What congregations can do
Families that provided input for this curriculum noted that while other types of losses were shared with the congregation, their loss was not mentioned. This was particularly true for those who experienced miscarriage or stillbirth, but also noted by those who had a baby die after birth. Of course no personal information about a family should be shared without their consent, however, congregants cannot reach out to grieving families if they don’t know about the loss.
What congregations can do:
- Develop a protocol for sharing information about pregnancy and infant loss:
- Who will be contacted by families that want to share their loss
- How will the information be shared (during services, in bulletins, via listserv, through the existing bereavement ministry group, etc.)
- What information will be shared - how to contact the family, do they want to be contacted, where can donations be made, do they need dinners, help with their other children, etc.
- Publicize the congregation’s desire to learn about these losses so they can provide support - this needs to be some sort of ongoing effort, since it is only when a loss occurs that a family may actually tune in to the information.