Any kind of loss can rock us and shake us to our core. One kind that often gets forgotten about is stillbirth.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Stillborn Memorial Ideas for the Outdoors
- Stillborn Memorial Ideas for Inside Your Home
- Stillborn Memorial Ideas That You Can Wear
- Stillborn Memorial Event or Funeral Ideas
Stillbirth is a pregnancy loss that occurs after twenty weeks gestation, or halfway through. This devastating loss occurs in about one out of 167 pregnancies. Yet we rarely hear people talk about it.
Support for people who experience stillbirth often disappears after the first month or two, and they’re left on their own with their grief. But any life, even one cut incredibly short, is worth remembering. Remembrance is one of the ways people find healing and stillbirth memorials create the opportunity to do just that.
A stillbirth memorial can be a gathering where you come together with loved ones or a physical memorial that serves as a dedication to your lost little one.
Stillborn Memorial Ideas for the Outdoors
Spending time outdoors is one of the most nurturing things for the soul. It’s also the perfect place to set up a stillborn memorial.
This could be in your yard or garden, a public place where you’re able to set up a memorial, or at a cemetery.
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1. Create a living memorial
A living memorial is a way to give back to the earth during your healing. Visiting your loved one in nature offers a different kind of peace and understanding.
The process of creating a living memorial can be part of a memorial event or a way to bring some sort of closure to the experience.
Some common living memorials people create are:
- Planting a flower garden: You can use flowers that represent your baby or other ones that bring comfort to you.
- Planting an herb and vegetable garden: You can send your love to your baby every time you tend to your garden and can eat the bounty that grows from it.
- Create a butterfly memorial garden: Having a butterfly land on you is a magical and grounding experience, and serves as a beautiful reminder of your lost little one.
2. Create a remembrance bench
Creating a bench in your baby’s memory may seem insignificant to your loss, but this common memorial tool gives and gives while honoring those who have passed.
People often customize benches in places like parks, their yards, and next to beaches or other natural settings.
This gives you a place to come so you can bring flowers or other offerings and reflect. Every time someone sits here or sees this, they are remembering your baby in their own way.
Stillborn Memorial Ideas for Inside Your Home
While your baby might not be in your home physically, you can still honor them from the comfort of your home.
3. Make a stillborn memory box
A memory box is a place to keep memories of a loved one who has died.
The process of gathering goods and creating the box can be healing in itself, even if you rarely look at it.
This memory box can be on display in your home, buried in your yard, stored in a closet, or neatly tucked away on a shelf. Wherever feels right for you.
Here are some ideas of what to put in your memory box:
- Ultrasounds or images from other scans
- A lock of hair
- A hand or footprint
- Maternity photos
- Swaddling blanket
- Baby clothes
- Poems, quotes, and journal entries
There’s no right way to create a memory box. You get to decide what feels meaningful to you to put inside it, and where to keep it.
4. Create an altar
One place you can keep a memory box is on an altar you create in your home.
Altars are beautiful physical dedications people create to memorialize their loved ones. It’s nice to have a dedicated table or shelf where you can create your altar and adorn it as you please.
You may put some of the same things you would in a memory box on your altar. Here are some other ideas of what to include:
- Any pictures you may have gotten
- Personalized items
- Plants or flowers
- Religious or spiritual symbols
An altar can be religious or not, and it can reflect your personal beliefs. You can change your altar from time to time or keep it the same.
Some people find peace in the process of tidying up the altar, lighting candles, and speaking to their dead loved ones.
Stillborn Memorial Ideas That You Can Wear
You can take your baby’s memory everywhere you go with memorial ideas that you wear.
Wondering what that looks like? Here are just a few ideas:
Jewelry is one of the most common wearable memorial items people have, and for a good reason. It’s something you can wear every day, it’s sentimental, and it’s a beautiful visual representation of your love for your baby.
This can be any kind of jewelry like a necklace, bracelet, earrings, pendant, ring, or something else.
These are some other ways you can specialize your memorial jewelry:
- Include your baby’s birthstone
- Engrave your baby’s name and/or birth date
- Get a locket and include a meaningful picture
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that means something to you. Etsy is a great place to find personalized jewelry that meets your budget and style.
This is one memorial idea that you can wear forever!
Tattoos are permanent reminders of the love you have for your baby. Whether it’s a small, hidden symbol or a big and bold piece, you know that it’s there, and what it’s for.
These are some beautiful memorial tattoo ideas that people get:
- A flower or plant that brings you peace
- Your baby’s name or date of birth
- A quote that inspires you or brings you comfort
- An animal that feels protective
- A symbol that honors your baby
Be sure to do your research and find a tattoo artist whose style resonates with you.
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Stillborn Memorial Event or Funeral Ideas
Physical items are a great way to honor your baby, but gatherings can be just as important.
Holding a memorial event or funeral for your baby honors their memory, your experience, and creates the community and support that you need to move forward.
Wondering what that might look like? We’ve got a few stillborn memorial and funeral ideas for you:
7. A birthday remembrance
Your stillborn’s birthday is not only the day that they came into and left the world, but the day you entered a new phase of your life.
A birthday remembrance can be a celebration of life, a party, a comforting meal, or a small gathering with a few select loved ones.
You can remember your stillborn baby’s birthday one year, five years, or even ten years later. Just like you would with any other birthday. Each year may feel a little easier, but you’ll still be doing what you can to keep their memory alive.
These are some ways people celebrate a stillborn’s birthday:
- Gather with loved ones: People that understand and are supportive no matter what emotions come up.
- Having a cultural meal: Traditional or sentimental foods bring comfort to everyone around.
- Create a Mural: You can hire someone or make your own memorial in your baby’s memory. This could be a permanent one somewhere in or outside of your home, or even just a simple art project on a big piece of butcher paper. What’s beautiful is that this is something everyone can help out with.
- Hold a fundraiser: If there’s a cause that’s close to your heart, you can hold some sort of fundraiser in your baby’s memory and raise donations to give to it.
There are so many ways to celebrate your baby’s sweet, short life. Choose a celebration that feels peaceful and restorative.
8. Give a gift
If you have a friend or loved one who is having a memorial for their stillborn, you may be wondering what an appropriate gift is for them.
It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, it just needs to have meaning to them.
These are some stillborn baby memorial gifts you can give:
- Plant a tree in their baby’s memory
- Name a star after their baby
- A massage certificate or gift basket for the parents
- Flowers—simple, yet classic
Even the smallest of gestures and gifts can let them know they’re in your heart and thoughts.
Keeping The Memory Alive: Stillborn Memorial Ideas
There is no right or wrong way to commemorate the loss of your baby. All that matters is that it feels meaningful and authentic to you. You may choose to do all of the ideas above, none of them, or come up with something unique. What matters most is that you get the support you need, and honor your baby in your way.
There are so many ways to remember the death of a stillborn baby. This is for you and your family. How will you keep their memory alive?
- “How Common is Stillbirth?” National Institute of Health. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 1 December 2016. nichd.nih.gov.