Our mission is to serve those touched by the death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or in the first few months of life. Our purpose is to provide support toward healing at the time of or following the death of a baby. We provide education and resources on the needs and rights of bereaved parents and siblings. We strive to set a standard of perinatal bereavement care through a lifetime of support, hope and healing-one family at a time. For support, please contact us at 801-272-5355.
Sipping coffee and sitting across from a
long time friend, we talked about the
weather, her kids, our jobs, and our
husbands. With each break in the
conversation, I hoped she would ask
about Joseph and Grace. I hoped she'd
ask about how I am navigating the
grieving process, ask how it felt to be
back at work when I was supposed to
be on maternity leave, ask what it feels
like to celebrate Mother's Day with my
children in heaven instead of on earth.
But she didn't. And I lacked the words
to bring it up. I know this friend loved
me, and cared about how I was doing, but she lacked the words, too.
After our twins were stillborn, my
husband and I felt more connected
than ever. In the span of a few short
days, we had fumbled through so
much: hearing the fatal diagnosis, enduring labor and birth;
holding, meeting, and blessing our
beautiful babies; planning a funeral.
We had shared a powerful experience
and our love for each other had
instantly grown deeper and stronger. I
connected to Ryan, but disconnected from everyone else.
As always in life, some people
responded to our loss with beauty and
grace, knowing just what to say.
Others, armed with great intentions,
didn't know what to do. For the first
time in my life I felt like I was on a
different page from those around me.
My close friends, my siblings, my
parents didn't seem to "get it".
Frustration fueled feelings of
loneliness. Dwelling in this place didn't
ease my grief or support my healing,
but made it worse.
After much prayer and reflection, I
realized I needed to focus inwardly.
This was a tough situation, one with no
perfect protocol. It was uncharted
territory for me, my family and friends.
Instead of thinking "what can people
do for me?", I challenged myself to ask
"What can I do to help others support
I wanted people to read my mind and
was angry when they couldn't. I didn't
know what I was feeling, or what I needed but I expected other people to
know. I was desperate for others to talk
about my babies, when people
assumed they shouldn't bring them up.
I felt like I shouldn't have to spell it out
for people, but it was only once I was
honest that I was able to be supported
by others in a helpful way. Clearly
explaining my feelings and offering
specific examples of what would be
helpful was invaluable.
It is always easier to get along with
someone when you remember why you
are grateful for them. One of the beautiful lessons I had learned
from Joseph and Grace was how
precious each life is, including the lives
of my friends and family. I needed to
be grateful for what they had done for
me, not just in this chapter, but
throughout my whole life.
I also needed to be grateful for the
efforts of many. Instead of focusing on
what I didn't have, or wasn't getting
from others, I could be grateful for
what I did have... a loving husband, a
compassionate doctor, an
understanding boss, a thoughtful nurse
who took photos of my children. They
deserved my gratitude.
I began to think about how I had
supported others in the past. A friend's father had died and although I
paid my respects, I had not known
what to say. I didn't follow up with her
in the coming weeks or months. I
didn't mention her father when we
talked. Maybe that is what she needed.
Even with the best intentions, I
realized I had, many times, fallen short
of supporting others- not out of a lack
of compassion, but a lack of awareness.
I needed to have patience with those
around me as we all learn through this
Bring it up
Most people are very
willing to talk and listen when I make
the first move. Try saying something
simple like “I've been thinking a lot about Joseph and Grace lately."
Set the tone
Before getting together with a friend,
send a quick text or email saying either
“I am really looking forward to getting
together. I could really use a fun night
out and a few laughs.” or ” I am really
looking forward to getting together.
After a long week, I could really use a
chance to talk to you about how I’ve
been feeling lately.”
It isn't fair to have expectations of
people without communicating with them. Try saying "Making meals
and helping me with housework would
be so helpful and allow me more time
to rest and relax." or " Getting together
one night a week to talk would be really
helpful", "It is really touching when
you remember birthdays and anniversaries. "
Write a note to all the people who have
supported you, nurses, co-workers,
friends etc. Or try keeping a list of that
you can be grateful for during this
phase of your life.
Take the Lead
Begin some traditions or organize
events to honor your children and
include others. Try have a memorial
service, plan an annual birthday party
where you collect toys to donate, or arrange a service project in your
child's honor. Sometimes in life it becomes necessary
for us to help others help us. By
striving to display honesty, gratitude
and patience towards others, I was able
to manage my ever-changing emotions.
I finally understood that I could better
honor and love Joseph and Grace by