For Words at a Loss

The Church’s Response to Miscarriage & Stillbirth Needs More Work

by Michael Baum, Andrew & Patricia Kishler

The day after Memorial Day 2009, our family attended a very small funeral at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in the hills of northeastern Pennsylvania. The cemetery setting was lovely, the mourners few. The hand-dug grave was small and the coffin smaller still: a wooden box about six inches long, hand-crafted by a grandfather of the deceased.

We were burying our expected child, brother, and grandchild, who had lived only two months in his mother’s womb. Our hearts wept as the officiating priests read the Orthodox funeral service for infants, . . .

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Michael Baum is a management consultant, former English teacher, and writer with degrees in English literature and education from Yale University and an MBA from Northwestern. He and his wife live near Madison, Wisconsin, where they attend St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church. Their three adult children and five grandchildren attend Orthodox churches in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

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