“Ritual opens a doorway in the invisible wall that seems to separate the spiritual and the physical. The formal quality of ritual allows us to move into the space between the worlds, experience what we need, and then step back and once more close the doorway so we can return to our lives enriched.” –Rachel Pollack, The Power of Ritual
There is no right or wrong way to plan a ritual or ceremony to acknowledge your baby and your miscarriage experiences. Some women may wish to do a “lot,” some women may wish to have a minimal and private acknowledgement. I believe the experience of miscarriage and babyloss is worthy of acknowledgement and that rituals and ceremonies can provide an important means of validation as well as honoring the brief presence of a tiny soul in your family.
Ceremonies and rituals play an important role in honoring the life of your baby, no matter how brief. Ceremony can be described as being about, “giving forth your intention.” A ceremony is an encapsulation of a transition and a moment of heightened awareness, that is separate from every day mundane life. In general terms, rituals serve a variety of functions. I explored these functions during a past guest post for Pagan Families about mother blessing ceremonies.
“Genuine, heartfelt ritual helps us reconnect with power and vision as well as with the sadness and pain of the human condition. When the power and vision come together, there’s some sense of doing things properly for their own sake.”
–Pema Chodron (in The Thundering Years: Rituals and Sacred Wisdom for Teens)I am the co-founder of an organization called The Amethyst Network, which exists to provide loss doula support to families experiencing miscarriage. One of my jobs with TAN is to write and develop the pages about memorializing miscarriage. We hope to eventually have sample ceremony and ritual ideas from a wide variety of faith traditions. So, I’d like to open up the conversation here at Pagan Families—how did you honor and recognize miscarriage in your own life? Did you plan a ceremony or ritual? Please share your experiences with us and help develop The Amethyst’s Network’s resources for families into a true interfaith resource.
In a later post I will share my own experiences creating rituals to honor my two miscarriages—the first a powerful home miscarriage-birth at almost 15 weeks, the second a confusing, lonely, and confidence-shattering miscarriage at 6 weeks.
For some related thoughts about why acknowledging miscarriage as a birth event matters, please see this post.