(SPRINGDALE, Ark.) — Michelle Duggar, who recently miscarried her 20th pregnancy, spoke with People magazine about how she explained the loss to her 7-year-old son, Jackson.
“I told him there is going to be a day when we are going to be together again,” said Duggar, whose super-sized family stars in a reality TV show on TLC. “As the days go on, I know we will have time to talk through all this. I have been trying to hold my composure and do what I needed to do, and then be able to grieve.”
In the family’s hometown of Springdale, Ark., last Wednesday, hundreds attended a memorial service for the stillborn baby girl, posthumously named Jubilee Shalom Duggar.
At the service, Michelle Duggar told People that even the older children were struggling. She said that Jill, 20, who is studying to be a midwife and had been charting the baby’s growth and heartbeat, “was crying and weeping. I hugged her and said, ‘I am holding on, and I am going to let the tears go. We can pray, cry and grieve together in the weeks and days we walk through this.’”
The mother of 19 has leaned on her children too. “My older girls have been precious to make Momma take care of Momma right now, and Jim Bob has been busy taking care of everything,” she told People.
Despite the loss, the family plans to celebrate its December birthdays: Josie was 2 on Dec. 10, Jordyn turned 3 on Dec. 18, Jinger turns 18 on Dec. 21, and twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah will be 13 on Dec. 30.
“Our calendar is cleared off, and we are going to take time to talk and pray and cry,” Michelle Duggar says. “This is going to be a time for our family to just be together.”
The family stirred controversy when photos of the stillborn baby along with the legend, “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world,” were leaked last week.
The Duggars contacted Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a nonprofit organization that helps families deal with miscarriage and loss of their babies, to take photos the family could keep and use at the memorial service, according to People. A family representative said the photos were intended for private use only and that some were released without the Duggars’ consent.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications