Infant & Child Memorial Service – June 13

Please join us on Sat., June 13, 2015 for the Infant & Child Memorial Service & Teddy Bear Tea at St. Matthew’s Parish – 16079 88 Ave., Surrey, BC (Canada).

TeddyBears

Shutterstock image

The Memorial Mass will start at 5:30 pm and the “Teddy Bear” Tea & Social hosted by St. Matthew’s Parish, Elizabeth Ministry and CWL will follow..  ALL are welcome, including children.

Please. email Ann, Elizabeth Minister at St. Matthew’s R.C. Parish annamsing@yahoo.com for more information.

Light of Life LLoH
“Light of Life” by Libby Dulac

Prayers will be included for parents & family members who wish to celebrate and honour the lives of children gone-too-soon, including toddlers and infants, as well as babies who have died during birth and pre-born babies lost during pregnancy.

*If anyone is interested in bringing snacks to share, that would be much appreciated!

Return to Zero Mar.21/15 Movie Screening

Please consider sharing this with others who may want to see this movie.

Saturday March 21, 2015 @ 7:00PM RETURN TO ZERO Movie Screening

Where: Olivet Baptist Church 613 Queens Ave in New Westminster, BC Canada
Who: Anyone who has experienced the loss of a pregnancy or cares enough about someone who has to support them.
Why: To support Empty Cradle (BC) and to help people heal from the pain of loss.
Cost: FREE Community information and education evening

More information & register online at Empty Cradle
Questions? emptycradle(at)telus.net

RTZPostMar21

My Epiphany

The Christmas season ends with the Epiphany.

Christmas was such a whirlwind again this year, when did it even start?  Over the past years, I have come to the realization that it is ok for my expectations to shift.  For me, there is a different “bigger picture” and I am thankful for what really counts.

Early in the season, I loved seeing the curiosity in the eyes of our 2 yr. old as we traipsed through the mud at the tree farm.  It was his first experience helping to choose a tree for his grandparents’ house.  I wandered up and down the rows of trees, holding our little one’s hand and carefully stepped around the saplings.  At the same time, I wondered which tree Keaton would have wanted to pick?  Our 6 yr. old should be here to experience the joys of Christmas, to help “supervise” and carry the fresh tree back to the truck.

Before I knew it, December 25 had arrived.  Amidst the hustle-bustle of Christmas day, we excused ourselves from the family gathering and took our toddler for a ride in the car so that he could nap.  We pre-planned to visit the cemetery to say “Merry Christmas” to our eldest son Keaton that day.

Each year, a few parents lovingly decorate the area dedicated to infants and children at our cemetery.  Bows on the trees, candy canes on the fence and poinsettias on the markers.  The decorations make the cemetery look more like a Christmas garden and it makes me smile.

After we got there and cleaned Keaton’s plaque, my husband tried to preoccupy our youngest (why refused to nap in the car as we had planned) by pointing out the birds in the pond and the candy cane decorations.  I stood a few feet away shivering at Keaton’s gravesite.  It was a sunny, but chilly Christmas day.  I shoved my hands in my pockets and let my mind wander as I quietly mumbled the words to “The Lord’s Prayer” out loud to myself.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…

All of a sudden, my mouth and my mind came to a full stop.  I got to the word “Heaven” and could not go on with the prayer.  A lump had formed in my throat and I was acutely aware of the words I had just recited.  I knew this prayer well and yet, the words “on earth as it is in Heaven” replayed over and over in my head.  It was like I was jolted into focusing on the present moment and then I felt an incredible wave of sadness.  Why is it that you are not here with us Keaton?  Was it God’s will that was done?  Why were you taken to heaven so soon?  What is Christmas in Heaven like?    

I looked down at Keaton’s marker.  Motherly instinct whispered that it was he who urged for my attention.  My baby boy simply wanted me to be with him undistracted.  For weeks, I kept myself busy with Christmas “stuff”.  Preoccupied with other things.  I didn’t give myself much needed time to miss Keaton during this special season.

Overcome with emotion, I took the this time and allowed myself to really connect with Keaton, “I’m here my Love, mama is here – we miss you so much…”  And in that moment I felt like God gave me one of the greatest gifts I could ever get for Christmas – the opportunity to be with my son in a special way.

The cemetery is one of the places where I get a chance to experience just a little bit of heaven on earth.  To be fully present with our loved ones is a gift in and of itself.  The chance to be reunited with those who have passed because of the birth of baby Jesus is the ultimate gift.  As the Christmas season ends, I pray that this upcoming year I remember to live in present moment more often and be thankful for the precious gifts God has given me.  That includes both of my sons.

Merry Christmas Keaton…

We love you,

Mama

Your Opinion is Valued!

I’m posting this survey request as I feel it is important to be able to change the way stillbirths are perceived and how bereaved families are cared for.  Please consider taking the time to read and forward to others.  Thank you!

The International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) is working on the follow-up to the 2011 Lancet Stillbirth Series.  As part of the follow-up, the ISA would like to hear from care providers, parents, and general community members in high-income countries about what needs to be done to prevent stillbirth and improve care for families who have a stillborn baby. As a member organization of the ISA, Still Life Canada is assisting with the dissemination of the surveys in Canada.  For information about completing an online survey on stillbirth action, please click the link that fits you.

Survey 1: Survey for parents who have had a stillborn baby 
Title:Your experience of stillbirth – an online survey to help improve care for families experiencing the death of a baby
Stillbirth is a devastating event for parents and families with long-­‐lasting impact on health and wellbeing. If you are a parent of a baby who was stillborn, we would like to hear from you in order to better understand the emotional, psychological, and financial cost of stillbirth to families, and identify the most important areas for stillbirth research and care improvement in our health systems. We would also like to know what can be done to improve care for families in the future. If you are willing to complete the survey or would like to read more about the study before you decide, please click here: http://materresearch.checkboxonline.com/canada-stillbirth-survey-parents.survey

Survey 2: Survey for general community members
Title:Stillbirth research and prevention – an online survey on community attitudes and beliefs about care
Stillbirth is a devastating event for parents and families with long-­‐lasting impact on health and wellbeing. The purpose of this survey is to improve care for parents whose baby is stillborn and to develop priorities in stillbirth prevention. We would like to hear from you in order to better understand community attitudes and beliefs about stillbirth and stillbirth care in our health systems. If you are willing to complete the survey or would like to read more about the study before you decide, please click here: http://materresearch.checkboxonline.com/canada-stillbirth-survey-community-members.survey
***Community members include a support person, family member, friend or colleague of a parent who had a baby who was stillborn.

Survey 3: Survey for care providers.
Title:Brief online survey on stillbirth prevention and optimal bereavement care
If you are a doctor, midwife, nurse, psychologist, social worker or other health professional involved in care of women and families following a stillbirth, we would like to hear from you. We are interested in your experiences, views and practice in caring for women and families around the time of stillbirth and in subsequent pregnancies, in order to gain information to inform the development strategies in stillbirth prevention and ensuring optimal bereavement care. If you are willing to complete the survey or would like to read more about the study, please click here: http://materresearch.checkboxonline.com/canada-stillbirth-survey-care-providers.survey

Christmas Flash Mob

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the shopping, the decorating, the baking, the cooking, the overbooking…let’s remember the real reason for Christmas.  

Wishing you peace this Advent season as we prepare for the arrival of our greatest gift, Baby Jesus.

If this season is particularly difficult and you don’t want to do the shopping, decorating, baking etc. know that it is ok. It is part of the grieving process. For many years after we lost our son, I just couldn’t bring myself to put up the tree and do extra joyful “Christmas-y” activities. Other than going to Mass on Christmas Eve, I had to give myself permission to skip some of the traditions even though I felt pressured to “just be happy”.

I was “happy-sad” that my baby boy was going to experience Christmas in heaven and feel the pure joy of meeting baby Jesus himself. Oh how I miss you my beautiful Little Love, kiss Baby Jesus for us and feel our kisses fly up to heaven too.

 

*Note that at the end of this video, there is a young infant that is featured as Baby Jesus.

Infant & Child Loss Service Nov.15, 2014

*Infant & Child Loss Remembrance Service*

& Teddy Bear Tea

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.  These teddy bears have been kindly donated by individuals and organizations such as Signal Hill and Gardens of Gethsemani.

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.

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

Infant & Child Memorial Mass June 1

Please join us on Sun., June 1, 2014 for the Infant & Child Memorial Service & Teddy Bear Tea at St. Matthew’s Parish – 16079 88 Ave., Surrey, BC (Canada).

TeddyBears

Shutterstock image

The Memorial Mass will start at 2:00 pm and the “Teddy Bear” Tea & Social hosted by St. Matthew’s Parish, Elizabeth Ministry and CWL will follow..  ALL are welcome, including children.

Please. email Ann, Elizabeth Minister at St. Matthew’s R.C. Parish annamsing@yahoo.com for more information.

Light of Life LLoH

“Light of Life” by Libby Dulac

Prayers will be included for parents & family members who wish to celebrate and honour the lives of children gone-too-soon, including toddlers and infants, as well as babies who have died during birth and pre-born babies lost during pregnancy.

*If anyone is interested in bringing snacks to share, that would be much appreciated!

Click here for more information about past Infant & Child Remembrance Services.

Retrouvaille Vancouver – A Lifeline for Marriages

Sometimes when couples suffer the loss of an infant or child, their marriage can also suffer.  Retrouvaille is a “lifeline for marriages” that are in trouble.  I have personally met a number of couples who thought their marriages were over until they decided to participate in the Retrouvaille program.

Here is information on upcoming weekends:

With the pressures and demands of modern life and too little time, personal
relationships are often taken for granted. It is easy to forget that strong relationships
take work. Before we realize it, we have drifted apart and the gulf between us seems
insurmountable.
Sometimes married couples even experience what seem like irreparable crises:
indifference, hatred, infidelity, abuse, addiction, separation. They may think that there
is no hope for their marriage, and believe that the only way out of their misery is
DIVORCE.
We are here to tell you that there is hope. 
There is a better, more constructive way out of what seems like a hopeless situation. If
you can find the willingness to try repairing your marriage, Retrouvaille can help you
put the pieces back together and rebuild the loving relationship you once had – even
make it better than ever! The Retrouvaille program consists of one weekend and six
follow-ups. The couples who present the program are all volunteers who have
experienced the recovery of their own marriages through Retrouvaille.
There are Retrouvaille programs commencing 
the weekend of April 25 – 27, 2014 in the Lower Mainland 
and the weekend of May 9 – 11, 2014 on Vancouver Island. 
For more information about this transformational Catholic peer ministry,
visit www.retrouvaille.org or www.retrouvaillevancouver.com,
email Vancouverbc(at)retrouvaille.org, or call 60(four)-530-671(zero)