledge that she was pregnant and that she had suffered a loss. She was grieving we all were. The thing is about miscarriage is that people dont talk about it and it is sad as so many women do miscarriage at any time during their pregnancy. My church ran a memorial service for those who have lost children to miscarriage and my sister found that helpful as it was a funeral service and gave her a chance to grieve. We need to acknowledge the loss of a baby no matter if they have been born or not! All these beautiful babies have been created by God and so it is right to acknowledge these babies whether they have taken a ‘breath’ or not!

  2. Tim Gombis says:

    Thanks for this, Craig. So many more have suffered painful loss than is often acknowledged.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Yes. Your observation about acknowledgement is what I like about your “Narrative” themes. I believe the gospel must compel us to get involved with the narrative of life.

  3. tildeb says:

    This is an important event too often a subject of omission than a recognition of loss. I know that’s an awkward sentence but miscarriage is often treated as something far less than a death and this has to change so that healthy grief can take its course. That starts with this kind of recognition.

    Good on you, Craig.

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