Grief on Christmas Day: 5 Ways to Cope

Grief on Christmas Day: 5 Ways to Cope

First of all: Merry Christmas! However, maybe “Bah, humbug,” may be more appropriate. Grief is hard in the holiday season – and Christmas day may be a nagging reminder of who you have lost. For me, Christmas time is a reminder that my second child, Zachary, was supposed to be a Christmas baby. His original due date was just a few days before Christmas. Around this time, about eight years ago when I was early in my pregnancy with Zach, I remember wondering: Will I be late and deliver a baby on Christmas eve or day? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to avoid or aim for those dates. Will my son one day complain he doesn’t get enough presents because his birthday is so close to Christmas? Will the roads be slippery and I have to deliver in the...

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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is PREGNANCY AND INFANT LOSS AWARENESS MONTH. Please join with me in raising awareness for this life-changing experience. October is a time to… Remember the children that have died. Celebrate their lives and how they live on in our hearts. Break down the taboos around this type of loss. Give needed support to families. Honor bereaved mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, extended family and friends.   At this very special time of year, Wanted Chosen Planned (and my book and film: Expecting Sunshine) will have a butterfly takeover! This takeover is to help remember, celebrate and spark conversation.   If you are to Google “butterfly symbolism” this is what will come up: Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life....

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A Healthy Grief Movement

A Healthy Grief Movement

I want to bring people together to create a “Healthy Grief Movement.” Will you join me? What I see as some of the “manifesto points” of this movement: People are encouraged and feel comfortable talking about their own losses and speaking with others who are grieving. Sharing stories of life and death that help both the storyteller and the listeners. Children are brought up understanding that death is a natural and beautiful part of life. There is a healthy vocabulary to discuss challenging topics. There are cultural rituals to support the bereaved and remember the deceased. These are just some ideas. Do you have others? Though I am not entirely sure what this “Healthy Grief Movement” will look like, I have made some graphics to...

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Innovative course helps bereaved parents through art

Innovative course helps bereaved parents through art

I would love to share with you a ground-breaking community-focused course that is beginning again soon in Edmonton. Here is more info about “Healing Art for Mourning Parents.”  HEALING ART FOR MOURNING PARENTS Losing a child is one of the most unimaginable scenarios for parents who dream of bringing home their baby and starting a life together. When tragedy strikes, which it does for 1/5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage and 1/160 pregnancies ending in stillbirth, the parents often feel the sting of isolation and stigma as they mourn without support.   This is where Healing Art for Mourning Parents comes in. The course takes place at South Pointe Community Centre in south Edmonton as a part of their Wellness Project. The Wellness Project offers education and...

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Practical Thoughts on Remembering Your Baby

Practical Thoughts on Remembering Your Baby

October is Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness month. It is both a special time to celebrate the small lives we hold in our hearts and also a time to let that same heart be sad. We who have lost have lost so very much. It is okay to be a million emotions this month – or anytime. I know I have felt the full spectrum: sorrow, anger, reflection, depression, joy, gratitude, regret, longing…   How does this month make you feel?     ZACHARY’S 6TH BIRTH/DEATH DAY It just so happens that my family celebrates our special little man this month. Zachary was born, lived only a few minutes and then died – on October 14. He would have been six years old this year.   HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS Our family has always celebrated Zach’s...

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Why you need support in your pregnancy after loss

Why you need support in your pregnancy after loss

In my first pregnancy after loss, I was so terrified of losing another child. I couldn’t picture giving birth to a baby that lived. It was a paralysing fear. Despite the fact that I was so eager to have and love that next baby with all my heart, that pregnancy was rough. It was a season full of anxiety. I write about this experience in my forthcoming memoir, Expecting Sunshine, which will be released April 2017 by She Writes Press. In Expecting Sunshine, I share about the conflicting emotions during pregnancy after loss, and all the things I did in the attempt to be calm and find peace. The one resounding message that I can share from that time: Support is crucial in pregnancies after loss. This may seem so obvious, but it’s not. I remember my...

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