When a baby dies, the few tangible things a mother has to represent that precious life become invaluable. Whether it’s a positive pregnancy test or a first ultrasound photo or the tiny hat from the hospital, these few items become a grieving mother’s most valuable possessions.
It would be months after my son died before I would be able to go back home and sort through his things. A friend came and helped me through that process — I’m not sure if she will ever know how that ministered to my fragile heart. After sorting through his things I needed a special, beautiful place to keep them all. A place that would be sacred, where I could go when my heart was missing him, and a sweet place where my oldest son and my future children would know get to know him. Now many of my son’s things are packed away in an old antique chest that we painted white. It sits in my office full of little things that remind me of him.
If you are embarking on this grief journey, don’t underestimate the value of having these treasured possessions near and accessible, in a place that feels beautiful and peaceful and life-giving to you. Sometimes you just need a simple way to remember and to mourn and having treasured keepsakes near makes that just a little easier.
Below are a few keepsake storage ideas that are both beautiful and practical. (I linked favorites below, not all linked are pictured.) I would love to know how you have stored items that are special to you. Leave a comment and let me know.
For the mother who has miscarried and may only have a few items from her brief pregnancy – use one of the smaller options and pull things that remind you of being pregnant. Your pregnancy test or a dried flower or napkin from a restaurant you went while pregnant. Even the process of gathering these items can be good grief work and healing to your soul. You could write a letter to your baby and put that in the box too. Don’t believe the lie that because your baby’s life was short, it did not matter.
- Handprint / Footprint Framed via Martha Stewart
- Handprint / Footprint Frame (this would be a great gift for a mother who has received a terminal prognosis while pregnant, as it includes all the supplies she would need to capture and preserve her baby’s handprint and footprint after delivery.)
- Shadow Box
- Linen Keepsake Boxes
- Leather Keepsake Boxes
- Storage Boxes
- Wood Keepsake Boxes
- Storage Chests & Trunks