I Want To See You Be BRAVE

by Nina Bingham

I’ve never publicly promoted music before, but the first time I heard songstress Sara Bareilles sing, Brave, it was an extraordinarily painful moment for me. Everything in the room faded; it seemed Sara and I were the only ones left. She was singing the words I had wanted to say to my daughter. Tears ran down my face and literally brought me to my knees.

My daughter had just committed suicide, and while she was an extraordinarily bright and exotically beautiful girl, at age 15 her introverted personality and severely depressed brain wasn’t brave enough to accept the help she’d been offered. She was so much sicker than any of us ever suspected. Continue reading “I Want To See You Be BRAVE”

Small Gestures with Great Love: Supporting the Bereaved Throughout the Year

by Dianna Vagianos Armentrout

It is December and I am approaching my third Christmas without my baby girl. People tell me that I have to “move on” and “get over” the tragedy of my newborn’s death. These people have never held a still baby. They have never been pregnant with a baby that would die, but they have lots of opinions. The bereaved do not need opinions. We need truth.

My truth is that I am forever changed by my daughter, Mary Rose. Her brief life has broken my heart open – shattered it so that I am no longer the woman who naively thought that her second pregnancy would guarantee a second healthy child. The pain that I have experienced – walking through grief thick as molasses – has allowed me to help others going through an unspeakable loss. I started a blog and wrote a book about my pregnancy to comfort others. Mary Rose lived for one hour, and in that one hour transformed me and my beliefs about motherhood. Even without my living baby girl, I am her mother still. Continue reading “Small Gestures with Great Love: Supporting the Bereaved Throughout the Year”

Growing Together

by Cathi Lammert, RN

• Your relationship as a couple is the most important relationship. Let it take precedence over all others.

• When a baby dies, the grief affects both of you at the same time. Other stresses in a relationship usually do not impact both individuals simultaneously. Therefore, your closest support is not always able to respond to you because he/she is trying to cope with his/her own grief.

• Each person in the relationship will grieve in individual ways. Learning to understand your partner’s ways may take some time and may be difficult.

Continue reading “Growing Together”

A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)

by Glen Nielsen

I am going to describe my journey as a stepfather over almost two decades, from August 1980 to the present. I am a step-parent who has experienced the death of a child. My story may be different from many of yours in that the death was a long-term illness, which, while it had some very difficult aspects, also offered some unique opportunities for really developing a very close relationship and for closure. Continue reading “A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)”

Positive Ways to Support a Grieving Dad

by Kelly Farley
Grieving Dads Project

I often hear from grieving dads that tell me they feel alone in their grief after the death of their child. It amazes me that after going through something as profound as the death of a child, that these men feel so alone and isolated. As much as it amazes me, I can relate because I too felt alone after the death of my two children.

I felt so alone that I would go online and search for other grieving dads that were out there. However, I didn’t find what I was looking for or needed at that point in my grief. I didn’t find it because most men do not feel like they have permission to tell their story or to share how they are feeling out of fear of being looked at as less than a man or weak. We all know that society is not comfortable with an openly grieving person, but they are even more uncomfortable with a man showing his emotions. Continue reading “Positive Ways to Support a Grieving Dad”