THE MISSION

Welcome Mothers, Fathers, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends and anyone else who needs an ear...Please come with an open heart.

This is a place for anyone who has felt the loss of a child. Treat this as a communication haven regardless of how or when you felt your loss. My definition of loss: miscarriage at any stage, still birth regardless of week gestation, infant death at any month, and loss of a child even if your child was all grown up. For me they all hold the same root of devestation. None are more profound or more "easily" dealt with than another.

Please cry if you need to.
Please connect with others who are in your same space.
Please email me if you feel led to
Please comment so we know what you need
Please tell your story

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Turn To The Back

I've never been much of a newspaper reader. A picture-skimmer perhaps, who occasionally gets drawn in and reads a portion of the article, but not a cover-to-cover reader.

And yet, In the last month I have received two emails that went something like this: "Check yesterday's paper for an obituary we {Share Southern Vermont, Inc.} should acknowledge".

And so, I find myself looking at newspapers, almost daily. I still don't read the majority of the articles. I still surf the pictures. But not until after I have turned directly to the back and skimmed the entire obituary contents, my eyes searching for key words like: infant and baby.

I imagine there are people out there who read obituaries daily.

I never thought I'd become one of them.


I hope and pray that the cards, memory boxes, t shirts, and support group information SSV sends to these families reaches their hearts. I've yet to blog about the funeral three SSV board members attended recently for a stillborn baby boy, 8 months gestation. I will. I have to.

But here is my struggle. After we reach out, after we present them with all the grief support we can think of during their acute shock, how long should we wait before contacting them with an offer of support again? I mean, its not like we are long lost friends who could call weekly in the beginning. We are a group of well meaning, totally comprehending, we-lived-it-too, parents; but strangers none-the-less. It is essential to treat families with respect, but not to leave them hanging when they truly want support!

So, I turn the question to you wise bloggers and iclw-ers. If Share had reached out to you just after your loss and the box of stuff sat on your table, opened but not really attended to for weeks afterwards, when would you want them to call you again?

Leave a comment with your opinion and why you feel that way.


And...for your trouble. If you want a L or XL, Share Southern Vermont - First Annual Walk for Hope and Rememberance T-shirt, email me your address / size choice and it will be on its way.

In Grief, Love, and Hope,

Cara
Mother to Emma Grace, born still 9.8.00 - 40 weeks and 1 day
Founding Director - Share Southern Vermont, Inc.

14 comments:

angie said...

Cara, I read regularly, though don't comment. I just think the work you do is amazing. I would have appreciated a call at a month out, maybe on the anniversary, just to have someone remember. In my real life, the only people that really remember are other people who experienced loss. Those anniversaries--two month, three months were difficult for me, because life was getting back to normal, and I was still just as raw. Hope that helps. With love.

Hope's Mama said...

I'm with Angie. And I read the obits daily, too.

Salma said...

This is all new for me so I am unsure. I needed support after the loss and that's how I ended up finding these blogs.

The 1 month anniversary is sad...this would be a great time to make contact...1 year anniversary would also be a big bonus.

It seems that 'other people' don't want to deal with this stuff so they kind of ignore you. The only people who remember are people who have had a loss and it's obvious why.

It's a really lonely place...

Kristin said...

I would absolutely want you to contact me again if I were in that position. I would say contact along the lines of "we are here if you need us" would be appropriate on a monthly basis.

Barbara said...

I'd like to echo what the others say. Sometimes it's hard to reach out and to have someone call and remember and ask, "what can I do?" would be helpful.

xxx

Martha said...

I agree w/the other commenters, one month, every other month, it depends. I ask the grieving family when can I call back? Thanks, Cara.

Michelle said...

I would say a month later and then maybe extend it by a week each time unless they tell you to stop before hand. I think knowing someone is there and care enough to check on you would be such a great thing!

Anonymous said...

I say the due date. That was a hard time for me. He must have been due around now :)

I also agree that on the month anniversaries 1, 2, 3 at least. I knew every month when it was the 16th for at least 6 months and yet every one else pretended like it was a normal day, even my husband!

Maybe just send a card saying they are in or thoughts?

Shannon

Anonymous said...

That was meant to be a sad face :(

OOPS wrong key!
Shannon

Sara said...

I found around 6-7 weeks to be tough. I had some people acknowledge the 1 month anniversary, but then things completely dropped off and I was a little less numb. I also found 3 months particularly hard, which is something I've seen in others' writing, so maybe contact somewhere in the 1 month to 7 week range and then again at three months (if not more frequently). Also, however you contact people card, phone, email, include multiple ways to get in touch with you. For me, picking up the phone was hard, and I liked being able to email people when I felt up to it.

Once A Mother said...

I think it would have been a beautiful thing to have someone like SHARE reach out to us. Honestly if they had right after Peyton died I wouldn't probably even remember it as everything was such a whirlwind. It has been ten months and I am now searching for a wooden memory box, so that being said, I think it is good to give the parents a little time to process and then reach out again. once things have settled a little, and they start moving out of the sheer agony and hell that immediately follows losing your baby, and into the second part where the reality of the "forever" aspect of this starts to hit home, thats when it would be so helpful to have someone that understands reach out and help you put something like that together.

Amy said...

Cara, the hospital followed up with me one week out, two weeks out and then a month out. I have to say, the anniversary, the date (every month) was hard and for someone to call would have been nice.

I think it's a personal opinion, you have to feel the people out a bit...it never hurts to ask them when would be a good time to check in!

BTW, I would love to BUY one of your shirts from you...save me an XL and I will send you the money! Email me or call me! Thanks! Much love and peace, Amy

CLC said...

Not sure, but maybe around 3 months? I think that is when I started to fall into the dark pit of hell. I think I was in shock and had a lot of support before that. Then people start moving on, and you are left hanging. I think the 3-6 month period was the hardest for me. That was when the reality of it all set in.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I would suggest some time around the one month mark. That's about the time when people in my real life stopped calling or asking... and I felt pretty alone.

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