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As we walk to remember

As we walk to remember

Three years ago, I attended my first Walk to Remember. It had only been two months since I had said goodbye to my infant son, Ethan, and my grief felt so deep, so raw, and so fresh. The previous months leading up to that day had been incredibly painful and isolating in ways I couldn’t quite put into words. When a friend told me about the Walk to Remember, I felt nervous yet excited all at once–I had no idea what to expect, but something inside of me longed to connect with people who understood. I longed to celebrate my little boy and to simply say his name to someone…anyone who would listen. I am so grateful I put my fears aside that day. From the moment I checked in, I felt seen and understood. My walls crumbled down with each person I spoke to. As each baby’s name was spoken and each rose was passed out, I felt less and less alone. While it didn’t take away the grief of losing my son, stepping into this community of like-minded people softened the jagged edges of grief in ways I never expected. I received an indescribable gift on that day—the gift of hearing Ethan’s name, the gift of honoring him, the gift of being surrounded by people who didn’t try to brush him aside or just tell me to “think positive”. I received the gift of meeting other parents and hearing about their babies–the simple gift of “me too”. This event and the community that I’ve found in it have been a comfort to me over the years, as...
5 Ways to Support a Friend Who Lost Their Baby

5 Ways to Support a Friend Who Lost Their Baby

“My friend just lost a baby and I’m at a loss of what to do or say. How can I be a support during this time? I’m often asked this question by caring friends and family members who know someone who has recently lost their precious baby. If you’re asking yourself this same question today I want to start by saying thank you. Just the fact that you’d ask shows that you truly care. The loss of a child is one of the deepest griefs to face and one of the most complicated to respond to. In those first few months after losing my newborn son I could hardly imagine what I needed, let alone articulate it to someone else. I’m so grateful for people like you who met us where we were at when we needed it the most. While there is no “one size fits all” approach, there were several things that my husband and I found especially helpful as we processed the loss of our newborn son. Don’t be afraid to talk about the baby. I love it when people ask me about Ethan, or when they say his name out loud. Simply start by saying, “I’d love to hear more about [baby’s name] sometime” and be prepared to hear as much or as little as they feel comfortable sharing. Your loved one hasn’t forgotten their child, not even for a moment, and hearing or speaking their name is one of the greatest gifts a bereaved parent can receive. Consider remembering their baby’s legacy alongside them by joining them at Forever Footprints’ Walk to Remember or...

Friendships and Loss

I will never forget the first time I felt it. I was sitting in a room full of women, who were all laughing, talking, complaining about their husbands, bragging about their children. It was five months after my son Joseph had died, and I thought I could do it. I thought I could join the world again. I wanted to feel normal. But sitting in that room—with a newly formed women’s group—I never felt so alone in my entire life. The sounds all became one, like a constant buzzing. My hands started to sweat. My heart started to pound. And I ran for the door. I ran from new friendships and I ran from my old friendships. I isolated myself from those who had children and babies. I couldn’t face my pregnant friends, because I was a reminder to them of what could go wrong. My friends’ worlds were moving forward, and my life felt as if it was standing still. I didn’t know how to be anyone’s friend. I was different. I had held my son and watched him take his last breaths. I watched his casket being put in the ground. I had gone home to leaking breasts full of his milk, an empty nursery, and a broken heart. And my friends would never understand that.     As the months after Joseph’s death turned into years, and I sought the help of support groups and private therapy to deal with my grief, I tried to repair old friendships and begin new ones. I started to accept this was the new me. And I began to see,...

Register now for the OC and IE Walks

Registration is open for the 11th annual OC Walk to Remember, a Forever Footprints event, sponsored by ViaSat Inc., on October 10, and the IE Walk to Remember, on October 24. We encourage parents to invite their loved ones and friends to join them as they walk in remembrance of their child or children. The walk is preceded by a Memorial Ceremony, where each baby’s name is read in remembrance and celebration of each life. After the Walk, we have a Celebration of Angels where there is food, vendors, fellowship, and helpful information. OC Walk to Remember Registration: Click Here IE Walk to Remember Registration: Click...

Walking To Remember

  On September 9th, 2013 my husband and I walked into the Hospital Emergency Room in California not really knowing what we were walking in to. All we knew was that I needed to be checked by a doctor. The doctor we initially met gave us two goals: one to make sure I was still pregnant and the second goal was to get to 40 weeks. He held his hopes that night a little bit higher than I did. See for me this was my 5th pregnancy and each night as I tucked my two sweet little girls into bed, I was reminded that only two had made it. So that night as I stood next to my husband in the front of the emergency waiting room I heard the words that changed the course of the 24 hours. I had what they thought was a right ectopic pregnancy. This would have been my second ectopic pregnancy and this one would have ended all natural ways of conceiving. What I didn’t know until after the surgery almost 6 hours later was that our sweet baby was stuck on the cusp of what was left of my left tube. It’s not something that is typically seen in non-IVF conception, but it happened and it changed our next 12 months. See, due to the surgery, I had to wait 1 year to allow physical healing. I expected during the next six weeks to go through the grief cycle and I expected myself to move forward quickly, but it didn’t happen. Somewhere in the midst of hearing about the damage done physically,...