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Surviving Miscarriage as a Family

By Devan McGuinness |

Today’s post is a bit more on the serious side then what I’ve previously written on Kid Scoop, but an important conversation to have. I am not sure if you have been following the recent news about the Duggars and the loss of their child Jubilee Shalom – just before Michelle’s 5th month of pregnancy. This story has hit home really hard for me – and after the news spreading today over photos they shared at the memorial service – it really got me thinking about how uncomfortable we all seem to be over loss and grief – especially when it comes to our children.

Some of the controversy around the photos of Jubilee’s memorial service is due to the fact that they shared professionally-taken photos of Jubilee with those who attended the service. Apparently this hit a nerve with the public – who saw the photos after a large website shared them online (not sure if they were shared with the Duggars permission). Comments started surfacing about the photos saying they were ‘creepy‘, ‘weird‘ and ‘not appropriate‘ for the Duggars to show these photos to their other children.

I have a big problem with that way of thinking.

A big problem with random people judging how they choose to grieve and memorialize their daughter. I have an even bigger problem with the passing judgement for the Duggars allowing their children to be a part of this service. As a mom to three children and survivor of 10 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth I have had many difficult conversations with my children about grief, loss, death and what happened to their siblings.

My children talk about our son Triton all the time – who we lost at 14 weeks gestation. He’s a part of our life and if I had photos of him like the Duggars have of Jubilee,  I would be proud to show them to my children. I imagine for the Duggers it could be quite healing to show their photos to those who attended the memorial because it can enforce that their child was here.

The natural and normal grieving that the Duggars are doing as a family is not what is ‘weird‘, ‘creepy‘ or ‘not appropriate‘. Sheltering our kids from tough subject matter and judging others grieving process is weird and creepy. That way of thinking is what perpetuates the silence of miscarriage and stillbirth – which is not appropriate.

It’s not easy but you know what – kids are capable of understanding a lot more then we give credit for. “Sheltering” them from the hard topics and discussions can sometimes backfire and leave them wanting to talk but feeling like they can’t. That shouldn’t be what we want for our kids.

Read more from Devan on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
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Photo Credit: Phaitoon /

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About Devan McGuinness


Devan McGuinness

Devan McGuinness is the writer of the lifestyle blog Accustomed Chaos. After surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan founded Unspoken Grief, a resource and support site for perinatal and neonatal loss. Read bio and latest posts → Read Devan's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “Surviving Miscarriage as a Family

  1. Ruth says:

    Agree!! It’s totally normal for people to film sex tapes and pose nude, have affairs and kill people; but when it comes to a lost child then it’s inappropriate??? I hardly think so.
    I really believe some people need their mouth taped shut and their hands tied back so they can’t share the hateful things floating around in their empty heads.

  2. Adriana says:

    This really hits home for me. I have had so many miscarriages, but most never went beyond 12 weeks, but 2 of mine did. One I was in my 6 month of pregnancy, the other I was carrying twins and I lost one in my 5th month. I could never dream of hiding this from my kids. They where always so happy to learn when I was pregnant. So when grief hit us we shared and healed together as a family.

  3. Jessica says:

    My heart breaks for those who have lost little ones. My mom and my sister have both suffered miscarrriages. The loss is still felt for my mom, 30 years later.

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