SHARE Atlanta - Grief Support Memories and Gifts

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"Memories and Gifts...

November 17, 1993
It becomes clearer every day
that I have been changed
by the life of my son.

As time passes and
his life is but a misty memory for those around me,
his life has more meaning for me.

I find it a little easier
to sift through the significant and the non.
I find other people's joys and sorrows
more meanignful and understandable.

And somehow, because of him,
I am going down a path
that is clearer and brighter
and this makes me love him more
and think of him more.

And yet, I still regret,
that it is he who has changed
the meaning of my life,
and not I who have helped to mold his.

Julie B.
In loving memory of Justin Paul
Stillborn at 39 weeks
July 31, 1991
SHARE Atlanta

Topics and Thoughts Shared on this Page

"Pass It On" by Jennifer

" helping children who needed "mothering." by Sharen (9/97)

"...called upon by my pastor to help other women" by Laura (9/97)

"...the eyes to see what miracles" by Tracie (9/97)

" me is compassion" by Vickie (12/97)

"Gifts from Miguel Edwardo Munoz" by Priscilla (10/13/98)

" help Drs, nurses and anyone" by Michelle (2/98)

"My Gratitude for the Gift of Peace" (1/9/99)

"I never knew" by Lori (2/9/99)

"..We learned so much about ourselves and others.." by Leanne (4/30/99)

"What Debbie shares 4 years later gives folks hope..." by Debbie (4/30/99)

"ALMOST THERE" by Tracy (4/30/99)

"I deal with life a lot better then I did before.." by Wendy (6/24/99)

"Christian's gift...I'm currently a volunteer at a support group for high risk mothers. The web site is called:" by Kristi (10/11/99)

Pass It On

Just a few months before my wedding, one of my closest friends miscarried her first child. They had been trying to get pregnant for nearly a year, and everyone had been so excited by the news. When she called to tell me the baby had died, I had no idea what to say.

I was so sad for her and felt helpless to do or say anything of use. For a while it was frightening. One day her husband came to me nearly in tears with worry for her. He said she felt like a failure and was sure they would never have a baby. Neither of us knew what to do.

When she got pregnant again fairly quickly and had a healthy baby boy, she seemed to want to put the loss behind her. As so many family members and friends do, we put it behind us too, relieved to see her back to her old self.

It was during this second pregnancy of hers that I found out that I was pregnant also. Although we had only been married a few months and were very surprised by our news, we were thrilled. I remembered my friend's experience though, and cautioned my husband not to be too excited.

When I miscarried quickly I was upset, but felt that this was a very normal pattern and that our next baby would be fine. I followed everyone's advice and put it behind me and focused on being in the best possible shape for the next pregnancy.

I was shocked, however, when I became pregnant several months later only to miscarry again. I had never dreamed it would happen again.

When my friend was on the phone saying, "I'm so sorry. I know how you feel." Somehow it was comforting to know that she really did know what it felt like.

In my roller coaster of emotions that followed, I experienced tremendous guilt for not realizing what she had gone through.

Finally I conceived again and this time things were going fine. Another of my very best friends called to tell me she was expecting. It was a bittersweet time for their family, because a cousin had become pregnant around the same time and had already miscarried. My friend was anxious about how her pregnancy would affect their relationship.

Fast forward seven healthy son was the focus of my life, my friend's baby was due any day, and we had made big plans to see each other the following summer. They knew they were having a boy, too, so I knew the babies would be good buddies.

I was thrilled when she called to say that the baby had been born and he was fine, but our joy was short lived. The next day her mother-in-law called to tell me the baby was not expected to live. He died early the next morning.

My friend's grief, of course, was devastating. At times I ached so much for her that it felt as if I were losing my own babies all over again. After all that I had experienced, I still didn't know what to say, but I tried my best.

I tried to remember the important days...I was careful not to be too exuberant about my own precious son...and I listened. I didn't judge her anger or tell her to move on. I vowed never to utter the words, "it was for the best."

The day came, as I thought it must, when she felt the guilt I had felt. She apologized for not being more supportive when I lost my babies. She wondered how I knew to call and listen and remember when no one else around her seemed to understand.

I told her about feeling the same way about that first friend. I told her not to worry...I wouldn't hold it against her any more than that friend did me.

I knew then that this was one of the most precious gifts my babies would ever give to me...the ability to be there for my friend when she needed me the way someone had been there for me.

I know, unfortunately, that the day will come when someone will need her the way she needed me, and I know she'll be there and find the right words and understand. That person will wonder at her kindness and strength. All she'll have to do is say, "I know how you feel." And the gifts will be passed on.

(See Dad and Mom - Support Each Other and Sibling Grief ~ "Little Stars" and

"A letter to Jacob G." by his mommy, Jennifer for more of Jennifer's thoughts.)

Jennifer G.
Jesse and Jamie
miscarried - 1/14/93 and 12/16/93
Atlanta, Ga.
SHARE Atlanta's Newsletter editor

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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"Kimberly Faith, stillborn 5/5/64"

Sharen shared her child's dedication with us this September. When I wrote her to tell her how moved I was by her dedication, she returned the rest of her beautiful story of her life.

Dear Kimberly,

When you were born you were pretended away by everyone associated with your birth. They thought it best to pretend you never happened.

You happened! You shared nine months with me in the most intimate way. I longed to hold you but before I could, you were wisked away. Even though my hair has turned gray and my steps falter,I will always be the young Mother yearning to hold you in my arms. For now,I will just forever hold you in my heart... until tomorrow...

Dear Marcia,

It is nice to hear from you. I am sorry about your losses! It is true, we never forget. Christmas always meant singing "Silent Night" and wondering how many years it would take to get through it....Funny, I still cry all these many years later!

Please feel free to use my letter anyway you see fit. It is an on going tribute to my daughter. I never had any living children. I was born to Mother so it was tough.

I turned my energies to helping children who needed "mothering." I had 9 foster children and worked in a street ministry where over 500 kids called me their spiritual "Mom." The loss of my babies shaped my life in a way I never thought possible!

In our grief we can't see tomorrow. Today I can look "back" and see the result of the pain.

Redeeming grace...God bless you and the great work you are doing. I have read so many letters from young Mothers on Prodigy and AOL with broken hearts. I was searching for helpful links for "them" when I found your site. Thanks for being there.

Sharen S.
Rockford, Il

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Laura shares what "3 years since her baby Paul Angelo" has meant to her.

Dear Share Website,

What a wonderful site you have here. As an RN and a fellow parent who has experienced the death of a child I truly appreciate what you are accomplishing with this site.

Although it will be 3 years on Sept. 27 since the loss of my son at times it feels as if it were yesterday. As I read through other entries on this page I felt an overwhelming sense of SHARED grief and common support.

Coming into this month I knew it not would be like any other month of the calendar. It would be unique and I have to acknowledge what this "uniqueness" means to me. So as Paul Angelo's date of the 27th draws nearer I'm sure I will be revisiting this website with more of my story to tell, more of my memories to share. Thank you for this opportunity.

As a result of having experienced this loss in my life I have been called upon by my pastor to help other women who have had a child die.

I am very glad that I found your website and will look for a local SHARE support group. In reaching out to others I have been able to heal a little more each time and validate my baby's brief life within me. I have come to realize that his existence had meaning to both me, my family and God.

Thanks, again and may God bless all of you and all of your beloved children.

With love and prayers,
(See Third Anniversary and Healing Activities for Laura's thoughts and feelings on Paul's anniversary.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Tracie's mother shares the miracle of life -

Oh, but for a brief moment...
Thank you for the gift you gave me, the eyes to see what miracles
your brothers and sister are.

For the reminder that we are spiritual beings having a human experience
not the other way around.

I pray that I will always keep the eternal perspective in mind and
be worthy to one day to see you with our eternal family.

I love you Nichole.

Tracie Nichole - Second trimester loss
Lincoln Park, MI

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Kyle's lasting gift to me is compassion.

As the holidays approach I find it difficult to deal with the fact that our son, Joseph Kyle, will not be here AGAIN. He was stillborn on January 23, 1996 due to a cord accident. The difficulty with the holidays is compounded by the dreaded anniversary I know is just around the corner in January. It will be two years.

Kyle's lasting gift to me is compassion. He taught me that, through my pain, I can reach out to others who have been through a similar loss. I certainly cannot make their hurts go away but I can be there with a hug, a tear, and sincerely sympathy. Each time I speak to another grieving parent....Kyle is there.

Since losing Kyle we have had another child, a beautiful and healthy daughter named Lauren. She is precious in her own rite but can never replace her big brother...nor would we want her to. My intense love for Lauren is also a gift from Kyle. Having lost a child, I know how precious life is. She knows every minute of each day the love her father and I feel for her. I think the love felt by a parent who has lost a child is at such a different level than by one who has never lost. It's easy to take for granted what has always been there. Until you have don't, or can't, understand.

Best Wishes and Continued Healing to all. How wonderful to have a forum such as this for parents to SHARE.

Franklin, NC
Joseph Kyle - stillborn

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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I have done what I can to help Drs, nurses and anyone
I come in contact with to try and look at it
from the parent's perspective.


My precious baby girl was diagnosed with Anencephaly at 18 weeks. Not a single day passes without me wishing she was with us. I miss her deeply and can feel her presence with me always.

I have five beautiful children and Emily was my fourth. I don't care what others think; I love them all very much.

At first I wondered what was allowed - was I allowed to include her as part of my family when I spoke of them. I was encouraged by family and friends and aquaintances to forget her and get on with my life.

After quite some months I decided I will do what I want, there are no rules, and its about time peoples attitudes changed. Our babies are very special.

I have done what I can to help Drs, nurses and anyone I come in contact with to try and look at it from the parent's perspective.

We have unconditional love from the before our babies have even been conceived. I love you my precious Em and never will a day pass without thinking of you. All my love Mummy xxx

Visit "Emily's Story" to read about Michelle and Andy's experience. Also visit Sibling Grief/Alison to read the beautiful and loving poem that Emily's sister, Alison, wrote about her sister.
Emily Shenae Graham
28.8.95/18 weeks
Other /Anencephalic Baby
Collie, W.a. Australia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Gifts from Miguel Edwardo Munoz

My precious little one, I will always love you and miss you. I believe you are happy and safe in God's arms. Your daddy and your brothers love and miss you too.

Migelito I still can't let go of you even though it has been three years old. When I am asked how many children I have I always include you. I am told not to include you because you are no longer here with us. I think that if I were to leave you out. It's like I was forgetting you and I will never forget you my little Angel.

Thank you for changing my life you've made a big difference. I have learned to appreciate your brothers more than ever before. I don't take anyone for granted anymore.

I wake up thanking the Lord for my life, my children, husband, familly and friends and escpecially for you. I would like to thank you for sending us a baby. I LOVE YOU MIGELITO.

Miguel Edwardo Munoz
El Paso, TX

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My Gratitude for the Gift of Peace

I wrote this on my daughter Marissa's 5th Birthday/Anniversary. I had sat down to wait for a friend to come over for coffee, I felt this almost urgent need to write. I hadn't written any poetry for over 5 years and knew that it was time.

I proceeded to write the poem within 20 minutes. I felt such a peace come over me while writing, I knew that this was the right time. I felt truly led by the Spirit and the words just poured out.

I have also felt that it was time to share my story with others and try and help other's along their journey to find peace. Marissa was stillborn at 39 1/2 weeks, cause unknown. The one thing that I am sure of is that she suffered no pain as I had felt none.

She was the 3rd of my 4 children, and gave me the gift of a closer family and The Church. I have a heart that is full of Gratitude for the Peace that has come over time and the Blessing of My angel who is in my heart always.

When I first held you
I thought my heart would stop
you were so tiny, and so very beautiful
every inch of perfection

From the moment I knew about you
I loved you with all my heart and soul
as each day passed, you grew inside me
and filled me with your presence and love.

How you liked to let me know you were there
from the tender kicks, to the somersaults,
you were felt and loved.
Our family eagerly anticipated your arrival
it seemed to take an eternity

Your time came, we were in such a hurry
to meet you and to hold you tenderly.
If only we had known
that a lifetime was only to be an instant.

You were so beautiful, an angel, a blessing
in a brief moment you changed me.
It is with your love felt from inside me
that has made me find the strength
to face challenges and to be truly thankful.

My angel, always as close as the next heartbeat,
felt with each breath.
My love for you fills each day.
I thank God that we had the time together.
I didn't know then that my heart would be filled with gratitude,
for the brief moments we shared.
My angel I know now, how thankful I am for you.
Beloved is the precious child.
Blessed is the mother who loves much.

Dedicated to my Angel Marissa Desiree

With Love Mommy

November 4,1998

Marissa Desiree
New Westminster, B.C. Canada

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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I never knew

I never knew what faith was,
till I had to live by it.
Because I lost you.

I never knew that what I believed could be so shattered.
Until I tried to pick up the pieces,
after you left.

I never knew that who I was and where I was going
could change so quickly,
because of broken dreams.

I never knew the grip of despair could hold so tightly,
and shake the core of my being.
Till you left me.. silently.

I never knew how profound silence could be,
till I spoke your name to friends and
no one said a word.

I never knew how long a night could be,
till your leaving left my body hungry for sleep
that just wouldn't come.

I never knew I could love so deeply,
and completely.
Because of your being.

Until I loved you,
I never knew.

written by Lori 2/9/99

I have been spending alot of time thinking about my babies and the lessons I have learned. I hope you like it. Also I have added my Erin's picture to her story page and rewrote the story it's at:


Lori Ayrault

For more thoughts..."A Letter to Mommy" by Lori and Jennifer (10/4/98) and Lori's Website

Lori aka erinquinn & angelsamongus
Mom to 7 earth angels and 2 heavenly angels

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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We know you are in heaven with your brother or sister. We love you and are so sad that we never knew you and held you in our arms.

We learned so much about ourselves and others through the experience of losing you. Your short life was not in vain.

With Love,
Mama and Daddy

Baby George 2
Bremen, Indiana

Marcia's thoughts: I just had a letter from a mother who just lost her baby and the question was, as always..."why?" (What is the meaning for this.)

Your statement means so very much. Our children's life can give us many different gifts, as time passes, these can become clearer if we are open to them. I try to believe that our special babies and the pain of loosing them will not be in vain. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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It is coming upon a year May 15 that I lost my daughter and only child Dominique at 22 1/2 weeks.

I can honestly say I have come a long way and am a better person because of this loss.

I didn't think in this life time I would ever understand the reason for my loss, but believe now that it was to make me a stronger/better person. I have dealt with depression off and on in my life and never really felt good about myself. I now have a more positive out look of myself and of life.

I have a hard time believing it myself sometimes, but TIME DOES HEAL.

I have met some wonderful people through this site who have helped me, and I have also been able to help. To me it makes a big difference when I am able to help others who have lost babies.

I miss my baby girl everyday and still shed plenty of tears, but the pain is less each day. Thanks to all of you who have provided support thru this most difficult year.

"Lost Soul" by Tracy (7/98)

Lots of Love
Dominique's Mom

Dominique Lee
Second trimester loss
Mt Pleasant, Mi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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This one was my first and it has been four years now, but it still hurts like it did three years ago.

I am now the Community Leader for Pregnancy Loss on Parents Place and I deal with life a lot better then I did before. I had a real hard time with this in the beginning, I am just now able to get on with my life.

I lost a lot in those three years since I was not able to understand what I was going though. I lost a friend and almost lost my Dear hubby since I was so angry at the world and God for taking my baby away. It has been a long road, but things are working out now.

I just lost another one back in May, but knowing what I know now, I am dealing with it a lot better and getting on with my life.

Please remember that the loss of a child is the worst loss in anyone's life, but God and your baby do want you to go on.

Wendy (wenmay)
San Antonio, TX

Marcia's thoughts: I think your thoughts are very normal...we have many losses as a result of our baby's death and we gradually have some gifts.

I know I lost some friends who couldn't cope with what I had to go through...but I also made some lasting wonderful new friends. I directed my anger at God for awhile(thus protecting my family!!) and now feel as though we all have grown for the better. I know my faith is stronger!

Being involved in some sort of outreach is a gift and a comfort for so many of us as we cope. What do you do for Parents Place? I would love to know if you have time to share with me.

I co-found SHARE Atlanta as a result of my three losses and we support National SHARE's efforts to support folks who have had a pregnancy or neo-natal loss. There's a lot of us out here...and outreach is so important.

I agree with you...God and our babies would want us to heal and to support one another. I say this many times in our groups!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Christian's gift...
I'm currently a volunteer
at a support group for high risk mothers.
The web site is called:

Death is the hardest thing in life to accept and overcome. As parents, we want to protect our children. When that blessing is taken away, it leaves an empty feeling in our hearts. With time the emptiness fades but the loss will never heal.

In December of 1997, I lost my baby boy at 22 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. I still remember the shock I felt when the doctor told me that my baby had dropped and my cervix was open. I was not prepared to hear the doctor tell me my baby wouldn't survive at 22 weeks.

I had two options: to stay at bed rest but the bag of water would slowly deteriorate or have surgery - rescue cerclage. The cerclage is a draw string like stitch in the cervix that keeps the cervix firmly closed. This decision was a very difficult one to make and with my families support I was able to feel good about my decision.

I knew that I might make it another week if I stayed at bed rest but if I had the surgery I would have a greater chance to carry full term. I agreed to do the surgery but during the last stitch, my water broke.

At that moment, I knew I would loose my baby and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it from happening. Those hours that followed were the hardest moments I've ever had to go through.

Sometimes, I try to remind myself of a well-known saying....

"Grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference".

Three months later, I conceived my second child. I wasn't ready emotionally to go through the pregnancy but I was determinded to do everything possible to save my child.

I had the cerclage done at 14 weeks and I carried my baby to 36 weeks. I had a little girl, Kari Michele. She is wonderful!

*I'll never forget my little boy, Christian.*

I'm currently a volunteer at a support group for high risk mothers. The web site is called:

Second trimester loss

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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