Monday, October 10, 2011

Other's Standing Up, Letting Their Voices Be Heard

I saw this article recntly and wanted to share it.  I am very proud of these familes standing up against the sterotypes society puts on them as to "why don't you have children?".  We do grieve our unborn children....  there is a huge grieving process tied in with infertility, miscarriages, stillborns, etc.  These people figured out a way to have a voice.  The last paragraph speaks so much of the stupid, ignorant, stereotypical questions we are asked....
Please read below.... - Jenny

Event Allows Moms To Remember Child They Never Knew
by:  Savannah King - Gainesville Times -

The first time you see your unborn child on a sonogram machine is a moment you never forget.  The soft rushing sound of the little heart fills the room. The beat, a quick flicker of light in the center of a tiny body, suddenly becomes the center of your universe.

Sometimes, unexpectedly, that light goes out. You leave the hospital with empty hands.

"To grieve someone you didn't know is very hard," said Angela Ewers, founder of Rock Goodbye Angel. "You have to grieve the future that never will be."  After suffering two miscarriages and a stillbirth, Ewers knows the pain of pregnancy loss all too well.  She said she felt alone and didn't know where to turn. It wasn't until two years ago she realized she needed to help families like hers.

"There just wasn't anything in the Gainesville area for bereaved families," Ewers said.  So she started Rock Goodbye Angel, a nonprofit organization that offers support to families of miscarriage, stillbirth, perinatal and neonatal loss. The group focuses on helping the bereaved by bringing together other families who have lost a child. The organization offers weekly group meetings to give families a chance to talk about what they've been through.

"If you don't give people an opportunity to acknowledge or grieve ... they carry it with them forever. We're giving them a safe environment to grieve," Ewers said.  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and on Oct. 15, Rock Goodbye Angel will participate in a nationally recognized Wave of Light ceremony.  "It's an opportunity for some families to recognize their loss and honor and remember their babies," Ewers said.

The free event will be held at River Forks Park off Keith Bridge Road in Forsyth County. Families who want to attend are asked to register in advance to ensure they will receive a free dinner and a parking pass.  Families who attend the event will light a candle in honor of their baby and place it in the lake. The candles will float on the water in an hourlong memorial.  Ewers said the best part of attending the candlelight event is knowing she isn't alone in what she went through.

"Sometimes there is safety in numbers, and being in an event like that just affirms that I'm not alone but also that they're not alone either," Ewers said.  Across the country people will light a candle for one hour at 7 p.m. local time, creating a continuous wave of light in remembrance of their babies.

"These babies matter to us. Their short but brief lives do matter and serve a purpose to us," Ewers said.
Rock Goodbye Angel is available to help anyone who has experienced the loss of a baby whether it was yesterday or 30 years ago.  One of the ways they try to help a parent grieve is by giving a charm bracelet. Since there isn't a funeral service or a grave site for miscarriages the bracelet serves as a physical memorial for the baby.

Rock Goodbye Angel gives a charm to the mother with every milestone she passes, like the baby's due date and her first Mother's Day.  "People ask me, ‘Now that I'm not pregnant and my baby isn't here do I still call myself a mom?'" Ewers said. "Their babies mattered to them and they didn't expect that to happen - but they are still a mom, a dad, a grandparent."