Communal Memorial Hat

Dublin Core


Communal Memorial Hat


Autobiographical memory
LGBTQ people
Parental Grief


Photos of both sides of a partially finished green knit hat with multicolored string and remembrances attached, created by an interfaith minister and the couple's close friends and family.

“[After her birthmother reclaimed her,] we asked our friend, who is also an interfaith minister, if she would help us do a ritual to say goodbye to her. So, we invited the people who had met her to the house. We did it in here ((gesturing around the room)) …. I had looked all over the place for things like-, what do you do when you’ve lost [a child you planned to adopt]? There are no ceremonies, there was nothing out there that I could find to figure out how to mark this. And we felt like we needed to do something but didn’t want it to be huge because our pain was so intense. But we felt like we needed to do something to send her on her way, not only to say goodbye to her for us but also to kind of keep her getting the energy she got when she was here, to handle [the situation] she was going to be in. And we couldn’t find anything. So I [asked our friend to] create something for us. We did it when [our older son] was in school. He was in preschool, it was a Friday morning like this. We invited everyone over, we had two hours because then we had to pick him up from preschool. We did this amazing ceremony. I think I have a copy of it because I don’t remember it all. What I remember was she had us take thread and weave it…. She had started to knit this ((holding out the hat)). This was gonna be a hat for [our daughter that our friend] had started to make. She brought this and she had us each take a string and put it in and say what we wanted to say. [Initially, our friend offered to finish the hat] for the next baby that we got. But we didn’t want to do that. We just wanted it to be for her. So, each person went around and talked about her and what she had meant to them. And you know, it was really amazing and moving that she had touched so many people’s lives already. That ceremony helped me, probably for the first time in my life, fully honor the magnitude of an experience like that. It was the biggest loss I’ve ever had and the hardest experience of my life. And I think it was the one time when we actually did justice to it with people there to witness us and be with us…. I think it was really healing for everybody that was there. We really just wailed mostly. Just wailed. I don’t think I’ve ever wailed before that…. And then we had to go get [our son at preschool] and do life. I still think about her everyday ((crying and holding the hat tenderly)) I wonder what her life is like now, who she is and what she’s like…


Anonymous Interfaith Minister


Personal Collection of LGBTQ Reproductive Losses Study Participant




Circa 2004


Participant in LGBTQ Reproductive Losses Research Project
Craven, Christa
Lane-Davies, Hannah







Still Image


Communal Memorial Hat_01


Anonymous Interfaith Minister, “Communal Memorial Hat,” LGBTQ+ Reproductive Loss, accessed May 28, 2024,

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