Supporting the Loss of Someone You Care About
Thank You For Reaching Out To Support Someone Who Has Suffered a Miscarriage, Pregnancy or Infant Loss
We are sorry that someone you care about has experienced this kind of loss. We also commend you as a friend or family member for reaching out to be more supportive, to acknowledge and remember their pain and suffering in a generous and healing way.
As you consider how to support this loss of someone you care about, please realize that this type of loss is often referred to as a “unique loss.” It is unique because Life usually precedes Death. In the case of miscarriage, pregnancy or infant loss there is often no life outside the womb, or a life that is short-lived. This is an unexpected loss, bringing with it shock, disappointment, suffering and deep grief. That fact makes your act of support even more courageous.
Many of you have expressed to me your fear, concern and confusion as to how to be supportive in a pregnancy/infant loss situation. Here are some suggestions that may be useful:
- Supporting the grieving family with physical comforts is very important. Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry — these are physical ways to create a container that can help hold the roller coaster of grief.
- Giving space and quiet time to the process of integration is important, though many may fear the silence. If other children are affected, offer babysitting time when they are ready.
- Listening to their story is imperative on this journey of grieving and healing. Listening does not mean advising or suggesting there are ways beyond the experience they are having. It means being able to hold their story, their suffering, pain, anger and sadness. Allowing them to feel their feelings without intercepting to save them. Listening is an art most of us have not been trained in, so be sure this is your strength.
When we are confronted with a family member or friend who has suffered a loss, one of the most haunting questions is “What can I do?”
We know how haunting this question can be because we suffered the loss of two of our grandchildren in 2008 & 2009 (read more here)
Like you, we wondered “what can we do” to show heartfelt and meaningful support to our family members after they suffered these pregnancy losses. They were devastated; we were devastated. We searched our hearts … and searched the internet … for ways to show our loving support. We sent flowers, but those died after a week. Someone sent them a tree to plant in remembrance, but they never planted it. We considered a website that would allow us to “name a star” for the two baby losses. There were numerous ways to show support, but none of them seemed to be what we were looking for. To address that missing piece, we started My Baby Angel Foundation.
In Our Search, We Discovered that One of the Most Meaningful Ways to Support the Family Members Suffering the Loss was Simply to Create a Remembrance for the Baby who Died
A remembrance is:
a. The act or process of remembering.
b. The state of holding a person or event in memory (“holds in fond remembrance”).
c. Something serving to celebrate or honor the memory of a person or event; a memorial.
d. A greeting or token expression of affection.
A remembrance is powerful because it serves to acknowledge what has happened. Since most people do not feel comfortable with death (and especially a baby’s death), a remembrance for the baby shows that we are willing to hold this tragic event as meaningful, real, and important.
Creating a meaningful remembrance says “I will stand up and be counted” as someone who is not afraid to acknowledge what happened. In creating a remembrance, you show a courage — courage to “continue the bond” with their loss, instead of just “moving on” as if nothing profound has happened.
We (as Grandparents) wanted to create a “never forgotten legacy of love” for our grandchildren. Unable to do anything to save them, we wanted their existence to be acknowledged in a way that would help others. Donations made to My Baby Angel Foundation support individuals and communities suffering pregnancy/infant loss with various programs to aid in the healing/integration process click here programs.
My Baby Angel Foundation was birthed on the premise that profound love can come from loss and part of the healing process is to find a way to reinvest back into Life. As supporters of those who have suffered the trauma of loss, we have an opportunity to shine a light into the darkness. Your donation will be a remembrance, an acknowledgement, a gift that helps make a difference.
Donation levels vary click here. Your donations allow us to provide free support programs and will also help us to send out the beautiful matted art print “Held in the Hands of the Great Mystery” by artist Susan McCallum. This painting has touched many and brought some to tears.
We can send it personalized with the name of the baby and date of the loss (or not). In cases of early pregnancy loss, if you do not want the art print, we can send a personalized email or letter, which will let them know that you have made a donation to our organization.
As our foundation has grown, many people have found creating a “never forgotten legacy of love” as meaningful and appreciated. My Baby Angel Foundation has supported an individual who took multiple personalized art prints to the funeral of a SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) baby … and we have had individuals give it to family members that suffered a baby loss 52 years ago! It is never too late to remember. The stories are many and each of them deeply sad. The gift is in the remembrance and our feedback has only been positive.
If this makes sense to you, and seems to provide a meaningful way to show your care and support, as it has for so many searching for the answer to the haunting question “what can I do?”, then click here to learn more about creating your “ Never Forgotten Legacy of Love” remembrance.