A Milwaukee mother is reeling after discovering the cremation certificate sent home with her stillborn child‘s ashes belonged to a different child. The mistake has dealt another blow to already-grieving parents, and it seems another instance of people failing to take stillbirth seriously.
In October, Chabria Walls gave birth to a stillborn girl, whom she named Ja’Miracle, according to local station WTMJ. This is after she also lost her mother to COVID-19 in April. Still grieving her losses, Walls was thrown into a tailspin when Ja’Miracle’s father, Rickey Woods, opened his daughter’s urn and discovered a certificate of cremation in another child’s name.
“I opened the box, and it wasn’t her. It was kind of devastating,” Woods told WTMJ. The certificate belonged to a child who also died in October.
“Ain’t no coming back from this. It hurts,” Walls explained to reporters from WTMJ. “I took a lot of losses last year. This is a times two.”
The discovery of the certificate has cast doubt for Walls about whether the ashes even belong to Ja’Miracle. “I can’t accept it. I don’t know if that’s my child,” she said.
Walls returned the ashes to Pitts Mortuary, where the cremation took place.
A representative for the funeral home told WTMJ that the remains definitely belonged to Ja’Miracle and that in more than 50 years, a mistake of this caliber has never occurred. They reportedly fired the responsible employee as soon as the error was discovered. While Pitts Mortuary is trying to make amends with the devastated parents, Walls said, “I can forgive, but I will not forget. I won’t forget,” Walls said. “You just don’t do that. You don’t make those types of mistakes.”
We have to wonder if this is another incident that demonstrates that people still don’t recognize pregnancy loss as something worthy of respect and grief. Fortunately, there are resources for parents who are looking for ways to mourn and get help, and awareness of these losses, which are more common than many think, is growing.
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