Duggar family is a model for grieving families

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michelle-jim-bob-duggar-getty.jpgOn Dec. 8, the Duggar family of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" were dealt a sad blow - mom Michelle lost what would have been her 20th child to miscarriage. The family held a memorial service for Jubilee Shalom, which featured some controversial pictures that showed Jubilee's little hands and feet next to her mother's hands.

Grief experts tell the Los Angeles Times that this decision to deal openly with their loss could help other families who are struggling with miscarriages or the loss of a child.

"Too often miscarriages are largely ignored or swept aside by family and friends who mean well and are trying to soothe the mother and father. The parents, however, are often rocked by a profound sense of loss that follows months or weeks of anticipation -- thinking up names, preparing a nursery or wondering whose side of the family will their child will take after. Acknowledging the miscarriage, like the Duggars' photograph, can often help the healing and grieving process," the article says.

Counselor Allison Daily says, "There are some people who will say, 'Oh my gosh, why would she do that,'" in reference to the memorial pictures. But she cautions not to judge them, saying a miscarriage is "one of the hardest, most awful things that can happen to a parent. They have to decide what is right for them."

"To me, she is a role model in how we should handle the loss," Daily continues. "In the past, too many people pushed [news of a miscarriage] down and decided to make it go away and it causes depression and you never really finish the process of grieving. But this child was part of her life. I think it's a beautiful thing that she did."

The family also recorded audio and video messages for Jubilee as part of the grief process. Michelle said in her message that she will proudly tell people she has 21 children in all - 19 on Earth and two more in heaven, as this was Michelle's second miscarriage.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images