SHARE Atlanta Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Grief Support

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SHARE Atlanta's Spring Updates 2006

Dear Friends,

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This SHARE Atlanta (SA) Update highlights:

May 1st is the date for getting your memorial brick order to Jennifer

March of Dimes(MODS) SA members "Walk To Remember" our Special Babies on April 22nd. Order shirts...

April's Grief Group Meeting's Topic, "Grief and Future Choices"

May's Grief Group "The Significance of You and Your Baby: & Mother's Day

Come join our SA forum!

"Grief, Grieving and Grief Support" Conference on April 27th - Come join us...considering helping us

Upcoming Newsletter

May 1st is the date for getting your memorial brick order to Jennifer

Memorial Bricks ~ Order Online - Jennifer's email is on the order form page.

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"Outreach for Healing" ~ "March of Dimes WalkAmerica ~ "As we Walk to Remember our Babies" Order shirts...

Cindy Ivey is our team captain. We thank her and others who have supported this effort to stop further loss of our precious babies. As in the past, several of our parents have told us that their families (aunts, siblings, mothers, fathers, uncles) and/or friends are walking with us. Cindy has brought more friends and family to this effort than any other member!

Why should we wear SA's shirts? There have been numerous people who have read our shirts, asked one of our walkers "who" we were, and then come to our group or events. We walk as "SA members" to raise the awareness of our group. This is important because we need to "come together" to validate to the larger community that the "Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Community" is pulling together.

When we do this "together" we are making a statement: our babies are significant, our medical and emotional issues are important, and we wish to have them addressed. We work to overcome the denial of death and the pain that comes as a result of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn loss. We, as *parents*, are working toward the goal of making these issues real - in a respectful and meaningful manner. We do this with all of our "Outreach for Healing" programs, our memorial services, and with our inservices.

We thank, Coretta Monroe, for working on having slightly different shirts made for us this year. The entire description of our shirts is on the MOD's SA Menu. Though, basically the same as in previous years, Debra Mattis suggested that we place above our angel cameo, "My angel..." so we could write our baby's name there.

If you can't actually walk this year, consider sending your donation to one of our walkers!

"Outreach for Healing" ~ March of Dimes' Menu

SHARE Atlanta's pictures

E-mail Cindy to let her know you are walking! It helps us plan the event.

E-mail Coretta to order a shirt...$10.00. Include sizes, your name, and phone number. These will be offered at the April Women's group, at Marcia's home that week, and at the walk on Sat.

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April's Topic ~ "Grief and Future Choices."

This is a very appropriate topic for the month of the March of Dimes WalkAmerica. We will be exploring concerns around: thinking about a subsequent pregnancy; a "pre-subsequent pregnancy" consultation; and making birthing plans with the guidance of our doctor. The *whys and hows* of approaching a specialist as well as a doctor(s) for a "second" opinion are discussed. We will also touch on other options for "moving down the path of what will be."

We will share ways to cope with Mother's Day (a difficult holiday for most of our moms). We have information about both of these topics on our site and will offer them on our forum.

We encourage you to come share your ideas with others online or in the group. Our meetings are located in: men and/or women's groups ~ Acworth, Atlanta (Cascade Methodist), and Riverdale - Please RSVP for these meetings by emailing the facilitator.; women's group ~ Dunwoody. All of our meetings begin at 7pm and last two hours.

Grief and Subsequent Pregnancy

May's meeting topic: "The Significance of You and Your Baby"...Giving yourself "permission to grieve" and remembering the special relationship between you and your baby. Thoughts about Mother's Day will be expressed. We encourage you to bring and share your mementos: scrapebooks, pictures, poems, special treasures, etc. We will demonstrate how to make our 4Bs blankets at some of our May meetings.

Group meeting locations and facilitators.

Mother's Day Support

The Significance of You and Your Baby

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Come join our SA forum!

  • It is free and can "share from your chair" - at any time of the day or night!"

  • Topics that have been discussed: "What to tell my sister's children (or any child)?"; "Is it 'normal' to feel this angry?"; "What books helped you"?; "What to do when your milk comes in"?

    SA's Forum

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    Grief, Grieving and Grief Support Conference on April 27th ~ More Advocacy and Awareness! Volunteers to help are needed.

    Since November, I have been on the planning committee, and several of our SA members (Lynne Anderson, group facilitator and board member; Mark Ritter, the Ritter family was highlighted in our Fall newsletter) will be on a morning panel. Lynne and I are going to facilitate two sessions on grief during the afternoon.

    Support for First Responders - First Encounters Matter

    This conference is focused on "First Responders": policemen, nurses, doctors, social workers, firemen, chaplains, etc. These caregivers are usually the first individuals to come in contact with a family when their child has died.

    Obviously, for most caregivers, the medical and physical trauma is their priority concern. But, it is crucial to understand that "grief begins at the beginning" and that grief has "many faces." As soon as the tragic event begins, shock and panic (stages of grief) can cause many different reactions (from total numbness/silence to overt loud reactions). The caregiver can be confused as to how to respond to family members. The emotional part of an horrible experience influences both the caregiver and the family members.

    Overview of Goals and Sessions..

    Our goal is to give more support to the caregiver to help themselves as well as the family members during this time. Understanding the grief process is critical for supporting someone who is grieving.

    Sessions will cover what grief looks like; how to respond to grief; how to respond to personal confusion around the process of grief; and what coping mechanisms can be encouraged during the initial loss. Exhibits and description of possible community resources will also be presented.

    When the first responders embrace the grief process, they open the door for the family to express their feelings. Then, the family members are more likely to give themselves "permission to grieve" to heal.

    When grieving is embraced and healing is experienced by a family, there may be meaningful outreach with projects similar to those that SA supports (MODs Walk, Festival of Tree's Memorial Tree, 4Bs, Foster Care Donations, etc.). Then, the caregiver's gift of understanding tied with the encouragement to heal brings a new strength to what support can mean within a community.

    Bereaved Parent Participation, Volunteering, and Memorial Service...

    Bereaved Parents are invited to join us - especially during the afternoon sessions. These sessions include: Spiritually and Grief, Family Support and Grief, Grief and Grief Support. There can be a respectful exchange of thoughts between the caregivers and the parents, and more understanding can be shared.

    There will be a memorial service that will include music by a bereaved father, a memorial slide presentation of children and memorial ideas (mementos, outreach, etc) that parents have found that helped them to heal. The program will conclude with the dedication of a memorial bench in the park/lake area at Clayton College.

    We need parents to meet and greet and to be there for other parents who might benefit from supportive listeners. SA will have our display boards and table in the exhibit room, and we need people who can answer questions about SA.

    The cost for the entire conference is $30 (to cover the expense of food), but for parents who wish to join for the afternoon sessions the cost is $5.

    If you can plan to volunteer, or if you have any questions about this conference, please email me.

    "Spring ~ Grief Support Conference" with registration form

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    SA Newsletters

    Finally, our next newsletter is about ready to go to press. From now on, we will print a few of each issue for those who wish a hard copy and for information purposes at inservices and conferences, etc. Otherwise, a link will be emailed to you and, the newsletter, in pdf form, will be posted on our website. Thank you for your patience as we have made this transition.

    Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or comments. We hope to see you on the forum, at a meeting, an event, etc., but "whenever or whatever" know that we hope for your healing...

    Take care,
    Marcia, President of SA
    The love stays...forever in our hearts.

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    Past SA Online Newsletters

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