Category Archives: Loss

Book Review: When My Baba Died by Marjorie Kunch

The other day, we were driving down the road when a funeral procession stopped all traffic in order to cross a busy intersection.  My oldest turned to me and asked if only “really important people” have funerals, and I explained how anyone can have a funeral if they desire.  “Mommy?  Did you have a funeral for the babies who died in your tummy?” he asked.  I told him how we did special prayers at church for the littles ones that we lost to miscarriage.
As a family, we have only been to one funeral, and
I, then, realized that none of us has been to an Orthodox funeral.

When My Baba Died

Recently, I had the pleasure of previewing Pascha Press‘s first book: When My Baba Died by Marjorie Kunch.  When My Baba Died is a lovely guide for children through the loss of a loved one.

The description from the website:

This warm, accessible, faith-based book ministers to a child’s specific needs when faced with their first experience of an Orthodox funeral.  It will help parents guide their children during this difficult time and illustrate the progression from the funeral home visitation, to the funeral ceremony in church, to the cemetery graveside service. I also answer the most common questions children asked of me during my twelve years serving as a funeral director, define newly encountered words,  and address the emotions they may be feeling as they begin their journey of grief. This is accomplished with the use of simple text, accurate terminology, and beautiful photography digitally edited to create tasteful illustrations of all phases of the ceremony. It is my humble prayer this book brings you closer to our Risen God and the comfort of the Orthodox Faith.When My Baba Died

I think When My Baba Died would be the perfect addition to the library of any Orthodox family.  It helps prepare a child for what they will encounter at a funeral by going through what will happen, step by step with photos, from the visitation to the burial.  This book lets children know that it is normal to cry and feel sad, but also gives them hope that their loved one is with the Lord. The author, Marjorie Kunch, is a mortician and an Orthodox Christian, and she does an excellent job making this difficult subject accessible to young children.

When My Baba Died

 

When My Baba Died will available June 21st from Pascha Press!

Follow Pascha Press on Facebook for updates.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

How to Support Someone After A Miscarriage or Stillbirth

I arrived home after running an errand
and opened the back door of the minivan to find my baby boy fast sleep.
I looked his face and suddenly a feeling of melancholy came over me
as I wondered what our little Julian would have looked like.

In the summer of 2010, we lost a baby in the very early stages of pregnancy.
I wanted that baby to make it so badly.
I rested my hand on my slightly enlarged belly
and prayed that God would protect his little life.
Sadly, he was gone just a few days later.

How to SupportA child who has died during pregnancy will always be part of the family
and will forever be loved.
Unfortunately, many people do know what to say
or how to act after a baby has died.

I’ve compiled a list of ways you can support someone after a miscarriage or stillbirth:

  • First and foremost remember that it is better to say less than say a lot.  Say, “I am sorry for your loss,” “I am here for you,” or “I am praying for you.”
  • Listen.  Do not offer advice, insights or your own stories right away.  I will say it again: listen.
  • Give a hug.  Sometimes people just want to cry and be held.  This is incredibly meaningful to someone who is grieving.
  • Offer help and follow through with it.  If you say, “please let me know if you need anything,” the person is not going to ask for it.  You must say, “I am going to do ______. When would be best for you?”
  • Ways to help: make a meal, cut the grass, run errands, watch their children, bring over flowers or a food basket, ask him/her to go out to coffee or a movie and pay for him/her, offer to clean the house or do laundry.
  • Give a special memento: a tiny blanket, a little hat, a shadow box that the parents can fill, a special bracelet or necklace, a plant, a memory book or journal, a picture frame, a candle, a prayer book or card
  • Remember or write down the date that the baby died and call or email the parent on anniversaries: one month, two months, six months, and every year.  Some people use the due date as well, so ask for that, too.
  • If the parents named the child, call the child by his or her name.  Every parent loves to hear the name of their child said aloud.
  • Randomly ask how he/she is doing.  Grief is not reserved for anniversaries; it can come at any time.
  • If you are pregnant or have living children and your friend does not, refrain from talking about your children or your pregnancy.  Give your friend time and space.
  • Help him/her find a local support group, like Share.

It is very important to remember that everyone grieves differently.
There is not correct way to grieve.
Do not judge.
Grief may come in waves, so be ready for that.

We can’t know why the lily has so brief a time to bloom
in the warmth of sunlight’s kiss upon its face
before it folds into its fragrance and bids the world
good night to rest its beauty in a gentler place.
But we can know that nothing that is loved is ever lost
and no one who has touched a heart can really pass away
because some beauty lingers on
in each memory of which they’ve been a part.

– Ellen Brenneman

Prayer for Unborn Children at Risk of Abortion

18 Week- Twins_Feet

the perfect feet of 18 week twins – click read their story

This morning I read an article about a couple who aborted their twin boys because they wanted a baby girl.  One of the very sad things about this article is that, prior to these abortions, the family lost a baby girl.  Now the mother is going to great lengths to add another daughter to their family, which already has three boys.  This mother needs support and help for her grief.  The decision to abort her boys is going to be with her for the rest of her life.  I do not believe that she will heal from this pain even if she is able to conceive a girl.

One of the greatest things we can do is to pray, especially to pray for the lives of these unborn children:

We pray for the children of God condemned to death by the unjust judgement of men: that the Lord our God would soften the hearts of those who seek their violent destruction, and rescue those who are being led forth to the slaughter, we diligently pray Thee, O Lord, hearken and have mercy!