STP Recovery Plan: The Process Of Loss & Dealing With Recovery
By Tracy Renee Lee - Certified Grief Counselor
January 19, 2023
This morning there was an upheaval in my home. I have two adult daughters home for the holidays and one of them has children. Unfortunately, my daughter miscarried two weeks ago. Our hearts are broken and she is devastated. As I was talking to her this morning about everyone getting along, she teared up and said, “Mom, I’m the one that lost a baby last week and everyone acts as though nothing has happened. No one even talks about it.”
Wow, what a kick in the pants. It is true that everyone has avoided the subject of her losing the baby, partly because it has been a holiday and we all wanted to celebrate without the trauma of loss. Mostly; however, we were wanting to shield our grandchildren from their pain. This is their third lost sibling. My grandson, who is their first surviving child, takes the loss of a sibling very traumatically. He was devastated by the loss and of course, the adults in our family were trying to shield him from further pain. Unfortunately, protecting our grandson increases the pain his mother suffers.
After my daughter said those words to me this morning, I felt terrible. The new baby will be buried here at the funeral home beside his brother or at the cemetery in the same grave as my mother. My daughter and her husband have not made a final decision yet.
Tonight, my family will have a family gathering. We will pray, sing songs, play games, hear a devotional and enjoy dessert together. Our devotion tonight will be centered on our newest loss. My daughter has asked me to say a few words about miscarriage to help her family process their loss and begin their recovery.
I will give them a little plan to help them. I call it my STP oil tip. When I was a young girl, I used to ride motorcycles with my dad. After our rides, my dad would maintenance check his bike. If it needed oil, he would add STP brand oil. I have always remembered this as a special time and memory from my childhood.
I will suggest that my daughter and her family use STP oil as their healing plan.
S: SAY HIS NAME
Saying the name of the decedent helps the family to validate the existence and importance of their loved one. It gives them confidence that their loved one matters and will not be forgotten.
It is important that the family incorporate a tradition that commemorates their loved one. This tradition can be something that was important to the decedent or something that reminds you of the decedent. In the case of a miscarriage, a yearly tradition might be to donate to miscarriage research, revisit the baby’s sonogram images by sending out words of encouragement on special image cards to those who loved the baby or perhaps visit his burial place. There are infinite options for a miscarriage tradition. Another might be to buy a beautiful baby outfit and give it to a newborn within your circle of friends and family.
Prayer is the most effective and rewarding proactive thing you can do for yourself after a loss. Asking the powers of heaven to lift your sadness and replace it with peace is a blessing you can give yourself. Asking and relying on Christ to lift your burdens and help you find your way back to living, trusting, feeling and loving is a glorious gift he offers each of us.
If you have suffered a loss this holiday season, my heart and prayers go out to you. If you would attempt to follow this STP plan for recovery, I would hope that you might find comfort in it. Recovery does not mean that we forget our loved ones. Indeed, recovery means that we reconcile our hearts to a place where we can move our lost loved one from a living participant in life to a loving memory.
Losing another grandchild breaks my heart, but for my daughter, it is devastating. I ask the Lord’s blessing upon her and her sweet family during this tragic time in their lives. If you have suffered a recent loss, I ask the same for you.
God be with you.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor GC-C, Funeral Director FDIC, Published Author, Syndicated Columnist, Podcaster and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.
It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.