Let’s Make Lemonade

I’ll admit, I hardly watch TV and stopped watching the news and reading newspapers a long time ago.  A bereaved mom shared a TV clip on social media recently and I thought it was worth sharing here.

I warn that it is apparently a “spoiler” if you happen to watch the show “This is Us”.  Even if you don’t watch TV, forget that this is part of a show.  This short clip stands alone  and speaks volumes.  Note that I in no way endorse this TV show or know anything about it so I cannot comment beyond what is in this actual 4 1/2 minute snippet:  This is Us - The Art of Making Lemonade

This clip captured some of the feelings we had when we were told that our baby had died.  We were in shock.  It was difficult to process information and I remember having to ask the same questions more than once before I was able to begin to understand what was happening.

I think about the importance of health care professionals and how sharing personal experiences with patients can help them connect with patients.  After I gave birth to our stillborn son, I was frustrated with all the people that were constantly in and out of our hospital room; upset with all the blood tests, blood pressure taking, questions and decision-making that I was asked to do.  When the shift changed, I held my breath knowing I would have to do it all again with different medical staff and practitioners.

My anxiety eased a bit when I was assigned a nurse who shared that she had also suffered the death of her stillborn baby a number of years ago.  After hours of frustration, I felt safe in telling her that we just wanted to be left alone and only wanted people in the room if it was absolutely necessary.  I felt I could trust her when she explained what medical procedures and paperwork needed to be done and why.

Before her shift ended, she made a point to let me know that even though her first child was gone, she now had a family and that there was hope.  This nurse also seemed to choke back tears when she told me that she was asked specifically to look after me knowing that she had a similar experience.  As well, it turns out my mom who is a retired maternity nurse, trained her a number of years ago and indicated that mom was a great mentor.  When she heard who I was, she wanted to be assigned to me.

I’m grateful for the care we received at the hospital and I applaud the doctors, nurses, social workers and other support staff who go that extra mile  to  relate to their patients on a deeper level.

These brief, yet meaningful interactions where we share our stories of love and loss offering comfort to one another is the reason I’m involved with Elizabeth Ministry.  From one bereaved mom to another, thank you…it is time for me to share this kindness and continue to make lemonade.

Do you want to join me?  Feel free to contact me if you want to start up an Elizabeth Ministry chapter at your parish.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

Nov. 5, 2016 Infant & Child Remembrance Service

St. Nicholas R.C. Church - 20675 87th Ave., Langley, BC

Remembrance Mass Service: 9:00 am

“Teddy Bear” Tea Reception: 10:00 am hosted by St. Nicholas Parish/Elizabeth Ministry

*RSVP: A response is kindly requested, but not necessary:  info(at)littlelightofheaven.com

Families are welcome to bring a photo and/or mementos of their infants or children to share.

Prayers will be included for parents and family members who wish to honour the lives of all children gone-too-soon, including;

- Children of any age

- Infants & Toddlers

- Babies lost shortly after birth and through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

- Pre-born babies and those who have died during pregnancy for any reason (e.g. ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, complications and stillbirth)

Couples who are trying to conceive and those struggling with infertility; parents who are expecting and those on a waiting list to adopt; as well as parents who lovingly chose to give up and/or welcome children through adoption will also be remembered on this day.  We will also pray for families touched by abortion.

TEDDY BEAR TEA

Everyone is welcome to attend the reception immediately after the service.  Families will be offered a teddy bear in honour of their child/ren through Elizabeth Ministry.

Families can enter the name of their child in the “Little Book of Life” and light a candle for their little one.

This event is open to everyone from all faiths and backgrounds, especially bereaved parents and other family members including children, as well as those who support grieving families.

We will be collecting donated wedding/bridesmaid dresses and grad gowns (any colour) for BC Angel Dresses.  Please bring your dresses to the social and they will be lovingly sewn into burial garments for babies.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

*Elizabeth Ministry is a faith-based, peer mentorship volunteer organization that celebrates the sanctity of life and honours the lives of all children.

We’re looking for volunteers to assist!  Please contact:

info (at) littlelightofheaven.com

Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day weekend.  Woman can be great at being able to openly talk, cry, share and be supportive of one another after a loss.  Sometimes, it can be much more difficult for father’s.  There is a lot of pressure.

Fathers are expected to be the strong ones, the ones who are supposed to keep it all together.  They are there to make sure that their wives have a shoulder to cry on, to pick up the pieces and keep the family afloat, are they not?  ”How is your wife doing?” people may ask.  Expectations put on dads can be high.

The loss of a child can also greatly impact a marriage and has the potential to tear couples apart.  I’ve heard from others and have experienced myself how grief can be expressed differently between moms and dads causing anger, misunderstanding and resentment.  Hurting marriages can be restored through open communication, couples counselling and hard work.  Weekend programs such as Retrouvaille can be a turning point if it has gotten to the point of wanting to separate.

Grief however, can also bring couples closer together.  Take time to understand your partner’s point of view.  Have honest discussions about how you might express your grief and how it may differ from your spouses way of coping.

How can we as moms support our partners?  I’d like to share resources that are collected here on the Mothering Your Heart website.

Wishing you all a gentle Father’s Day weekend…

Meeting Murilo

Yes, this is an ad, a Huggies ad to be exact.  It touched me deeply.  I cried as it brought me back to when I had various scans to take a sneak peek at how Keaton was doing.  During those ultrasounds, my son was still very much alive.  What I would give to be able to be magically “transported” back in time, to appreciate all the kicks, flutters, and pokes from my growing belly.  To try making out his smile on the screen and watch him discover his fingers and his feet.

Hopefully this video makes people think about life in the womb, how precious it really is and the importance of celebrating this life, before it is too late.

Blessings,

Keaton’s Mama

Struggling with Faith & Infertility

This story named “Chloe” is too beautiful not to share and when I listened to this couple speak, it reminded me of when my husband and I struggled with fertility issues ourselves.  It is a moving account of how God can work in mysterious ways.  In retrospect, He may give us strong signs to lead us.  I know for myself, I didn’t recognize that all the while, He was pointing us in a certain direction and all I needed to do was trust and follow.

Trust and follow.  Hard to do when you are angry and hurting, I know…

There may be times when we feel God has completely abandoned us, yet these may be the exact moments when He is fully there to cradle us in His loving arms of mercy.  We were once in this place of wanting a child and having to wait, and wait and wait. Our faith was shaken. It was when I finally said, “Your will be done, if we weren’t meant to be biological parents, even though it has been my childhood dream, then so be it”…

Shortly after, we became pregnant with Keaton.  Our beloved son’s life here on earth was all too brief and my faith was shattered. We waited again and prayed for our second son, holding our breath and wondering at times.  Our precious little one did arrive and is here in our arms and he is such a joy.

We are now pregnant with our third blessing, a little girl whose name we chose 25 years ago. We are so grateful for all our children. I’m thinking of those who are struggling with infertility, you are in my prayers.

International Bereaved Mother’s Day May 3rd, 2015

Mother’s Day is coming up, but did you know that this Sunday, May 3rd is International Bereaved Mother’s Day?  World-wide, mother’s who are missing their children have this one special day, to grieve together, their children gone-too-soon.  May this weekend be filled with peace as you remember your beloved child/ren….

international bereaved mothers day flower blue

Wishing all of you a gentle Mother’s Day…