How To Plan A Memorial Service After A Lost Pregnancy

A miscarriage or stillbirth, especially when late in the pregnancy, can be one of the most heart-wrenching things you ever experience. It's important that you take time to grieve this loss. Even though your child never walked on this earth, you have still experienced the loss of a child, and the profound amount of sadness you're experiencing is completely normal and to be expected. One way that many parents choose to grieve is by holding a memorial service -- similar to a funeral. If you wish to go this route, here are some tips to help you navigate the funeral planning process.

Contact a few different venues.

Since you will be holding a memorial service and not specifically a burial service, you can really hold the event anywhere you like. Funeral homes often organize memorial services for parents who have lost a pregnancy, but you can also choose to have the service in a church or temple. If you are not the religious sort, you may even want to have one of your friends or relatives officiate an informal memorial service somewhere like a local park or forest preserve.

Give everyone plenty of notice.

When someone dies, it's often a surprise, and people have to scramble to work their schedules around the funeral. The nice thing about your memorial service is that you can put it off for a few weeks, which gives your friends and family members more notice. As soon as you have chosen a date and venue for your service, let those close to you know. You can also post a notice on social media. Of course, if you would rather keep the service very small, you can personally invite the people you'd like to attend and not publish elsewhere.

Only do what you feel comfortable with.

Some memorial services for stillborn babies are very focused on the baby, featuring a lot of photos, locks of their hair, and so forth. Others do not focus so much on the child, but instead focus mostly on the parents and their loss. Everyone's needs and desires in this regard are different. What's important is that you only do what you are comfortable with. Do not let society's needs or your friends' expectations dictate how your service runs. This is your chance to mourn and grieve, and the only expectations that should matter are your own. Welcome input from friends and family members, but only say "yes" to the options you actually like.