Holiday Giving: Remembrances for Bereaved Parents Coping With Baby Loss

For women and men who have experienced baby loss (miscarriage, neonatal death), the holidays may be an intensely melancholy experience. Many friends wonder, should I reach out? The answer is yes – gently. The kindness and courage implicit in this act is deeply healing. And powerful. Here are some things you can do to help. 

What To Express When Giving This Gift:

I understand that your loss impacted you deeply. In deciding what to offer you, I confess that I was not totally sure where to start. There is a part of me that worries that in remembering your baby, I am causing you pain. But much of what I have read suggests that this is unlikely – you have not forgotten. I know. I guess I just want to let you know that I have not either. I may not always say or do exactly the right thing – but I am trying. I mourn with you the life you wanted. And I just want to let you know I think you are just great. I am here if I can help, or if you want to talk. Sending lots of love. 

Vessels: A Love Story

In reading this memoir those who love a man coping with pregnancy loss and infant death will come to better understand the male experience with this kind of grief.

When Dan, a writer with a passion for underground comics, and his wife Bekah, a potter dedicated to traditional Japanese ceramics, met through a mutual friend, they swiftly fell in love. “Of all the women I’ve ever met,” Dan told a friend, “she’s the first one who felt like family.” But at Christmas, as they prepared for the birth of their first child, tragedy struck.

Based on Daniel Raeburn’s acclaimed New Yorker essay, Vessels: A Love Story is the story of how he and Bekah clashed and clung to each other through a series of unsuccessful pregnancies before finally, joyfully, becoming parents. In prose as handsomely unadorned as his wife’s pottery, Raeburn recounts a marriage cemented by the same events that nearly broke it.

Vessels is an unflinching, enormously moving account of intimacy, endurance, and love. These qualities make it a top pick of the editorial staff at Give InKind.

Why We Love This Gift: We love this gift because it perfectly describes the experience of grief men feel after baby loss. When people better understand the experience of fathers in loss, they will be better able to provide support. This is good for men. It is good for women. It is good for families.

What To Express in Your Card: I read that this book is a work of art. It may or may not resonate with you. I don’t know how you feel, but the point is I’d like to hear from you about just that. I am thinking of you. Maybe we can meet for coffee? I’ll text you later to see what your schedule looks like.

Possible Triggers: This book touches on a theme of loss, but also a baby born healthy after loss. For the parent who may not yet be ready to go there, or who is unable to attempt pregnancy again, consideration may be key.

Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.

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