Perinatal and Infant Loss Conferences 2016

Perinatal and Infant Loss Conferences 2016

Conferences are a wonderful way to learn about perinatal and infant losses – both for families and those that care for them. Have you ever been to this type of conference? When I went to my first one, I found it unnerving how open everyone was with their losses. It was a safe place to share and the community feeling was uplifting. I came away with so much. There are some amazing conferences coming up for bereaved families, volunteers and professionals. Here are three taking place this summer and fall:   Hope Rises on the Wings of Love The Compassionate Friends 39th National Conference   July 8-10, 2016 Scottsdale, Arizona   Conference registration: Adult Registration (ages 18 +) $90.00 each Child Registration (ages 9-17) $40.00 each Full-Time...

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Heading to TCF Conference

Heading to TCF Conference

This weekend, July 9 to 12, is The Compassionate Friends of America National Conference, held this year in Dallas Texas. I have never been to Dallas before but it will be my second year at the conference. Last time I presented on the use of art and creativity in healing after the death of a child. This year I am leading two workshops on rejuvenating the bereavement leader and volunteer. Knowing what to expect, I will carry my package of tissue to all the sessions. It is an emotion filled conference. The Compassionate Friends do a great job of creating an atmosphere where people can be themselves, grieve, celebrate and find community. If you have never heard of The Compassionate Friends, click here to learn more about them. What makes them unique is that they...

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Finding Inspiration in Baby Loss Nurses and Community

Finding Inspiration in Baby Loss Nurses and Community

Early this November, nurses, chaplains, support workers, bereaved parents and many others gathered to participate in The 19 Biennial International Perinatal Bereavement Conference in San Antonio Texas. It was my first time attending the conference and I was immediately blown away by the compassion AND passion of those that support parents and families before and after their baby dies. I got to know many nurses local to my area that work at the Grey Nuns, Misericordia Hospital, Sturgeon Hospital and The Royal Alex. It was also lovely connecting with nurses and support workers from all over the world; from New York, Seattle, California and as far as New Zealand. I presented Healing through the Written Word and was honoured that additional chairs were needed at the...

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Why I am Passionate about Breaking the Taboo around Loss

Why I am Passionate about Breaking the Taboo around Loss

Right now I am in Amsterdam presenting at The 2014 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Baby Survival. My topic: Healing through the Creative Arts. I feel wildly shy presenting to international medical professionals, but I hope my workshop will be a spark of insight for the professional practice of these individuals that interact with heart wrenching loss of young lives on a daily basis. I will be discussing ways that both visual and literary arts can help a bereaved person heal after tragedy. I was asked the other day if it is challenging to speak at conferences and constantly retell Zachary’s story. Yes and no. Yes, it is wearying some days to always put myself back in a vulnerable place of pain. At the same time, I love talking about my baby that...

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Autumn Baby Loss Memorial Events

Autumn Baby Loss Memorial Events

Why attend a memorial event? You can remember and celebrate your child. You can be vulnerable and open with your emotions in a non-judgemental environment. You can find community in the presence of others who have also lost a child. You can create mementos and keepsakes. You can find support and resources to help you along the journey of grief.   For a list of baby walks and events, please visit the Resources page.     Here are a few updates of memorial events for my home city of Edmonton:   Walk to Remember, Edmonton This event is not happening in 2014. It is unclear from the website if this is a one-year hiatus or if the event has concluded permanently.   Baby Steps Memorial Walk Also, find Baby Steps on Facebook. Date: Saturday,...

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Healing Through Visual Art at The Compassionate Friends Conference

Healing Through Visual Art at The Compassionate Friends Conference

I am passionate about art and I am passionate about my family. It was an honour to bring those two loves together when I presented Healing through Visual Art a month ago at The Compassionate Friends of America National Conference in Chicago, Illinois. I started my workshop by sharing about Zachary’s life, his death, and how I discovered creativity as a way to pull myself out of the pit of grief. The conference saw thousands of bereaved parents, and some siblings too, gather together to remember, learn and share. Standing in front of nearly forty attendees of my workshop, I was honoured to open up about my experience and show my artwork made in the darkest periods of my mourning. I presented many techniques and examples of how to use art for self-expression and...

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