Monday, October 01, 2007

Not Ready for Loss

As you well know (or will quickly find out), I have a passion for reaching out to women whose babies have died. This month, I was supposed to speak to a medium sized group of women about the journey that led to the creation of my book, Stolen Angels. I had a display board made and planned to do a dramatic reading of one of the stories in the book.

I wanted the audience to imagine - just for a moment - the devastation losing one's baby brings to the affected family. Then, I planned to share how they can reach out to the women in their lives who experienced losses. This would have been a wonderful opportunity that would have had great impact and not one lady would have ever viewed miscarriage (regardless of gestation) or a baby's death the same.

I was just asked not to discuss this topic in all but the simplest terms because there would be a lot of pregnant ladies in attendance. I DO understand the logic behind this decision. I am not upset. Not even a little bit. The world isn't ready for loss ... we're okay with sad stories as long as they have happy endings. But when a baby dies, it's final. There is no happy ending. My speech would have pushed these women to deeper levels of compassion and caring for the bereaved.

They would have reflected on the many ways they could make a difference in the lives of those who suffer in silence. They would have thought twice before walking past the lady who was pregnant one month, but came to church without a baby the next. But ... the world isn't ready for loss.

But you're ready. You've stuck with me this long. October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month ... do something different this month, by making a difference in at least one hurting parent's life (even if you are the hurting parent!).

5 things you can do ~ today!

1. Buy a blank card and write a thoughtful message of encouragement inside. Drop it off at the nursing station of a NICU or on the Labor/Delivery Ward with instructions to hand it to a parent whose baby has died. You'll never know the impact this simple act of kindness will have.

2. Purchase a grief book (or several) and donate them to a local hospital. Tip: Send them to the hospital chaplain or the Labor/Delivery ward.

3. Donate grief resources to a local library. These can be new or used, but should be in good shape.

4. Choose to remember the name of a friend/family member's baby who had died. Don't be afraid to ask the baby's name and never forget it.

5. Find 5 blogs written by bereaved parents and post encouraging messages, acknowledging their babies and showing that you are a stranger who cares! Tip: A great place to start is using by clicking here and scrolling through the list of topics/blogs down the left side of the page.

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