Dear SHARE Atlanta Members,
We have asked for recognition and have been receiving it in more and more venues: March of Dimes, NIH with their Stillbirth Study; CDC with their Stillbirth Study; the Stillbirth Asso.; Dr. Collins with his cord studies; more books written on the subject; more groups addressing our issues; more newspapers and newspaper columnist taking up our issues; and some television shows as well.
Years ago and on a few occasions since, Oprah has addressed these issues and done a very good job of it. It looks as though they might be considering doing this again. In my mind, the more of us that respond to her request, the better understanding they will have about our type of losses and our issues. I intend to fill out their form and send them information from SHARE Atlanta.
If you respond to this, your story and how you have handled your subsequent grief and walk are important. While many understand our journey - many, many do not. Education is vital for a broader outreach to those who will go through this type of loss in the future.
I would appreciate it if you would mention SHARE Atlanta's role in any healing that you might have experienced. One of the uphill journeys that we continue to have is the fact that groups such as ours - parent/volunteer led with focus on healing over a PERIOD OF TIME...are important. The grief process in general is not well understood. Groups who encourage healing over a PERIOD of TIME by providing options and support from "those who have been there" are are not understood, either. Some caregivers and people within our society need to hear more from us. This could be a wonderful venue!
Our issues include needing improved medical support (and we are getting that more and more); recognition that our children are real and significant; that one loss is too many; emotional support with options over a period of time is critical; and that those "who have been there" can help bereaved parents. (Just like the AA model.)
Our stories tell what we have been through; our advocacy for *continued support* after the first 2 weeks is vital.https://www.oprah.com/plugger/templates/BeOnTheShow.jhtml?action=respond&plugId=256500001
So, consider replying to the above, (even if your loss was long ago/not real recent...you can help them understand the healing walk!) and in doing so, you could help provide a huge door to positive advocacy. Every note lets them know that we are here, we want to be understood, and that we care about support.
The love stays...forever in our hearts.
SHARE Atlanta Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Grief Support
Marcia's Note to Oprah
The Love Stays..
These words are written on our two day old son's tombstone. When Seth died in 1981, I had no idea that the loss and love of our third baby would lead to positive changes in my own life. Because of previous miscarriages, Catherine and Elizabeth, and the ongoing grief, I helped co-found SHARE Atlanta: Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Grief Support in 1984. Making our children's lives meaningful was important for my personal healing. It is the baseline of our group. Our 500 page website - www.shareatlanta.org - reaches grieving parents all around the world. All of our volunteers have experienced a loss. Our outreach includes healing and advocacy through activities such as: Angel and Memorial brick garden, 4B's (Blankets, Buntings, Bonnets and Booties for newly bereaved parents while in the hospital), MOD's WalkAmerica for medical support for the future, Festival of Trees Memorial tree to raise money for Children's Hospital, items for Foster Care shelter, memorial services, forums, newsletters, and meetings. Our group offers *options* for healing with no fee. I have messaged over 400 SHARE Atlanta families in hopes that understanding can continue as outreach is extended. Thank you for making this topic a priority. As our logo expresses: The love stays...forever in our hearts.
Marcia McGinnis, President and Webmaster of SHARE Atlanta
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