Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Duggar’s Miscarriage: A Model of Grieving

For those of you who may not know who the Duggars are, they are the family who currently has 19 children, all by natural birth, and have their own reality TV show on TLC, 19 Kids and Counting.

Recently, the mom, Michelle miscarried. The way they handled the miscarriage was considered “controversial” by some reporters.  Not by me. I was impressed having been through the experience myself and also having treated many couples who have experienced this loss.

Michelle and her husband Jim Bob posted photos on-line. One was of  Michelle’s hand hanging on to the tiny hand of her child who died. There was also an audio message stating how much the child was loved. It was tasteful and moving, especially the part where she says she will miss her child’s heart beat, a statement of the reality of pregnancy and loss.


Of course, the criticism rolls in. The main argument is that this private moment should not be made public. I’m sorry, but they are reality TV stars who had to acknowledge the loss in some public way. This was tasteful and a model for other families. The loss of life by miscarriage is often minimized and can result in couples being stuck in grieving.

Because a woman is pregnant, her body has changed to accommodate that pregnancy. When miscarriage occurs, the physical, hormonal, emotional, relationship and spiritual experience is intense. Grieving the loss is a necessary step to move forward. Yet,  I have counseled many couples who do not know how to handle the experience and grieve the loss. This can lead to depression and couple problems. With miscarriage, grieving is necessary. Part of mourning process may include some type of ritual like a ceremony, letter to the child, or photo (like the Duggars did).


Whether you agree with the Duggar’s  Christian faith and decision to have 19 children is not the issue here. This family grieved well. They involved their children in the process and handled their grief in a healthy way. My hope is that this will serve as a model for others. The public nature of this gives permission to other couples to openly grieve and acknowledge the loss of a baby. And that is a good use of reality TV stardom.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sharon M.

    When babies are killed bec. of inconvenience (abortion on demand)of course pics of pre-born showing their humanity is controversial! It puts in the public’s face just what a pre-born human is, a person not a thing, or just a group of cells, but rather a unique human being. If you believe things happen for some reason, I believe this couple was chosen (and they in turn chose to do so) to show others the great love G-d has for all of us, and that ALL children are a gift from Him.

  • Pingback: The Duggar’s Miscarriage: A Model of Grieving | Dr. Linda Mintle

Previous Posts

Fighting? How You are Hurting Your Kids
Jack and Rachel have been in a contentious marriage for quite some time. Their friends would describe them as a high conflict couple. The stress is getting to their two middle school children who beg their parents to stop fighting and try to ...

posted 7:00:50am Oct. 09, 2015 | read full post »

What It Really Takes to Stop School Shootings
When I listen to any political person rail against guns as a fix for school shootings, I get upset. The focus in wrong and yet it persists and dominates headlines. This tells me there is a lack of real concern to address violence in our ...

posted 9:00:08am Oct. 07, 2015 | read full post »

What's At the Root of Your Procrastination?
Most of us know the feeling of procrastination. It often goes like this: I know I have to complete that project by the end of week. Nothing in me wants to do it. I'll go to the gym. Exercise will relax me and help me concentrate better. ...

posted 7:00:59am Oct. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Get Control of that Anger
Are you easily angered? Do you have a low tolerance for frustration. Does any little thing annoy and frustrate you? Are you tired of feeling out of control? If so, consider this. Some children seem to be born more edgy and irritable. They ...

posted 7:00:34am Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Who Made You the Boss?
Have you ever had that moment when you thought or said, "Who made you the boss?" Someone in authority or a leader makes a decision and you think you know better. If we are honest, this happens all the time. Yet, in most cases, we have no ...

posted 7:00:43am Sep. 30, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.