Join me in Celebrating Children Gone Too Soon

Join me in Celebrating Children Gone Too Soon

It brings me joy when I have the opportunity to help bereaved parents share their stories. I believe sharing our experiences and the lessons we have learned is a critical part of being human. And being a part of a community. This is why I am honoured to help celebrate babies gone too soon. The commemoration page is called Celebrating Sweeties. This is a place where lives lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, early infant loss – and any kind of loss of children – can be openly shared and remembered. I welcome families to contribute their children that died at any age, for any reason. Every child needs to be celebrated.  Celebrating Sweeties is a safe place where any image of any baby or older child is welcomed. And if you don’t have a picture, a...

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Baby Steps Memorial Walk this Sunday

Baby Steps Memorial Walk this Sunday

This Sunday, October 4, 2015, is the Baby Steps Memorial Walk in Edmonton, Alberta. I am honoured to share my reflections on this life after loss in the keynote speech. I was not able to speak at the Walk in August, as planned, because of a scary finding in my current pregnancy. If you want to read about my experience, you can click here. Feeling much more optimistic, I am looking forward to connecting with the special community of those in and around Edmonton this Sunday. There are so many who have been through the death of a child and yet are so open, welcoming and compassionate. It is an incredible group of individuals. I would encourage you, if you have lost a child, please consider attending the Baby Steps Walk or another event in your area. It truly makes a...

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When a Child Dies Please Remember: Siblings Grieve Too

When a Child Dies Please Remember: Siblings Grieve Too

I recently viewed a documentary out of Toronto presented by researcher Christine Jonas-Simpson called, “Always with Me: Understanding Bereaved Children Whose Baby Sibling Died.” This video, and the presentation given by Simpson, blew me away. I began to think about my children’s response to Zachary’s death in a new way. It may sound silly, but I never really imagined my young kids, five and two-years-old, to have their own grief. I always thought that they were sad because I was sad, or that they talked about Zachary because I did. What I realized while watching the research-based documentary: Kids have their own grief that is separate and unique from their parents. Different children will respond in different ways to the loss. It is good and healthy to talk to...

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Talking to Kids about Death

Talking to Kids about Death

When Zachary died, Hannah was eleven months old. She came to the hospital after her younger brother died in my arms. She was very curious and touched Zachary’s head. She was all smiles despite the sniffles and tears in the room. She didn’t understand what had happened then, but she does now – I think. I have had many discussions with Hannah about where her first little brother went. She calls him Zachy. While I sometimes stretch the truth with Hannah, telling her things like she will go to kid jail if she is mean, I somehow felt compelled to tell her the truth about Zachary. I told her that Zachary died. I told her that Mommy and Daddy were very sad – although she must have sensed this. I tried very hard to be happy for her, but she would rest her hand on my...

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Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day: The Meaning of Motherhood

Today is International Bereaved Mother’s Day: The Meaning of Motherhood

What is a mother? Is she someone who has had a healthy child? Yes, that is one definition. But what about women who have abused or abandoned their children? Should they be considered mothers? What about the woman whose child has died? Is she a mother?  I believe that the defining characteristic of a mother is her love. Just like faith and hope, love is an invisible quality but truly the strongest force in the universe – even stronger than hate. In the presence of so great a love as a mother for her child, a broken heart is understandable in the face of tragedy, but love is also the only true healer. Love cannot be killed, lost or destroyed. Love is eternal. With the death of a mother and father, the world does not assume the child had no parent at all. The...

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