Be Ceremonial

Rituals for Pregnancy & Infant Loss

Miscarriage. Pregnancy Loss. Termination. Stillbirth. Infant death. Whatever the clinical term, losing a baby is a difficult experience, often made harder by the lack of ritual and ceremony being offered. 

Eight years ago, our co-founder, Megan Sheldon experienced three recurrent miscarriages. Without knowing how to grieve that type of loss, she sought out rituals and ceremonies to grieve on her own and with her community. After discovering the power of ceremonies and community, Megan curated and donated ceremony boxes to her local hospital to support other families through pregnancy and infant loss and to remind them that they are not alone.

At Be Ceremonial, our mission is to transform the way we address loss. We want to build a culture where we honour loss the way we honour life, and where rituals of loss are celebrated. 

Four Rituals for Pregnancy Loss

In honour of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, we are sharing four rituals we hope will help grieving parents navigate through the devastating, complicated, and traumatic experience of pregnancy and infant loss. 

We currently offer four types of Pregnancy Loss ceremonies. Each ceremony has 30+ rituals to choose from, giving you lots of ideas on how to create a ceremony unique to you. We believe that every ceremony should be a reflection of your values, beliefs, and experiences. A ceremony is a story after all.

1. Loss Box

Create a box that can hold items and notes that connect you to your loss. Use this opportunity to think about the losses — both the visible and invisible — you’ve experienced on this journey. You may be overcome with emotions when creating a loss box, and that’s okay. Remember to be gentle with yourself and take breaks when needed. 

Loss Box Ritual

2. Story Candles

Light as many candles as you need to honour your loss, with each candle representing a story, milestone, or time period. We love the ritual candles by fellow Canadian Tiny Ritual. Also, consider lighting your candle with the International Wave of Light that takes place every year on October 15th. On this day, families across the world light candles at 7pm local time as a sign of support and remembrance. 

Story Candles Ritual

3. Connection Spot

Designate a physical location that will become your space to connect with your grief. Choose a name, an emotion, or a memory that you want this spot to hold. Set your own intention and create your own meaning in this physical location.

Connection Spot Ritual

4. Flower Planting

Choose a seed or flower that connects you to your baby and plant it somewhere special. It can be a plant that blossoms at a particular time of year, or one that attracts specific pollinators, such as butterflies. As you plant it into the soil, take a moment and share any thoughts or wishes you want to send them. Revisit this flower whenever you want to reconnect with your baby.

Flower Planting Ritual

The Healing Power of Ceremony

Creating an intentional space to grieve is an integral part of your healing journey. Ceremonies allow us to process our emotions, honour our baby’s life, and connect with loved ones who are searching for ways to offer their support and grieve with us. Remember, our goal here is not to “get over” these feelings, but rather to create and hold space for them as they arise. That’s ceremony.

Nearly 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage or pregnancy loss in their lifetime, and 1 in 6 Canadians experience infertility. Although we are all on our own journey, grieving as a community is always easier than grieving alone. 

The Butterfly Run Vancouver exists to support those who have experienced infertility, pregnancy loss, and infant loss by organizing a Memorial Run to create community, raise awareness, and fundraise for supporting programs. Join a community of families and advocates from across the province in this year’s 5km & 3km run or walk on Saturday, October 1, 2022. Megan recently shared her story on their blog and will be speaking at the event this weekend. Feel free to stop by her booth with any questions, advice, or stories to share about ritual and ceremony. 

If you’re looking for ongoing support, RTZ HOPE is a non-profit organization that provides holistic support, resources, and community for all people who have experienced loss during the journey to parenthood. Their virtual support groups provide an inclusive and accessible space for bereaved parents to process their grief and build community through the shared experience of loss.

Through grieving with intention and talking openly about our experiences, we can move forward in our individual healing journey and hopefully shift the narrative surrounding this type of loss.

Create Your Own Ceremony

However you choose to acknowledge your loss, our app will guide you through the process of creating a ceremony from scratch. With hundreds of secular and universal rituals to choose from, we offer something for everyone, with the invitation to then make it your own. Simply follow our ritual framework to create a ceremony that’s unique and meaningful to you. Learn more about Be Ceremonial

Samantha Tsui, Content Creator​

Samantha Tsui

Samantha is a communications and marketing professional based out of Vancouver, BC. Sam believes that all milestones in life deserve to be honoured. Passionate about wellness and storytelling, her goal is to empower individuals with the tools to create authentic and meaningful rituals and ceremonies as we navigate this interesting journey called life together.

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