I am a bereaved parent and I’m far from the only one; but in the beginning, you sort of feel that way.
Child loss can be extremely isolating and lonely. I am coming up on two years since losing my daughter unexpectedly at birth, but my first baby died over five years ago in early pregnancy (and another last December, also in early pregnancy).
Luckily, along with extremely supportive family, friends, and co-workers, I was introduced to a local non-profit who has provided a much-needed community for parents like myself.
Hopeful Heart Project has only been around a short time (2017), but has already made a huge impact in our community. The co-founder, Jen Burgard, is a bereaved mother herself, and after her own personal experience with the loss of a child, she knew our community needed something more for parents like her. Her mission is that “no parent must walk this journey alone.” And she has been working hard to make this a reality.As a non-profit dedicated to “providing hope, healing and support to parents who have suffered the tremendous loss of a child,” they are working every day to raise funds and awareness across our community on the impacts of child loss.
Along with providing Hope Gifts to newly bereaved mothers (many times when they are still in the hospital), they offer a variety of services, events and resources for bereaved parents in our F-M community and beyond.
If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a child, simply visit the Hopeful Heart Project website to request a Hope Gift or to find more information.
You Aren’t Alone
Here are other local and national resources that are here to support families after the loss of a child:
If you have experienced the loss of a child, my heart goes out to you. It doesn’t matter if it just happened, or it has been years, we carry that grief with us as parents for a lifetime. You are not alone, and your child(ren) will never be forgotten.
My daughter’s name is Marly Marie Hillman, and she is so loved and missed every day. If you would like to share your child’s name, and/or other organizations and resources you have found helpful in your grief journey, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
A poem by Netta Wilson, found on A Bed for my Heart: