Remembering your baby in a significant way by commemorating your loss is a way to hold space for your grief and gain some closure at a time where there seems to be none.
The experience of early pregnancy loss can leave you feeling grief-stricken, isolated and empty. Sadly, these feelings are often made worse because the grief we are feeling is disenfranchised – that is, it isn’t generally acknowledged by society as real grief – particularly in the case of earlier losses.
Many women have expressed that marking their loss in some way really helps the healing process after miscarriage. There is no right or wrong way to do this, nor is there a time limit for doing so. It is never too late to mark a loss and to give symbolic meaning to such a heartbreaking and impactful experience.
There are many things you can do in order to honour the memory of your baby. Ultimately it comes down to what feels right for you as parents. Here are a few ideas – maybe none will resonate with you, and that’s ok, but they may help you come up with an idea of your own.
- plant a flower or tree in your garden or in a pot on your balcony
- create a memory box to keep ultrasound pictures, pregnancy tests or anything else you have
- write a letter to your baby telling him/her of all the hopes and dreams you had for them
- light a candle on special days, for example their due date and the date you said goodbye
- name the baby, even if you didn’t know their gender, it can provide another level of connection
- buy a piece of jewellery that you can wear to symbolise their meaning in your heart
- raise money for charity in their honour or contribute to an online memorial site
It’s worth noting that in some Australian states, you are able to apply for a Recognition of Early Loss Certificate which, while not a legal document, can help provide some much needed validation of your baby’s existence, no matter how brief.
We have also created a free downloadable resource called Marking the Loss which has other ideas for commemoration, that you may find helpful.