Sometimes, the hardest thing for me to do in seasons of loss is struggling to prioritize the acknowledgement of what’s missing or gone. How to honor the anniversary of a miscarriage of my child, my own flesh and blood, is a grief I’m still learning to make space for.
If you’ve found yourself here, at the most unwanted seat at the table, I hope these words will envelop you in God’s compassion and care. In His own profound way, Jesus has walked me through stretches of this road, carrying me from feelings of avoidance, comparison, pain and justification to healthier, green pastures of rest, remembrance and healing.
Today, I’m sharing some of the good graces and rhythms I’ve been invited into as I learned to let Him heal my mind, body and broken heart. But this list is by no means a straight-line journey, with the conclusion being a complete erasing of our agony—that’s what Jesus is for. It’s in His humility, sacrifice and love that we stand a chance to remember our loss without it consuming us alive.
Heaven is near, dear sister.
And although I don’t have all the answers, or completely understand why our pain is given legs to enter the realities of our lives, I do know we’re not alone in it. And because of that, we can show up to both be held and to hold who we lost. Jesus helps us honor, rest and commemorate our loss.
Honor the Anniversary by Honoring the Day
Anniversaries are not so easily forgotten, even the ones we’d rather not claim. But when we prioritize the anniversary of our miscarried babies, we give ourselves permission to honor both what was and what wasn’t. Here are some ways I’ve acknowledged my miscarriage anniversaries:
1. Make time to meet with Jesus.
Grief untethered to Christ has a tendency to pigeon-hole us into only mourning. But tethered to Him, He helps us hold both grief and honor throughout the days leading up to the anniversary, the day of the anniversary, and the days after.
In my early grief, I wanted to rush past the nightmare. But with time and God’s help, I no longer find myself wishing for the day to quickly pass, but instead allow the moments to take up space in my life, making real what was real.
2. Give yourself the day off
This permission is in line with the first. To honor what actually happened, I need to stop pretending I’m unaffected—whether that’s my heart or my body. Over the years, my emotions have undulated and remained unpredictable, but my physical body seems to remember the trauma.
If this is you too, it may be helpful to give yourself the day off. Let the chores sit for that day, refrain from overbooking your schedule and opt for a low-hassle night of frozen lasagna served on paper plates.
3. Honor the day with words.
Shame likes to give itself a seat at our table alongside our pain. It’s an opportunistic pest, if you ask me. To keep it from taking root and sabotaging our desire to commemorate the part of us that’s waiting in heaven, we’ve got to speak the truth out loud.
We may not always want to remember it ourselves, but instead of perpetuating shame through avoidance, we must give words to our loss. This might be through prayer, writing in a journal or sharing with our people.
Honor the Anniversary by Resting in the Moment
The following are my most favored ways to rest in God’s healing and comfort. They’re rhythms that aren’t just useful for remembrance on the day of, but helpful throughout the whole year!
4. Create a worship playlist.
My playlists range from a vibe of the early months of grief to my later years of continued healing. On the day of my anniversary, I tend to listen to worship music that is uplifting and heaven focused. You can create a free playlist on most any platform these days, so choose your favorite or use this curated list of songs to comfort in grief.
5. Get into nature.
There’s something about breathing in fresh air that helps with the rhythm of holding both grief and remembrance in tandem. When I’m walking the shores, the paved paths at the park or surrounding myself with the trees in my own backyard, my heart is realigned to my Creator’s and I’m able to offload so much of the grief I was trying to hold on my own.
In nature, we have the space to remember our loss without being suffocated by it because, for the first time, it feels like we can let it take up as much space as the sky without ever having to put parameters and rules on it.
6. Talk with a counselor.
One way to rest on a miscarriage anniversary is to make it a priority to meet with a professional. It’s no secret we all handle loss differently, so if your spouse or tribe isn’t supportive or therapeutic in your personal acknowledgement of your miscarriage, it may be a good idea to meet with a professional versed in grief and child loss.
Honor the Anniversary by Commemorating the Loss
Similar to other kinds of anniversaries, we might choose to commemorate our loss through a special treasure or routine. As Jesus helps us both honor and hold our miscarriage, in all its complexities, I’ve found myself leaning into the following rhythms throughout my own healing and growing.
7. Remembrance through memorabilia
You may choose to honor your anniversary through a piece of jewelry you wear, a picture you paint or a shadowbox you create. Our loss is a part of us, and making space for it in our homes is another way to honor the loss in our hearts.
8. Remembrance through gathering
In the past, I’ve surrounded myself with other women who experienced losses similar to mine. Creating community in our brokenness is how I’ve come to know healing through Jesus. Allowing ourselves to build relationships with others who carry the weight of similar losses, helps us to give permission to our own experiences, while also supporting and lifting up others.
On your anniversary, you may find you’d like to gather a few women to share in a meal with, grab a coffee or read God’s word aloud together.
In spite of our experiences, Jesus invites us to rest in him as he helps us to navigate the pain of our unwanted loss. Though the years may look different in how we express and honor our miscarriages, Jesus will always remain the same!
Monet is a wife, momma, writer and entrepreneur living the messy, unspoken parts of life openly and imperfectly. With the help of coffee and courage, Monet helps women live purposed and embrace wholeness despite brokenness. After enduring seasons of hardship and grief, Monet launched Purposed Box, a monthly subscription box helping the everyday woman encounter Jesus in her every day. Find Monet on Instagram or snag one of her boxes here!