What can I do to honor the baby I miscarried?

Read about ways you can memorialize and honor the baby you lost to miscarriage, which can help you grieve, recover, and acknowledge that you are changed.

Whether you do something privately or invite loved ones to join you, memorializing the baby you have lost can help you grieve and recover from a miscarriage. Even though the loss was out of your control, there are things you can do to help you heal and move forward.

Private actions could include creating a memory box to keep mementos and other items that have special meaning for you. Memories can be difficult, but having a box that you can choose to open lets you revisit them whenever you feel ready to reaffirm your love for the baby you miscarried. Keeping a journal is another private way to cope with your grief. Writing about your feelings and noticing how your perspective shifts over time lets you move through the pain of your loss while staying connected to your ongoing life.

Public actions might include creating a memorial, which can help you transform your pain into something life-affirming. You might plant a garden in your child’s memory. That way, you'll have a place to visit when you want to think about the hopes and dreams you had for your baby and consider ways to pursue new dreams. If you chose a name for your child, dedicating a park bench or memorial brick in your child’s memory also gives you a spot to visit. Donating to an organization in his or her name or even naming a star (yes, you can do that) are other ways of creating a remembrance in your baby’s honor.

Miscarriages are incredibly common and yet rarely discussed. Being open about your loss makes a taboo topic feel like a more normal part of the human experience. Choosing someone to whom you can tell anything gives you the opportunity to safely explore all the feelings that come up.

Your friends and family may want to reach out to you but not know what to do. Having a memorial service (informal or not) or intimate gathering can be helpful in the same way that a funeral is helpful when a loved one dies. It gives people a chance to adapt to the change in your life. Publicly honoring your lost child lets your friends, family, and community know that you welcome their empathy, sympathy, and support.

Whatever you decide to do, memorializing acknowledges that you are a changed person because of your experience and can serve as a reminder that hope and joy will return to your life. If you choose to invite that hope and joy by trying to conceive another child, a memorial also helps you recognize that the child you lost is separate from any children you may have in the future and worthy of his or her own remembrance.