After losing a child, few things can be done to ease the hurt.
Quite frankly, most days all you long to do is pull the covers over your head and waste away another day. For a while, this sufficed after the death of my son. If he couldn’t see the day, I didn’t want to either.
It took time to discover what brought my heart comfort. One of the most unsuspecting was a donation. The following Spring after losing Weston, my husband and I decided to participate in the annual Anna’s Grace Marathon in our community. This particular organization was dear to our hearts. I can still feel the tightness in my throat after hearing this organization wanted to show their support to my family by paying for the burial expenses for our baby boy. This organization not only offers financial support, but also emotional support to those facing miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss in our community.
When my husband and I first began trying for a little one, we began preparing in a number of ways. Though I will admit, saving money for funeral expenses was not one of them. The kind gesture offered by Anna’s Grace completely spoke to our broken spirits during such a trying time.
Participating in the organization’s annual events brings a closeness to our little one we never envisioned. Seeing our friends and family gather to participate is truly heart warming. We are so grateful to have been touched by Anna’s Grace and her beloved legacy. Simply having the opportunity to attend fundraising events to honor our son’s memory is truly a gift. Since Weston’s passing, we have been able to raise thousands of dollars in donations for the cause. Nothing has brought more healing to our hearts than giving in his name.
Another organization that we cherish is Angels Among Us. Angels Among Us also provides encouragement and hope to families facing stillbirth, miscarriage, or infant loss. This organization is known for its precious teddy bears. A hurting family is provided with a sweet teddy bear to hold. This teddy bear has a tag displaying another child’s name that has also passed away, along with a heartfelt message. That message explains the organization’s mission of “bearing one another’s burdens.” Holding that sweet teddy bear while leaving the hospital without my baby is something I will never forget. Even after returning home, I can recall staring at the child’s name on my bear’s tag, wondering if she was with my Weston, playing somewhere beautiful.
Sometime later we made a donation to Angels Among Us in Weston’s name in appreciation for the support their gesture provided. One day an old friend sent me the above photo. A John Weston bear had reached someone in her life that was facing loss. I cannot describe the feeling, but knowing another mother had just lost her child and was clinging to a teddy bear with my baby boy’s name on it, it was indescribable.
Our local chapter of the Threads of Love Foundation provides hand-made clothing items to support families with sick babies, and families facing loss. In my situation, I was gifted with a package containing a bonnet, dress, blanket, and a prayer for healing from heartbreak. At the time, the beautiful gown took my breath away. The nursing staff explained that many mothers wish to keep the clothing they hold their babies in for the last time as a cherished memento. In this case, the beautiful gown provided can be used for burial services. I chose to do the same. Having something made with such love and compassion to place my baby to rest in meant everything to me.
Had tragedy not struck my own life, I cannot say I would even know such organizations existed. Through the years, I have truly found myself in awe by the kindness those in the loss community show to one another. I hope that this post reaches a mother in need of love and support. With open arms, know these organizations will carry you, just as they carried me.
Have you or someone close to you experienced the loss of a child? What organizations in our community have touched your life?