Breaking the Silence of Miscarriage

footprintLast weekend I stood up before hundreds at my church and said these words:

You, my church family, might know some of my children. My daughter Alex and my sons Connor, Aidan, and Ethan. But my husband and I have other children who we lost in miscarriage. Their names are not on birth or death certificates because they died before 20 weeks gestation. It has sometimes felt over the years as if these children existed only to me.

This world of being alone in my remembrance of my children – and alone in my grief – is what propelled me to start first a ministry at my church and now an outreach program in our community. The culminating point is Wings of Hope – our pregnancy loss memorial and common burial site for remains of children lost before 20 weeks gestation.

But the Wings of Hope memorial site reminds me that God knows all of my children by name – and my children I lost in miscarriage will finally have a place in our community where the world may also know their names.

After speaking these words I left the alter and met my 12 year old son in the back of church where he was waiting by our informational table. He had tears in his eyes. He touched my arm and said, “Mom, you’re shaking.” Yes – my hands were still trembling. It took all of my reserve to say those words in front of hundreds when it has taken me more than a decade to say those words even aloud among friends.

But what I learned is that when we break the silence that surrounds miscarriage, we open ourselves and those around us to healing. Let’s keep breaking the silence.