The Secret of Rebecca

Tara Jernigan on the Blessing of Burying the Stillborn Child

"I think her name was Rebecca.” Though my father’s older sister had never been a secret, I had never heard him speak of his interest in her. She died before he was born, but for some reason, when I took a slight interest in genealogy, he decided that he would like to find some hint of information about his sister, some proof that she ever existed. A birth certificate, death certificate, perhaps a burial site.

But as her birth date and place were unknown to us—we were not even sure of her name—and there was no social security number or other vital . . .

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Tara L. Jernigan is a vocational deacon in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the director of deacon formation for the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. She serves on the task force for Marriage, Family and the Single Life for the ACNA and as an adjunct instructor for Trinity School for Ministry. Tara and her husband have two sons at home and one in college.

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