Saturday, January 19, 2013

Good Works

On Thursday we finally delivered the shoes we collected at the Awareness Walk in October. One of the mothers in our group had been corresponding with a woman at a local women's and children's shelter and arranged for us to drop off the shoes. When we arrived, the person we were supposed to meet was busy somewhere in the building so another woman met us and listened to our story - what we were delivering and who we were representing. She was very kind and expressed gratitude on behalf of the population they serve. I don't know if she realized that the three of us had had stillborn babies. I couldn't figure out how to work it into the conversation, can you believe that? Then she casually mentioned that her own daughter had died at age 17. Casually but not. We were completely floored. We asked her daughter's name and she talked about how people sometimes found it difficult to talk to her because she is a bereaved mother. This is something I remember first learning about at the MISS Foundation Conference - the common experience of managing how other people treat you because your child died, no matter at what age.

A big thank you to all our supporters who donated shoes in memory of a baby. If you didn't get a chance to see the lovely video put together by baby Scarlett's uncle, check it out here.

As we were leaving the shelter, a message came in from a local hospital. One of our families had put together a memory box to be given to another family experiencing a stillbirth. The beautifully decorated box contained a couple of books on stillbirth, a disposable camera, a candle, a journal, some wildflower seeds, powdered clay for hand and foot molds, and a blanket and hat knitted by bereaved grandmother, as well as some other items. It also contained a personal letter from the bereaved parents. The hospital let us know that the box had been given to another family and that the family very much appreciated it and that it is helping them in their grief. The family in turn wants to put together a memory box for the next family. It's an incredible feeling to be part of a chain of compassion at the first link. It must also have been a powerful gesture for the care providers to experience. I look forward to hearing both sides of those stories one day.

1 comment:

  1. The boxes sound really great and I would love to have that available for a family the next time I'm the nurse at a stillbirth. What a wonderful gesture.