The loss of a child affects everyone differently. When you experience a miscarriage, you can expect to mourn their death as you would any other child. As you work your way through your pain, remember that there's no wrong way to mourn your loss. This experience is uniquely yours.
Consider doing whatever's needed to help you heal in a way that's both healthy and comforting to you. For some grieving mothers, honoring their miscarriage anniversary is a part of their healing journey.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Tips for Coping on a Miscarriage Anniversary
- What to Do on a Miscarriage Anniversary
- What to Say to a Loved One on a Miscarriage Anniversary
The way you cope and manage after suffering such a significant loss will depend on many factors. Your grief will manifest in ways that may surprise you. Before you know it, the first anniversary of your miscarriage will be upon you. You may not know what to do in remembrance of your lost baby, but you may feel the need to honor their life and their memory.
Tips for Coping on a Miscarriage Anniversary
Suffering the loss of a child is one of the most profoundly painful experiences you'll ever go through. When your child dies, it can feel like a part of you has died right along with them. It's not unusual for a parent to fall into deep despair following their child's death after miscarriage. You'll question everything around you, everything you've ever known, and maybe even your faith.
Getting through this extremely vulnerable time in your life may seem overwhelming and challenging to overcome. Below are some unique ways to help you cope as you remember your child or help a loved one who's suffered this type of loss.
Take the day off
Taking some time to yourself on the anniversary of your miscarriage to process your grief may help you heal from the past year's pain and sorrow. Whether you work from home or another place of employment, finding the time to be alone with your grief on this extraordinary occasion can help your grieving process.
Consider spending time alone, with your other children, if any, or with your spouse or partner taking part in a unique activity that honors the life of your child who's passed. Consider visiting a park, walking through a zoo, or going to a theater to watch a movie. Let this be your time to grieve and reflect on the love and memories you hold of your unborn baby.
Memorialize your baby
The overwhelming grief you may have felt at the time of miscarriage may have lessened somewhat after the first year. Ordinarily, normal grief takes approximately six to 12 months for it to subside. After the first year, it doesn't mean that your suffering will magically disappear. But what it does mean is that you may be entering into a different phase of your grieving.
The passing of time allows you to reflect on your loss from a different perspective. The first anniversary following your child's death is a perfect time to honor your child's life by holding a miscarriage memorial. Consider holding an official naming ceremony for your baby and having a local spiritual leader bless the occasion.
Listen to healing music
Music has the power to heal when you're emotionally wounded. Listening to songs about miscarriage or other spiritually uplifting songs can help soothe your pain and sorrow after suffering a child's loss. Playing songs by some of your favorite artists who've gone through a similar experience may help ease your suffering.
Artists sharing their grief with the world through their creativity during an especially vulnerable time in their lives may remind you that tragedy can strike anywhere, at any time, and to anyone. Here are some artists who have put music out after suffering a miscarriage.
- Cry Pretty - Carrie Underwood
- Happy - Pink
- Heaven - Beyonce
- Something’s Not Right - Lily Allen
- Take My Place - Lily Allen
Learn about miscarriage
Reading books about miscarriage and learning about some of the reasons it happens can help you better understand how to cope with your loss. Reading medical and scientific books and other people's accounts can remind you that the loss of your baby was not your fault.
According to Mayo Clinic, miscarriage happens in approximately 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies. Estimating the actual number is higher because many pregnancies end before a woman realizes that she was pregnant.
The suggestion that a miscarriage happens because something was wrong with it carrying out the pregnancy is a misconception, according to the Mayo Clinic's research. The findings show that most miscarriages occur because of issues with the development of the fetus and less to do with anything the mother did or didn't do to prevent the miscarriage.
What to Do on a Miscarriage Anniversary
When the anniversary of your miscarriage approaches, it can bring painful reminders of the child you lost. Many people who suffered this type of loss have mixed feelings when remembering the anniversary of the date their child passed. Men and women process grief differently.
While some may need to participate in grief rituals to heal from their pain, others will do better by withdrawing and focusing their energy elsewhere as the anniversary date approaches.
The following are ways that you can commemorate the life of your unborn child regardless of the length of gestation they lived through.
Plant a tree
Planting a tree on the anniversary date of your miscarriage is a beautiful way of remembering your child. You can watch the tree as it grows from sapling to fully matured as years go by. You can love, nurture, and tend to your tree as a form of grief therapy to help you through your healing journey.
Of course, the tree will always be there to remind you of the child you lost, and it will help you maintain that connection to them in a very tangible way.
Get a tattoo
Getting a miscarriage tattoo is a unique way to honor the memory of your child. It's something that you and your spouse or partner can do together that will help you both heal from your loss. Miscarriage tattoos can be a combination of your baby's name and a symbol that represents your child.
For example, some of the most familiar images associated with death and bereavement are butterflies, dragonflies, and feathers. You can also choose lines of poetry about miscarriage to honor your beloved baby.
The exchange of miscarriage keepsakes is something the entire family can participate in doing. You can find many ideas online to help you memorialize your unborn child’s place in your hearts. You can find some original ideas on Etsy for memorial jewelry, keepsake boxes, candles, and wind chimes, to name a few.
Remember to include your spouse or partner and any other children in your home when doing an exchange so that everyone feels loved and validated in their grief.
Pull out the baby’s memory box
The anniversary of your miscarriage is a perfect time to pull out the baby's memorial box from storage. As painful as it may be to look through it after all this time, this might be a good time to look back at all of the memories from that time to help you move forward from your grief. Spend some time alone with your baby's box before inviting others to share those memories with you.
Sing a song to your baby
Staying connected to your baby even after their death is essential in your healing journey. You can continue bonding with your child even after their death by talking to them, singing lullabies to them, and telling them exactly how much you love and miss them. Your baby's death doesn't mean that you have to put away your love and connection to them.
What to Say to a Loved One on a Miscarriage Anniversary
Expressing sympathy on a miscarriage anniversary will depend on the relationship you have with the couple who lost their baby, how open they are regarding the miscarriage, and whether they are open to you expressing your condolences and sympathies after the first year.
Not everyone wants you to remind them of their loss. Some people prefer to mourn their child's death in private and move forward from their pain and suffering. At the same time, others may resent you for not mentioning their child's death at the anniversary date.
In either event, here are some messages of love and support you can say in any situation without worrying about being hurtful.
“I’m thinking of you.”
Keeping things short and straightforward is a safe way to let your loved one know that you're thinking of them without overstepping. Consider giving them a sweet card with a symbolic image and this one short and simple phrase. This thoughtful gift acknowledges their loss and lets them know you care and are still thinking about them during their time of grief.
“Today marks an entire year of sweet sorrow. I have you and your baby in my thoughts and prayers.”
A death anniversary will forever be painful for those who've lost a loved one. A parent's grief never fully goes away. It just eases with time. Bereaved parents learn to cope with their loss and move forward with their life despite the pain and suffering they're experiencing. A simple acknowledgment of their loss goes a long way in letting them know that you remember.
Remembering a Miscarriage
There is no right or wrong way to deal with pregnancy loss. Not everyone will want to celebrate the anniversary of their child's death. At the same time, others might find great comfort in remembering their unborn child year after year. If you've suffered through this type of loss, focus on doing what feels right for you.