First and foremost, a big thank you to all who commented on my last post. Your insights and opinions went a long way in the Share Southern Vermont board of directors making a decision regarding contact protocol after a loss.
If you requested a shirt, know that I will send those out tomorrow morning. If you insited on making a donation...thanks. Our smiles get bigger knowing how you support our efforts.
I do plan on replying to each of you, in due time, but time seems to be my enemy lately. The summer rush seems to have begun. You know, the how-much-fun-and-day-camps-can-we-cram-in-before-school-starts rush?
In any case, as you took the time to give your well-earned reccomendations I thought I would do the same to report our verdict.
The board met last Monday night. Our main concern was balancing offers of support without being to pushy or crossing over privacy lines. We also wanted to be consistant with our approach so each new family received the same opportunities to respond as the next.
Here is what we decided. We will contact families:
1. At time of loss. This will be done either at the memorial / funeral or by mail if we aren't aware of the loss until afterwards. The packet will be identical to that we proposed to the hospital so we know the families are receiving our information. (we are still fighting hard to create a working realationship with the hospital...but with very little results)
2. One Month Later: via phone call or email, whichever we have been given permission to use. During this call we will offer whatever support they feel ready for, as well as a memory box if they weren't already given one from the hospital they delivered at. We will also inquire how the family would like us to continue reaching out in the coming months.
3. (If we don't hear back) Six Months Later: via phone call or email. Just checking in to see how they are doing and if we can be of any assistance at the time.
4. One Year Anniversary: Via regular mail. We are currently voting on an appropriate card to send to the family, marking the day and making sure they know someone out there remembers with them.
Obviously, the best case result is that one of our initial outreaches results in the family coming to the monthly support group and working through their grief in the company of others living the same hell.
So -- again, many thanks to each of you for weighing in. We owe you a great deal.
Oh, and if you have a line on compassionate grief cards sold in bulk at a resonable price, feel free to email me with that info!!!
In Grief, Love and Hope
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TO READ MY STORY FROM THE BEGINNING CLICK HERE THEN READ THE 7 COUNTDOWN POSTS TO EMMA'S EIGHTH BIRTHDAY!