In 2015, I wrote an article for Catholic Stand entitled, “How to Bury Your Baby After a Miscarriage.” My husband and I have buried 3 of the 4 babies we’ve lost to miscarriage at our local Catholic cemetery, and I wrote about our experiences with their burials in hopes of helping others who are going through a similar tragedy and don’t know what to do.
As a result, I regularly get e-mails from people who have found my article by Googling “burying a baby after miscarriage” or similar, and they often ask for my help in finding resources in their area for burying their children. I do the best I can, usually directing them to call their local Catholic cemeteries to see if they have a program for burial of babies lost to miscarriage.
Many do, but for some reason there is a troubling lack of this information on many — I would venture to say most — websites for Catholic cemeteries. This information isn’t on their website or on the website of the Catholic diocese they are a part of, and I’m not sure why.
This is needed information. Some hospitals have programs for parents who wish to bury their children, but most don’t, and parents are left to find information on their own, when they are already hurt and grieving.
Many priests know if their local Catholic cemetery or diocese has a program for burying miscarried children, and will direct their parishioners to those resources, but many don’t know about them, and I’ve been contacted by several people who aren’t Catholic and don’t feel comfortable asking a local priest.Given that burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy, this is something that needs to change. We need to make this information widely available so people can find easily online.
One of my dreams is to start a website that contains a directory of all dioceses in the United States (to start, anyway, and going international eventually) along with whatever resources that diocese has for parents of miscarried children.
That way, all a person would have to do is go to the site and enter their location, and they would immediately be provided with information about what burial programs for miscarried children are available in their area along with addresses and contact information of the cemeteries in question.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get it off the ground — the website I could handle, but I know nothing about creating a searchable database of information or a UI to go with it — but it’s something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long time.
Thankfully, my diocese’s Catholic cemeteries organization does have a program for burial of miscarried babies, and has information about it clearly available on their website.
Do you know if your diocese has a program for burying miscarried children? If so, share that information in the comments — we can use this article’s combox as a makeshift directory until the day that I (or someone else) can create a better one.