How to Use the Directory

Welcome to the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Directory. This blog is maintained by volunteers to act like a "telephone book" for blogs dealing with the loss of a baby. It is open to anyone who has ever lost a baby in any way - we do not discriminate by age of your baby or circumstance of your loss. If you think you belong here, then we think you belong here.

When you submit your blog, it is manually added to the list, so it may take some time for it to appear on the list. When you submit your information as requested below, it is easier to spot those emails that have been redirected into the spam mail.

Blogs are listed by category of loss. This is to help you find blogs that deal with circumstances that may be similar to yours. That being said, it can be a moving and healing experience to read the blogs of people who's loss is not similar to yours. You are welcome to read any of the blogs listed here.

Though there could be literally thousands of categories of loss, we have created 4 broad categories: before 20 weeks, after 20 weeks, after birth, and medical termination. Please note that most blogs dealing with extreme prematurity are listed in the "after birth" category even though the gestational age might suggest a different category.

As a warning to those feeling particularly fragile, many of the blogs listed here discuss living children or subsequent pregnancies. In the sidebar links, those blogs are usually marked with an asterisk(*). However, the circumstances of individual bloggers will change, and sometimes the listings do not get updated. It is possible to encounter pictures of living children or pregnant bellies on the blogs listed here.

We also have a list of resources (books), online links, and online publications that you may find useful. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the full listing of links.

We are so sorry the loss of a beloved child has brought you here. We hope that you will find some solace within the community that has gathered.
Please help us set up this resource for grieving families by:

Welcome

A. Submitting your blog information
(Email Subject: Please Add My Blog)
  • The link to your blog
  • The title of your blog
  • The topic of your blog (see sidebar - Personal Blogs)
  • If your blog discusses living children or subsequent pregnancy after loss

B. Submitting links to helpful web resources
(Email Subject: Please Add This Link)

C. Submitting titles of helpful reading materials or videos/films
(Email Subject: Please Add This Resource)

D. Adding a link to this site from your blog

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Stillborn baby given proper funeral service by area pastor

Stillborn baby given proper funeral service by area pastor
By ANNYSA JOHNSON
Posted: Aug. 19, 2008

The Rev. Debra Trakel of St. James Episcopal Church prayed for his eternal life, and a dozen strangers mourned him.

Then Bernie Schroedl, owner of Good Hope Cemetery at S. 46th St. and W. Cold Spring Road, lifted the tiny white box in which Michael’s body lay and placed it in the earth.

Michael Gabriel was born still on July 4 and left unclaimed at a local hospital. As such, he is consigned to a pauper’s grave. But Trakel and the members of two area churches made sure he did not go there alone.

“We come together as a community to claim this child for God,” said Trakel, who has volunteered her prayers at 66 funerals for those abandoned or forgotten in Milwaukee County over the last four years.

Tuesday’s was her first service for a child.

“No one should be buried alone,” she said.

Trakel began her funeral ministry in 2004 after reading a newspaper article about a homeless man who died of exposure in a parked van.

Her own church ministers to the homeless, feeding as many as 300 people a day, she said. But she realized that she’d never pondered the question: What happens to them when they die?
What happens, she said, is that the county arranges for their burial, but no service. In most cases, family or friends come forward to remember their dead. But there are always those who have no one.

It is for them that Trakel gathers, with members of St. James in Milwaukee and Trinity Episcopal Church in Wauwatosa, to pray at the graveside.

They gathered Tuesday around the tiny white box adorned with a single stem of black-eyed Susans. Many of the people wept as Trakel reflected on this life unlived. He had no legal name, but they called him Michael Gabriel, from the Hebrew words for “who is like God” and “man of God.”

“This child, the perfect innocent, is with God,” Trakel said. “Where else could he possibly be?”
Joanne Oliver of Trinity, who buried her own newborn son 27 years ago, struggled through tears to recite the Episcopal Prayer at the burial of a child.

Schroedl lifted the box into the grave and, on his knees, shoveled the dirt inside.

Michael Gabriel’s name will be inscribed in a plaque at St. James Church, 833 W. Wisconsin Ave., along with all the other indigent Milwaukee residents whose funerals Trakel has presided over.
Trakel knows there are people who will judge this child’s mother, but she will not.

“My belief is there is a mother out there who is grieving, who for some reason — whether emotional or financial — couldn’t handle the burial of this child,” Trakel said.

“My hope is that she knows her child was buried well, by people who shed tears for him, people for whom his birth and death mattered.”

18 comments:

sarah said...

What a beautiful act of love this church demonstrated.

To that point, nothing changed me so much as the still born death of our baby, Gabriel Isaac....

Mrs. Mother said...

How wonderful. They're right, no one should die alone or be buried alone. I won't judge that mother either, I was also changed by the stillbirth of my daughter.

Cara said...

The good in the world always outweighs the bad. Thank God for the earthly souls who took responsiblity for this burial.

We buried our baby girl, Emma Grace and knowing her headstone is accessible any time is comforting.

Mommato6 said...

As a grieving mother I cannot imagine why this baby was just left. There are so many programs out there that can help. Cemetaries do offer free plots and funeral homes will work with parents. That poor innocent child. God is holding him now.

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