Grieving and healing is a lifelong journey. Here are some ideas that have been helpful to other parents to connect with and honor your child.
Anniversaries, Birthdays, & Holidays
So often we want to do something unique to remember our baby on special days such as anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. The anticipation of these days is filled with anxiety and an exacerbation of grief.
Most importantly, make time to consider what is meaningful to you, your partner/spouse, and family. As there is no right way to grieve, there is also no right way to remember. What feels comfortable to one family won't work for another.
Some ideas that have been helpful to other parents include:
- Balloon, bubble, butterfly, or lantern release
- Plant a bush, flower, or tree
- Make a donation
- Create a special event
- Spend time alone with your spouse
- Host a family celebration dinner
- Being in nature
- Hang ornaments during the holidays
- Take flowers/balloons/etc. representing your child's age to the gravesite
- Adopt a child the age your baby would be at the holidays and buy them gifts
Create a Sacred Space
Creating a sacred space in your home can be a helpful way to seek meaning through this experience, honor your baby, and keep their spirit alive. Some items that you can include are photographs, cards, momentos, ashes, and candles. Be as creative as you want, and even have more than one space in your home—one that is more public and another that is private.
Much of the time, we believe that it is our pain that connects us to our baby. When the pain lessens, we feel that our connection to our baby is weakening. This is not so. There are so many positive ways in which we can connect with and honor our child on an everyday basis. Although our baby is not here with us in person, your baby's spirit can strongly be a part of our lives.
Some ways to connect to your baby that have been helpful to other parents include:
- Talk to your baby
- Talk about your baby to others
- Write letters to your baby
- Connect through music
- Connect through nature—your baby can visit you through different animals or natural elements
- Look at photos of your baby
- Wear jewelry with your baby's birthstone, initial, or name
- Write your baby's name in the sand at the beach
- Donate toys or make a visit to the children's hospital
- Donate memory boxes to a hospital
- Participate in Remembrance Walks
- Visit the gravesite or special places that remind you of your child
Healing Projects & Gatherings
CarlyMarie Project Heal - Stunning artwork and beach photography created by Australian bereaved mother, who also participates in projects and retreats to support families as they heal after loss.
Faith's Lodge - The mission of Faith’s Lodge is to provide a place where parents and families facing the serious illness or loss of a child can retreat to reflect on the past, renew strength for the present, and build hope for the future.
Return to Zero Center for Healing - Retreats for bereaved women that help them find community, connect with their child, and nuture themselves.
Alex's Peace - Beautiful bookmarks given to any bereaved family at no charge. Requests and correspondence all done via Facebook.
Baby Bee Hummingbirds - Keepsake jewelry (lock of hair, ashes, breastmilk).
Comfort Cub - A therapeutic, weighted teddy bear that helps people to heal from the heartbreaking pain of an infant who has passed away.
Held Your Whole Life - Provides delicate and unique keepsake necklaces and key chains of babies who passed away.
Lullabye Condolences - Beautiful condolence cards that are painted with watercolor and pure Canadian snow.
Molly's Bears - Weighted teddy bears for families coping with any form of infant loss.
Portraits by Dana - Pencil portraits for both remembering children who have passed as well as living children.
Portraits by Phoebe Darlington - Pencil portraits that create sensitive and unique works of art that can serve as a memorial to your deceased baby.
Sufficient Grace Ministries - Provides "Dreams of You" memory making materials, including memory books specifically for lives that are brief, a hand-made Comfort Bear, memorial jewelry, and clothing for babies born in any gestation.