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50 | Men Grieving Miscarriage | Eric Schumacher

Join us for a hope-filled conversation with Eric Schumacher, author of Ours: Biblical Comfort for Men Grieving Miscarriage. After experiencing multiple miscarriages in his marriage, Eric felt called to write a book for fellow dads, encouraging them to grieve alongside their wives. He journeys through the Gospel of Luke to lead dads to Jesus.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • Compounded grief, how it impacts us, and why we need to grieve well

  • Does time heal all wounds?

  • The different components of loss and how we experience them over time

  • Sanctification in the midst of grief

  • Jesus as a friend and how He showed us it's okay to show emotion

  • Why don't we blame Satan for our loss?

  • Nothing is outside God's control

  • God is the only solution to our pain

  • Why we should read the Gospels and run to Jesus

  • Practical ways for fathers to grieve

  • How a husband can support his wife (even when he can't fix it)

  • An explanation of a father's grief timeline after pregnancy loss

  • Sharing grief in marriage, even when spouses grieve differently

Full transcript below.



Eric Schumacher is an author, podcaster, and songwriter. He earned a degree in communications from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.Div. in Biblical and Theological Studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Individual Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Eric and his wife Jenny live in Iowa with their five children. He serves as the Pastoral Ministry Director of the Baptist Convention of Iowa. He is a member of Grand Avenue Baptist Church of Ames.

Connect with Eric:

Instagram: @emschumacher

Facebook: /emschumacher



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Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,400 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 30,000 bereaved families a year.

Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.

Connect with Ashley:

Facebook /ashleyopliger

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Episode 50 | Men Grieving Miscarriage | Eric Schumacher

Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ who founded Bridget’s Cradles, a nonprofit ministry in memory of my daughter, Bridget, who was stillborn at 24 weeks. 

Cradled in Hope is a Gospel-focused podcast for grieving moms to find comfort, hope, and healing after the loss of a baby. We want this to be a safe place for your broken heart to land. 

Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to heal our hearts, restore our joy, and use our grief for good. With faith in Jesus and eyes fixed on Heaven, we do not have to grieve without hope. We believe that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven. 

Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.

Ashley Opliger: [00:00:51] Welcome back to another episode of Cradled in Hope.  I am so excited to introduce you to our next guest, Eric Schumacher. He is an author, podcaster, and songwriter. He wrote a book called Ours: Biblical Comfort for Men Grieving Miscarriage, and we are going to dive into that topic today. But before I do, I want to share a little bit more about Eric. 

He currently interviews guests on the Nothing is Wasted podcast, which is a wonderful podcast if you haven't listened to that one yet. And he also hosted the Worthy podcast with Elyse Fitzpatrick. 

Eric also has a Communications Degree, and he has studied at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. He is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Individual Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Eric and his wife, Jenny, live in Iowa with their five children. He serves as the Pastoral Ministry Director at the Baptist Convention of Iowa. And he is also a member of Grand Avenue Baptist Church of Ames.

I am so excited for you to hear more from Eric. Let's dive in now. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:01:57] Welcome, Eric, to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. We're so glad to have you here today.

Eric Schumacher: [00:02:02] Thanks, Ashley. It's great to be here with you.

Ashley Opliger: [00:02:05] We are so thankful to have a father speaking this month for Father's Day and just really wanting to hold space for all the grieving dads this month who are missing a baby in Heaven.

And so often it's an overlooked part of ministry, and I can say that personally. In our ministry, we focus so much on the moms, but it is important to speak to the dads. And you have written this amazing book called Ours for grieving dads. And I'm so excited for you to share your story with us and lead into more about your book.

Eric Schumacher: [00:02:34] Yeah, well, thanks, Ashley, again, for the opportunity to share our story. Ours is a 31-day devotional for men who are grieving miscarriage. And our story, Jenny and I, includes the loss of four children in the womb through miscarriage. Each of those was very unique and somewhat unexpected. 

I think I'd only heard about miscarriage maybe once growing up, when I was maybe a teenager, and I think a relative had a miscarriage. And then it wasn't until seminary where just in God's providence, I had a theology professor, Russell Moore, who was in the process of adopting his sons at the time. 

And he shared a few times openly in the class about their three miscarriages and the effect that it had on him, and how they grieved, and the questions he asked, those sorts of things. And so I had an early example of men talking about miscarriage. 

And then Jenny and I, when we started having a family, we had three sons born with really no complications. And then we had a miscarriage after our third son was born that was so early in the pregnancy that I think if Jenny hadn't taken a pregnancy test, we would have thought it was just a late period.

And we had a close relative that was going through a crisis pregnancy at the time, almost to the day that we had the miscarriage, and so we hardly knew we were pregnant, Jenny was pregnant before the miscarriage happened. 

And we chose to stay silent about that one. It was our first miscarriage. We felt like we might be stealing attention or something from the grief of our relative who was going through this, which I think was a mistaken thought process, but something that we learned through dealing with miscarriages.

Then we had our daughter. And then we had our second miscarriage, which was further along in the pregnancy, required a D&C to remove the baby and everything that goes with that, which was not wanted, but a new experience for us and an experience of grief, pretty hard. 

And then Jenny was pregnant again, and we ended up having a miscarriage even later into the pregnancy. And that one, in hopes of avoiding a D&C, we went into the hospital, and she was induced so that she could labor and deliver this little baby, which is the only one that we were able to hold in our hands. 

And that was a whole nother experience, especially because the date that we left the hospital was the due date of the previous pregnancy. And so there's all sorts of complicated emotions and things going on there. 

And then in God's providence, that exact same week of that due date and that labor and delivery of that miscarried little one, our fifth child, our son was born almost to the day.

And it was a unique experience to be in the hospital, that that son was joy inserted into the midst of a really dark week in our lives.

And then we had five children, and Jenny's pregnancies had become increasingly more painful and damaging to her body. And we had decided that we were going to be done having children, that we didn't think it was healthy or even safe for her. 

And then we had just moved to a new town, a new pastorate in a new church; this was about nine years ago, I think it was our first month here, Jenny discovered that she was pregnant. 

That brought a whole different set of issues and thinking that we were done. We didn't want to be pregnant, then we found out that we were. And we went through the whole process of accepting the pregnancy and then becoming excited about the pregnancy.

And then she miscarried and very, very early, this is all happening within maybe a week, and then there was this whole complicated issue with grief of how we didn't want to be pregnant, and then we were excited that we were, and now we're not. 

There's a whole mix of emotions of, like, relief because we were kind of dreading being pregnant, but we wanted the child, and then there's guilt over feeling relief. 

And that's one of the things that I've discovered throughout all of these, is it's so complicated. And every miscarriage is very unique. And then that one, we didn't tell anybody about. A few people, I guess, we ended up telling about. But we were in such a new community of friends, and we’d stayed silent and which is another thing I don't think it was the best decision. But that's all part of the journey of learning about this.

I wanted to use this experience like my seminary professor had because in the process of all this, I found no resources that were available for men, and especially Christian resources, focusing on helping men deal with this loss. Most were focused on women, which is great. 

And the church has even come a long way in the last few decades of talking about miscarriage as our culture. And I think it's natural that men would be the next wave of that. But I couldn't find anything. 

And even when you found something for men on miscarriage, it was very much focused on, “Here's how to care for your wife,” and very little on, “Here's how to care for your own heart and soul,” which is really unfortunate because if men aren't grieving well, they're not going to help their wives grieve well.

And every baby has two parents and they've both lost a child. And we focus so much on our culture, I think, in the church on the importance of a father and a mother parenting together. And I think sometimes we can forget the importance of them grieving together, especially in miscarriage. 

And so my friend, Emily Jensen, had asked me if I would write a little article for Risen Motherhood on helping moms understand what the dad is going through in miscarriage. And, long story short, that ended up turning into the opportunity to write this book.

I'm really thankful that The Good Book Company took a risk on publishing a book that hadn't really been written yet to serve men. And moms and dads have both been really grateful for the opportunity to talk about it.

Ashley Opliger: [00:08:25] Yes, it's such a needed resource. And I'm just so sorry for everything that you and your wife have-

Eric Schumacher: [00:08:31] Thank you.

Ashley Opliger: [00:08:31] … walked through and for your losses and just so much grief through the journey of growing your family. And I know so many of our moms and dads listening can relate to that, and many of our listeners have experienced multiple losses. 

And so, would you just talk to that experience of that compounded grief? I know you said that each loss is unique and different and each life is a different life, but there's also an aspect of this compounded grief of experiencing it over and over and over again, that can really make your heart so weary. So, would you speak to what that looked like and how you were able to find hope even through it happening multiple times?

Eric Schumacher: [00:09:09] I think it's a really important observation that our grief does compound and compile. And that's not just true with miscarriage, but that's true with, I think, all of life. 

And we didn't struggle with infertility in our first three pregnancies. When we were ready to start having children, we just started having children. And God was very gracious in that we were at seminary when we were pregnant with our first son, expecting him, and we had a lot of young couples our age that were starting to have families. 

And there were numerous couples that we were just hearing about miscarriage just left and right. It really hadn't been part of my experience. It was kind of eye-opening that, “Wow, this happens,” but the men never really talked about it.

That first one was a surprise, but being so early in the pregnancy and so unexpected, even the pregnancy itself, that maybe this is an isolated thing. Then, when you have the next one, it hit us harder because of where it was at in the pregnancy, and we'd shared it with people. And we thought, “Wow, this, this is happening again.”

And then the third one happens with no live birth in between, and you're going, “Oh. Oh, wow. Is this our future? Is this what's going to happen? And why does this keep happening?” And the grief really does compound. And I think you begin to learn how to talk about it and how to think about it. 

And I think that's where it really becomes important in terms of grieving well and addressing that grief, because it doesn't go away on its own. We weren't created by God to live in a world where there's death, and we're losing children, and there's miscarriages. 

People will tell you it's natural, but it's not because death isn't natural. It's part of the curse. It's not supposed to be part of our created world. 

A while back, beginning of the year on the Nothing is Wasted podcast, Davey Blackburn and Aubrey Sampson and I were discussing grief and pain, and one of them threw out the question, “What do we think about this idea that time heals all wounds?”

And my answer was, “It doesn't. Jesus heals all wounds and apart from Christ, apart from His resurrection, the forgiveness of sins, salvation by trusting in Him, we'll spend eternity unhealed.” 

I think what's so important with a loss like a child loss or pregnancy loss, whether the child's been born and lived a while, whether the child died in the womb, is the loss of a child is what I call a manifold loss, meaning it has lots of different components to it. 

And so we think, “Okay, we had a miscarriage,” or, “We lost a child. Now we have to figure out how to get through this,” as though the loss is this isolated moment in time and we can move through the time, and then the loss is behind us. 

Say with a miscarriage, you have a due date coming up, and you're going to grieve the child then. And then you're going to know when, around the time, the first birthday would have been. And then all your friends who may have been having babies due dates around the same time, they're going to be posting first day of school pictures, and you're not. 

And you're going to remember that child through all the milestones that happen through a child's life, on through high school graduation, 40th birthday.

And so you don't understand the loss of a child fully when you lose the child. You understand the loss of a life as what would have been that life passes by and they're not there with you. And I think that's part of the compounding nature of it. When you add up more and more of those, it builds.

Ashley Opliger: [00:12:45] I actually was just writing about this in my book that we were talking about, just how the loss of a child is not a compartmentalized event and that it's all-encompassing. 

Our grief is all-encompassing. It touches every aspect of our life. It touches our marriage. It touches our family relationships, our friendships, our work. It impacts our day-to-day and our outlook on the future. It affects everything because grief is love. 

Eric Schumacher: [00:13:10] Yeah.

Ashley Opliger: [00:13:10] And we grieve someone so much that it's going to impact us.

But I love that you said that time alone cannot heal because if we don't have Jesus healing us, time can keep going on and nothing's going to happen. You're still going to have all that pain, all that grief.

But something that I want to say, too, when we talk about compounded grief is that as we go through different trials and we walk through, whether it's the loss of a child and then another loss of a child, or if it's some sort of life-changing event or other sort of grief or loss that you walk through, there is a sanctification that happens through each of those trials.

Eric Schumacher: [00:13:46] Yes. Yeah. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:13:46] And there's a spiritual maturity that I believe grows in us. 

And so it doesn't mean that it's not going to keep being hard, as we walk through more difficult things, that it's not going to be hard, and there's not going to be that compounded grief. 

But the idea is that if we are walking through those things with Jesus and He's growing in us and refining us and pruning us, that we're going to be a different person as we encounter those new trials and experiences. And hopefully we have a different outlook.

We're anchored in the hope of Christ, that we know that He's going to walk us through that. 

And so, would you share about your own experience of just being anchored and rooted in Christ with you and your wife, as you walked through all of these trials?

Eric Schumacher: [00:14:29] As we walk through multiple miscarriages, there is that sense that, third one comes along, the ability to say to each other, “Jesus will get us through this. We've seen that before.” And there, I just use the language of getting through it and which I try to avoid, but, “Jesus will help us as we walk this journey.”

And that's really true. And one of the things I’ve found, there's so many different emotions that I faced, from shame, to anger, to doubt, all sorts of things. And what I found in Jesus was really a friend. 

Hebrews says that He had to be made like His brothers and sisters in every respect to become a merciful high priest, to atone for our sins but also so that He can give us help in time of need. He can sympathize with us because He became like us in every way but without sin.

And so as I see Jesus standing outside the tomb of His friend, Lazarus, and He knows He's going to see Lazarus again in 10 minutes, but He's weeping and He's not putting on a show, He is really grieving death. 

He hates death. He hates the fact that it took His friend Lazarus. He hates the fact that Mary and Martha are bereaved of their brother. And this is genuine sorrow and grief. 

And even the words there, the Greek behind that is these are great, intense sobs. So the kind of ugly cry where snot and saliva are running down your face, that's what is being described there.

Even later on, it says when He looked at the tomb that He was greatly moved in spirit. And that's a different word that's used for the snorting of a war horse. It's a word that's for anger. 

And Jesus is righteously and rightly angry at sin and death and the tomb and He's snorting, roaring like an animal that’s about to go on the attack because He is. He's about to assault the grave and bring Lazarus out, which is what He's really about to do when He goes into Jerusalem to die on the cross and be raised from the dead. 

And so all those emotions, those strong emotions of grief, anger, at death, even Jesus in the Garden pleading with His Father, like, “If it's Your will, would You take this cup from Me?” If there's any way You can reverse this and, and make it not happen, please Father.” 

Because He did all that without sinning, all those show us it's okay to experience these emotions and to express them to God. All that was happening in front of the tomb, in front of people, Mary and Martha and all the mourners who are watching Jesus.

And even in the Garden, He's inviting His inner ring of friends, the inner three, that He's like, “Come and watch.” He's putting his grief on display publicly. 

There's no shame in letting other people see where you're at. And if Jesus didn't put on this happy face of, “Oh, well, I know the plans My Father has for me, so everything's okay,” that's not His perspective. That's not His approach, and so it's okay that that's not mine as well. That's something Jesus showed me. I think.

Ashley Opliger: [00:17:42] I love that you talked about just the humanness and how Jesus is our friend and that He didn't want this for us, that He loves us and He hates death just as much as we do.

We talk about this a lot on our podcast is we just have so many errors in our theology and the way that we view God.

When we blame God and assume that He wanted this for us, or that He caused this to happen on purpose, or was punishing us for some reason, when we have those feelings, and we blame God, it's hard for us to feel close to Him, knowing that He is a friend to us, that He wants to be close to us and love on us and be with us, and that He is crying and aching over this.

And one thing I've always posed to the moms that are in our support groups is like, why don't we blame Satan for this? Why do we so quickly run to blaming God when the enemy is the one that has caused sin and death? 

I mean, obviously humans, we made that choice in the Garden, but sin first entered into Heaven with Lucifer leaving and defying God. But something I've thought about is why don't we blame him? Because he is the cause for death, even though that sounds like such a strange thing to say theologically.

It's like when we place that blame on Jesus, who is the One that came to overcome the grave, He gave up His own life to overcome sin and death and to defeat the enemy for us forever. I think that helps us. 

So I know you're into theology. You have your seminary degree, and you've been a pastor. Would you speak to that, making sure that we have the right theology and view of God through our grief?

Eric Schumacher: [00:19:17] Yeah, I think that is a really great question, and it can be a really complicated question.

The devil is a liar who's come to kill and steal and destroy. He hates human life. And we even see that at the beginning of the Bible after the Fall, when God makes the promise, the first promise of a Redeemer, He's actually speaking to Satan when He says, “There's going to be hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. And her offspring, the child of the woman is going to crush your head as you strike his heel,” which is just a beautiful, striking picture of the Gospel, because both those words for strike his head and strike his heel, it's the same word for strike. 

They're both mortal blows because the way a serpent delivers a mortal strike is with his mouth, and he bites you in the heel, and it's a picture of the Son is going to kill the serpent, while suffering a mortal wound in Himself.

But Satan gets this from the beginning, and that's one of the reasons he hates children and why, I think, he hates women is because there was this promise that this Deliverer was going to be a child born from this woman. I think we see the affliction of women and even children all throughout the Old Testament, and especially in Jesus' childhood,

Herod's trying to kill Him. 

And so anyway, I think you're right to say that Satan is very active in this, in bringing death, and we should hate him. He has nothing good for us. And he's going to lie to us in the middle of death, just like he lied to Eve in the Garden. And he's going to ask you whether or not you can trust God and whether or not you can love God.

I also hold to a strong view of God's sovereignty and realize the Bible says that the power of life and death is in God's hand and Satan's powerless to take a life apart from God's permission to do so. 

I think that should give us hope as well, because there's the permissive aspect of God's will, where He's allowing the effects of the curse to be carried out in the world. It's not outside of His control such that we can't plead with Him. 

Jesus, in the Garden, is saying, “If you will take this cup from Me ...” He's an all-powerful and trustworthy Father who is good, even when we don't understand His goodness. 

When we get angry at God, I think apologetically we can ask the question like, “How can there be a good God if this is happening?”

And the question, I don't know if I'd asked this right in the thick of grief or not, but I think the question I ask is, “If there's not a God, then why does any of this loss matter?” If we're just randomly evolved creatures, chemicals, just trying to keep producing life in the world, like it's just a mass of cells, it's nothing. Why does it matter? 

And the fact that we understand that this life has significance and has value and has meaning is it's inherent in us because we're made in God's image. And we know that babies are made in God's image, and it's wrong that they die. 

We shouldn't hate God for that. We should run to Him as the One who has promised the solution and who is the only One who has the power to bring it about, a resurrection from the dead.

Ashley Opliger: [00:22:33] Amen to that. Yes. He is so good. And it is hard when we have those questions, but I think it's important to wrestle and to seek His Truth in His Word and be reminded that there is very much spiritual warfare. 

Eric Schumacher: [00:22:47] Yes.

Ashley Opliger: [00:22:47] Like you said, Satan is going to lie to us and cause us to feel forsaken by the Lord and to question His goodness. And so when we are reminded daily of His Truth from His Word, we can know that we can trust Him, that He is good, that He loves us, and He wants to be near us. 

And He does have, like you said, the ultimate solution, which is reunion with our babies.

He's the only one that can offer what our hearts are longing for is to be-

Eric Schumacher: [00:23:12] Yeah

Ashley Opliger: [00:23:12] … [with our] babies again, and so I love that you shared that. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:23:16] We hope you are enjoying this episode so far. We want to take a quick break to tell you about some resources our ministry provides to grieving moms. 

On our website,, you can find hope-filled resources on grieving and healing including memorial ideas, quotes & Scripture, featured stories, and recommended books and other organizations. We share ideas on how to navigate difficult days such as due dates, Heaven Days, and holidays. 

In addition, every month I lead Christ-centered support groups for bereaved moms called Hope Gatherings, both in-person and online. You can find a list of upcoming dates and sign up for our next support group on our website. 

Lastly, we would love for you to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. You can find us on these three pages: @bridgetscradles, @cradledinhope, and my personal page @ashleyopliger. You can also join our private Cradled in Hope Facebook group for grieving moms to find community. We would be honored to hear your baby’s story and be praying for you by name. Now let’s get back to our episode.

Ashley Opliger: [00:24:25] I really would love to now dive into your book and, specifically some helpful advice and wisdom for the dads listening right now. 

So in your book, you are not only talking about how men can support their wives, but also how men need to be cared for and how you can be working through this in your own heart and your grief journey.

So, would you mind sharing some practical ideas and ways that fathers can grieve so that they can be healthy to support their wives and their family through this time?

Eric Schumacher: [00:24:55] I'd be glad to. 

Just a little word about the book for moms or dads that are listening and wondering about it: It's a 31-day devotional. We took the Gospel of Luke and we divided it up into 31 sections. And so in the process of reading the book, if you read the Scripture passages, you'll read the whole Gospel of Luke. 

And then I polled friends, especially men who had had miscarriages and some women, their wives, about the questions they were facing and the issues they were facing as they grieved and as they processed this.

And so the table of contents is just a list of 31 questions that men might face as they’re grieving a miscarriage, and then I try to answer them from the passage of Luke for that day. 

And so they're short chapters, 800-1,000 words each. In the middle of your grief, you're probably not looking to sit down and read a thick, heavy book, and so it's very devotional. And it goes from the theological, like the question you just asked, to very practical matters. 

And the reason I picked Luke as we walk through this, and this gets to your question of what can men do to grieve well, I know that the primary buyer of Christian books is women. A lot of times, men aren't the readers who are reading these kinds of books. 

And so I thought, “Well, if they're going to read one book, I want them to come face to face with Jesus. I want them to walk through this 30-day period getting to know Jesus.” 

Because again, I can share an experience with men, but I can't solve the problem. Only Jesus has redemptive power. Only He can heal the heart and the mind and the soul as well as the body in the Resurrection. And so I want men to know Jesus. 

And that'd be the first thing that I would say is, whether it's reading Ours or not, “Run to Jesus in this.” And, “Pick up Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, and just look and see who Jesus is in the Gospels. And don't be afraid to cry out to Him and say to Him everything that you're feeling and experiencing.”

Again and again and again in the Gospels, we're seeing Jesus saying, “I came for the sick, not for the healthy. I came for sinners, not for the righteous.” He came for broken people who are sinners and who are sufferers, and you're going to be both in the middle of this process. 

And Jesus doesn't expect you to approach Him in prayer as though you're not suffering and not sinning. He already knows. He knows your heart perfectly. John says that Jesus knows what's in the heart of all people. 

And so you don't have to pretend with Jesus. And not only do you not have to pretend, you don't have to be scared to approach Jesus because He says. “You're the kind of person I came for.” 

And then also in Hebrews, which I just mentioned, He became like us in every respect, so He can understand our experiences of fear, of grief, of shame, of loss. He understands it experientially. 

But then, because He died on the cross for our sins, our sin is removed as far as the East is from the West. He doesn't see it anymore. You don't approach Jesus in prayer with Him going, “Oh, well, you know what? The scorecard right now, you've got a lot of sins on there to work off.” It's clean. It's removed. 

And so the author of Hebrews says we can approach boldly a throne of grace. And so when Jesus isn't asking you to come before Him as the perfect theologian, as this happy, slappy person who has figured out, you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps. He invites you to come when you're tempted not to believe, and you don't think you can carry on, when you don't even know what you're feeling.

All you'll find at that throne is grace. It's a throne of grace, undeserved favor. He loves you, and He's for you. And He's already proven that in His death, that He's for you. And His Resurrection proves that He can address these problems. We can approach Jesus with boldness, knowing that we're the kind of people that He came for.

And so that would be my first piece of advice is just, “Run to Jesus.” Even if you don't know what to pray, just say that.

I love Romans 8, where Paul says we don't know how to pray as we ought. It's the first thing we need to realize when we're learning how to pray, is we don't know how to, but the Spirit groans for us with groanings that are too deep for words, meaning even if you can't put words to what you're feeling in this loss, that's normal. And the Spirit knows how to interpret that and pray for us on our behalf before God.

Ashley Opliger: [00:29:31] That verse also talks about Him interceding for us. And Jesus is our Mediator between us and our Father, and so just to think that He is interceding for us, that He is taking our cause and our suffering and our prayers, like you said, even when we can't even put them into English words because we're in so much pain. 

There are times when you're just in so much grief, you're like, “I don't even have the words to say, I don't know what to say. I don't even know what my heart needs, Lord. I'm hurting so badly, but Lord, I need You to help me.”

Eric Schumacher: [00:30:02] Yeah.

Ashley Opliger: [00:30:02] And He's there in those moments, and He's expressing that through intercessory prayer. So, I love that you brought that up. 

I would also love for you to talk through some specifics. Obviously, going to the Word and knowing Jesus, that's the best thing that a man or a woman in their grief can do. But are there some practical things that men can do?

For me, speaking to other women, I oftentimes will encourage women to journal. Maybe you start a prayer journal and write out their prayers to God or listen to worship music and these kinds of things. 

Are there specific guy things, are they across the board? What other practical ideas can men do to really get in touch with their emotions? At least for me, one thing that I'm always telling women is that we need to give ourselves permission to grieve and to feel our emotions.

And even though women are pegged as the more emotional ones, sometimes it's hard for us because we try to be strong. We push it down. We try to get through our day-to-day, but it's really good to slow down and stop and feel. 

So what encouragement would you have to men to let themselves feel the weight of it, even when it's uncomfortable?

Eric Schumacher: [00:31:07] I love that question, and I love what you just said. 

I think I would say to men is, “There isn't a cookie cutter, manly way to grieve.” Like I said earlier, every miscarriage is unique, and each person is unique. And there might be generalities among men and women that can prove true over a broad population, but in the end, you are you.

I have a book of prayers. It's coming out this summer. And so I write. I write songs, I write prayers, I write books. I deal with ideas, and I do counseling, and I deal with feelings and grief. 

My wife, Jenny, she owns all the power tools in the house, and she's the one that does all the projects. She's handy. I couldn't fix a thing to save my life, though I did fix the furnace last night. I felt very, very manly for that, but it wasn't much.

But I think one of the things that can hinder men is a stereotyped view of men, of what they need to be like. What's hard for us is we rightly feel, and so this is a right inclination, we rightly feel that we want to be the protectors of our wife and children and providers for them.

And that's where miscarriage can be bewildering, because you can feel this sense of, “I should have protected my wife and my child,” and there's nothing you can do to stop this miscarriage. And so it can make you feel this sense of helplessness. Like, “I want to protect her, but there's nothing I can do. This is an internal medical thing.” And so there's that. 

And then there's the: Men don't talk about it. And I think men don't talk about miscarriage because men don't talk about miscarriage. It's sort of a cultural thing. And some of that is, I think, a right inclination to serve our wives. 

And we go, “She was the one who was pregnant, and her body went through all of these changes, becoming pregnant and being pregnant. And now her body is going through or has gone through this process of miscarriage and this process of becoming not pregnant again.” 

And there's hormonal things. And there may have been severe cramping and bleeding, and there may have been medical procedures. And so you're realizing like, “She's experiencing this miscarriage in a way that I'm not. She is physically suffering in a way that I'm not.”

And what that can translate into is, “She has a right to grieve this, but I don't because I wasn't pregnant,” which is a lie because you are the father of that baby and you've lost a baby. And it's a dangerous lie because what men can end up doing is going, “I'm going to stuff down on my feelings. If I share my grief with my wife, then it feels like I'm taking the attention off of her and bringing it on to myself.”

And that's wrong and that's dangerous because you're a couple grieving the loss of a child, and you're an important part of that couple. And if you're not sharing your grief, then your wife may feel like she's grieving alone.

And I hear that, as a pastor, when I go to visit couples a few days after their miscarriage or the day of, and she's going, “I don't know what my husband's feeling. Can you help? He doesn't talk. I asked him what he's feeling, and he says nothing.”

I like to tell men our instinct is, “I'm going to take her to appointments,” which is important–”take her there, be with her during that process. Then she's back home. I'm going to run and get the prescriptions picked up. I need to get the kids picked up,” if there's other children involved, “I need to plan meals. I need to take care of the household chores. Anything she did, I need to be doing now. I'm kind of solo running the house,” instead of a cooperative effort at this. 

And one thing I like to remind men is that from almost all of those things, you probably have a community of people, of friends and church members, who can do almost all of those things. But the one thing that nobody else can do is grieve with your wife as her husband and as the father of that child. Only you can do that. 

And so don't be afraid as a man to ask for help and to call up a friend, maybe it's a friend of your wife who knows your family great, and go, “I need to be with her. Can you run the ship for a little while?”

Often you have that friend in your friend group who's the kind that can take over and make sure everything gets done. Meals can be brought. The kids can be, someone else has a minivan, they can take them to all their stuff. And you want to be with them as Dad too, but be with your wife and grieve with her. And as you're able to, talk to her and share what you're feeling. 

That all said, it's also okay that you're going to grieve at different paces and in different ways. The mother is connected to this child in a different way, in a literal and physical way because she's been carrying the child, and the grief is going to hit her hard.

What I’ve found, it's not going to be true of every couple, but she's going to begin grieving, I think, in a more emotional way upfront, early on in the loss. He's going to go into caregiver mode and do all the tasks and get stuff done. 

And he's really thinking about her, which is right and good. He wants to make sure she's okay. He wants to take care of her. And he's not looking inside. He's not asking what's happening in his heart. 

Then what I find is the mother she's in, I'm not trying to short circuit the grief, but there's an intense period, and then that period begins to resolve, and you're moving into a different type of grief. And she's also physically healing to where she's reengaging with normal life. She's processed these feelings. She's ready to reenter the normal routine. 

And now he doesn't have to be doing all that practical care for her, and all of a sudden, he has open freedom to sit with this loss and think about it. And now he's realizing, “Oh, I won't be playing catch in the front yard with this child,” and those things start to catch up with him. 

And I've seen that almost as she's beginning to do a little bit better, her grief is lessening, and she's reengaging, he can start crashing. And it's like. “Oh, this is all hitting me now.”

And the questions come with, “Is it too late to say anything? Why is it a week later?” And that's where just keeping lines of communication open between the two of you and not forcing each other.

If he's not ready to talk, don't force him to talk, but make sure the door is open. And I think as a wife sharing openly about what you're feeling without a sense of shame with your husband, even if he doesn't know what to say, it's good for you, and it's going to be a real help for him because I think he'll be able to see, “Okay, it's okay to feel these things.”

So that's probably too much, but that's a starting point.

Ashley Opliger: [00:38:05] No, that was so helpful. I love the way that you explain just the progression, because that makes so much sense of how it physically and emotionally goes within a marriage and through that process. 

And I love that you talked about the sharing of grief, because as your book title says, Ours, it's our baby. It's our grief. We're sharing this together. And so oftentimes, I feel like when there is that disconnect between a husband and wife, maybe the wife doesn't feel like the husband cares, or maybe he's not grieving the way that she is. 

I think there's this propensity to feel like you're alone and that your spouse is not for you or not on your team. And I think it's so important to see it as, “We are on the same team. The enemy is against us and would like to use this loss to come between us and our marriage.”

And I think, like you said, having grace, having communication, seeing the best in each other and helping each other through the grief and supporting each other as you're able in your own grief journey. 

Obviously, it's hard to support someone else grieving when you're grieving, but it's the idea of this sharing the grief together, that, “This is our baby, and we're going to walk through this together. It might be differently, but we're going through this together.”

So I love that you painted that picture because I think that's so important to be able to come to the other side and walk through this journey with a stronger marriage is being able to grieve together, even if it's differently. 

Eric Schumacher: [00:39:30] Yeah.

Ashley Opliger: [00:39:31] So thank you for that reminder. And I love everything about your book. I'm so grateful that it exists, and I really want to encourage all of our listeners to go find a copy. 

Eric, would you share where they can find your book and where they can find more of your writing?

Eric Schumacher: [00:39:44] Yeah. So again, the book's name is Ours: Biblical Comfort for Men Grieving Miscarriage, and you can find it basically anywhere that books are sold.

You can find me, my last name is pronounced shoemaker, but it's spelled Schumacher, the German way. And so my handle on all the social media is E-M Schumacher, S-C-H-U-M-A-C-H-E-R. 

And then is where my website is. And my website isn't much, but you'll find links to all my books there, and I love to connect with people on social media.

And yeah, thanks again for having me on, and I hope the book can be a resource to men and a conversation starter for couples.

Ashley Opliger: [00:40:23] Well, we love it, and you are so generous to give a free copy of your book, Ours, away to one of our listeners. 

And so if you're listening to this, please go onto our social media channels, which would be Bridget’s Cradles and Cradled in Hope to find all of the details on how you can enter that giveaway. We'll also send an e-blast to everybody on our email list. If you're not on our email list, make sure you sign up on our podcast website. 

But Eric, we're excited to have you back again with your co-author. Jessika, to talk about your other book In His Hands, which we'll share more about that later. 

We're just so glad for all the ministry and the ways that you're pouring into the body of Christ and using your story to help other people, so thank you for being here. Would you close us in prayer?

Eric Schumacher: [00:41:04] I'd be happy to. And thanks again, Ashley, for having me on and thanks for the important work that Bridget’s Cradles does, entering into people's grief, coming alongside them. Yeah. Let's go to the Lord. 

Father, we love You, and we thank You that You are a God who condescends, You are a God who is high and lofty and exalted, and You bring Yourself low to dwell among Your people. 

When Israel was suffering in the wilderness, You heard, and You drew near, and You not only delivered them, but You lived in a tent with them in the wilderness and then in a temple in the Promised Land.

And ultimately, You drew near by living in Your Son, Jesus, taking on human nature in the flesh because You love Your people and You're with them when they suffer.

And You not only enter into that suffering with them, but You've promised to bring us out of it, out of our sin through forgiveness of sins and out of death through a resurrection from the dead and New Heavens and a New Earth.

And Lord, we pray for all the couples who are listening, who have lost a child, Lord, that they would know the love and the grace and the compassion of a Father who saw His Son die on the cross and knows what it is to see and grieve that death, and knows how to heal that wound.

So Father, we pray that You would minister to these couples, that the power of the Gospel would be real in them, and that Jesus would be exalted as the Great Comforter in their lives.

We pray it in His Name. Amen.

Ashley Opliger: [00:42:32] Amen. Thank you so much, Eric. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:42:37] Thank you for listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. We pray that you found hope & healing in today’s episode. 

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes when they release on the 1st of every month. You can also find this episode’s show notes and a full transcript on our website at

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If you’re interested in volunteering or donating to Bridget’s Cradles in memory of a baby in Heaven, you can find information on our website on how you can get involved and spread hope to other grieving families.

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Thank you so much for listening and sharing. Until next time, we will be praying for you. And remember, as Jesus cradles our babies in Heaven, He cradles us in hope. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope. 


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