Dear Group Members,
Upcoming Meetings from 7 to 9 pm:
Women's Meeting next week on Wed. March 21 from 7 to 9 pm. Directions at end of email.The topic for March is "Grief and Your Relationships." We talk about how your grief touches EVERY relationship that you have (from how your respond to yourself to each and everyone you know...and some you don't know!). We will discuss why this is, what this means to us, and how to cope with other's comments (often hurtful when they don't really mean to be) or the lack of support from others. Also, we will share how some of the people around us are supportive and ways to encourage them and to thank them. We will have our brochure for Friends and Family here for you to take to them as well. We will have our March memento - to catch the wind!
April's topic at all of our meetings is Grief and Future Choices. Grief influences every choice we make. We will talk about the reasons behind this and ways to work with this situation. We talk about going to talk with our doctor, a high risk specialist (if our loss was near the middle to end of our pregnancy), an infertility specialist (if we had repeated miscarriage, one miscarriage, early loss before 14 weeks) and about discussing a birth plan with our OB. Finding a doctor that connects with us on EVERY level for our subsequent pregnancy is critical. Often it means changing doctors or including a specialist that knows the issues inside and out - that might touch us.
We talk with our doctors BEFORE we get pregnant again. Then, we are not caught up in the hormones and emotions of being pregnant. We establish our baseline for what to expect next time so we can know that we are doing all we can. Often, even when our primary care doctor has said there is nothing to do, a specialist (who has seen many, many similar situations...unlike a typical OB) can often suggest prevention and intervention before we ever become pregnant as well as ideas for during pregnancy. Then, we can feel more reassured as we approach the next part of our journey.
We have missed seeing some of you very much. Often moms will feel as though they have missed a few (or a lot) of group gatherings and think it odd to come join us again. Some moms rejoin us after they have had a subsequent child-especially if they got pregnant soon after their loss. We have members come by at anniversaries, due dates, holidays, at the difficult 4 to 6 month time after a loss, at significant or difficult times anytime after their loss. There is no time limit on the grief process. The need to understand "where I am now" in the process is a real experience. Being a group that has been here for 21 years is positive. Parents know that grief can pop up at all kinds of times and we are here for them.
We never question your attendance at any of our events; this is up to you and your schedule. We realize that many of our members travel or take night classes and time is limited. Some have babysitting issues. Others need "a time out" to find their own space, then feel like they wish to rejoin us. This is a normal reaction - one many of us went through. I had one single mom express that she worried that she might not fit-in. Some of our most special members and volunteers have been single moms. We are here to care about the issues surrounding grief...not our marital status. As a manner of fact, we have a special place on our website for single parents and one of our forum volunteers is a single mom. We care about all of our members.
Relationships are important. Often because of the the immediate people around them, moms feel as though no one else could really be going through what they are going through. Also, those around you sometimes act like you should move on and not need "that group" any more. There are so many situations that happen to us after the tragic loss of a baby that these feel like a valid reasons for not joining a meeting or activity. The truth is that most of us are put into a situation that doesn't resemble anything that ever has happened to us before. We have unusual feelings and reactions - often much more intense and confusing than we could imagine. We sometimes wonder who we are now that our baby has died. Most of our friends and family do not understand what we are going through. They hope (and we hope) that by denying or ignoring our need to grieve and to work with our feelings, we will move on. Most often this doesn't totally work. That is why coming to the group, an event, or on our website/forum can be very helpful...we meet others who TOTALLY get it.
No manner where you are; how long it has been; or your latest feelings...please feel comfortable about joining us. As one of our now volunteers wrote to me:
"SHARE Atlanta helped keep me from drowning in my sea of grief. You made me feel normal in my grief, and you helped me see that eventually life would once again, be worth living. I just wanted you to know that I hold you in the highest esteem and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do." Leah, A SHARE Atlanta Parent, 12/2004
Memorial Bricks:http://shareatlanta.org/pathformprt.htm - May 1st is the date for getting your memorial brick order to Jennifer - Order Online
Attached Member List: This is not all of our members - only those who wish to be on a list that goes out regularly to our Women's group and local more newly bereaved parents. There are those who are active and are not on this list and we have parents who have moved along in their grief who want to be on the list to give others support. If you wish to be on it or wish not to be on it, please let me know. I will adjust as needed. If you want to be included, it would be nice to have: name, email, phone, address, baby information (date of birth/death, baby's name if you have named your baby, cause of death if you know - so moms can connect, siblings, spouse)
SHARE Atlanta's March of Dime's Campaign as we "Walk to Remember Our Babies":
We also are moving along in our March of Dimes campaign. For many this is an activity where they can take their grief and do something "in action." Friends and family often are anxious to support those who have recently experienced a lost - they want to support them in some way. The MODs has made this a very easy activity to be part of. Our SHARE Atlanta Team is #562 and you can join us downtown or anywheres and still raise money for SA. Doing this can give you and others hope for the future. It is an important part of SHARE Atlanta's advocacy and awareness program. We want others to understand our issues and needs so we will have more community support. The walk is April 28th at our downtown walk site, and because of our fundraising efforts last year - SHARE Atlanta has its own tent!
We support you:
Whatever you choose, know that we at SHARE Atlanta support you. I wish that I could call each one of you and personally talk with you. This email is my/ our effort to connect with you and let you know we care very much about you. If you will join me/us at our groups, events, or on our forum, we can see each other and chat. Usually, you will meet others who wish to talk with you. Many of our members become forever friends! We are here as you need us and are thinking of you.
The love stays...forever in our hearts.
Helpful SHARE Atlanta Links:
Our forum is now being monitored by: Coretta, Adrianne, and Crystal.
Grief process - supportive thoughts and stories from SA members...
JoAnn's Diary - JoAnn's emails to me during that first year or so after her loss..
Ideas for parents
Information about March of Dimes and SA
Our website with Main Drop Down Box, Home Page,
and Music Drop Down Box
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