E-mail notes from parents who have attended our meetings. You may email them to ask about attending a group meeting!
Emails on this page...
"Thoughts on September Meeting" by Kim GA
"Thoughts on Men and Women's Group 10/04" GA
"SHARE Atlanta's support meetings helped get me through some pretty hard times..." 10/04 GA
"THANK YOU, SHARE Atlanta by Cindy (2/17/04) GA
"Thank you Marcia and SHARE Atlanta for all of your support." by Todd 5/2003 ~ Todd and his wife volunteer with us. ga
"SHARE Atlanta addresses not only that unique grief but also the loss of the dream for that unborn baby." by Melina 2000 ~ Melina volunteers with us. (2003) GA
SHARE Atlanta and my church helped me in my grief process 2001 Angela volunteers with us.. GA
"My concern about coming to a local group...." by Janna (7/1/02)
Marcia I found such comfort from talking with you and the women in our group. I feel that I should be doing or giving more to support SHARE Atlanta. If there is anything the group need please let me know how I can give back to the organization. I feel so blessed to have this organization for support. It has helped me, and is teaching more about life. And for that, I am grateful.
I am still learning how to connect with other on the forum. I don't think that I am following the directions on the website correctly. Remember I told you I don't have that much computer experience. I have spent hours just reading the information that is list on web. I want to know how to chat with other. But for now I am enjoying just reading others response. Thanks again Marcia for starting this Special Women Group. Wishing you a blessed and peaceful weekend. Carole
Marcia -- Thank you so much for inviting us into your home last evening. The SHAREAtlanta group really helped us. I'd like to start attending regularly for awhile. Will there be an October meeting other than the Memorial Service at the Angel Garden? I haven't decided if I want to attend that yet.
I think I'm going to visit the garden the week after next when my aunt comes into town. She's like a Mom to me since I lost mine 6 years ago. I kind of felt bad that our baby doesn't have a name. Everyone else named their baby, even the couple sitting next to us who miscarried at 12 weeks. We didn't really feel comfortable in naming her. I was thinking about getting a brick for the garden but I don't know what I'd put on it without a name! We just call her "our baby girl."
I think my husband got alot out of the meeting. He was hesitant to attend and told me not to expect him to share anything. I was pleasantly surprised when he did (even though he said our second loss was a miscarriage instead of a stillborn.) I'm looking forward to discussing with him some of the items he checked on the "common responses" page. He shared with me after the group that he felt guilty complaining about our losses when many of the couples in the group don't have any children.
I didn't want the group to end! I was hoping to share one of the common responses I checked which is how my arms ache to hold my baby. I held the baby that I miscarried at 10 weeks but wasn't able to hold our baby girl. She'd been dead inside of me for about 5 days before I was induced to deliver her and she just didn't look good. She came out breech and her head got stuck in my cervix. The doctor said her skin was wearing away and you could see her intestines and that her skull had collapsed during the delivery. Chris didn't think I should see her because I'd always have a bad memory.
He saw her being born and when I asked him what he saw he said, "I saw her beautiful hands and beautiful feet." That is why I treasure her handprints and footprints so much!!
I wish now that they'd wrapped her up and let me hold her even if I couldn't see her but I don't think I would've been able to do that without peeking at her. It makes me sad that I couldn't hold her and tell her how much I love her and tell her good-bye. I've thought about making a pillow that is exactly 10-1/2 inches long and 9.8 ounces but I'm not sure how to go about doing that or if it would helpful or hurtful. What do you think? Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for leading the group. I'm looking forward to making some new friends that I can talk to.
Kim names her baby girl....
Marcia's thoughts: It means much that you found some comfort and support from last nights meeting. Thank you for sharing that with me. I am always humbled by the incredible input that couples share. Men find this type of meeting after such a personal and tragic loss difficult, but rewarding if they can get themselves to it. I am never surprised by what they share...it is usually from the heart and truthful. I appreciate that very much.
I will send out updates for October soon. We do have a Women's meeting (here at my home) on the third Wed. of Oct. and I hope you can join us. There is also a meeting in Acworth. The angel garden means so much to so many and the Memorial Service helps moms and dads. It is more of a service and no "talking" as such we do last night. It is one of the most special events that we do. Your aunt would most likely appreciate it as well. The memorial bricks provide a lasting memento for parents and the garden a safe haven for visiting. We will talk more about it at the meeting in Oct.
No child replaces or 'makes-up' for another child. Each child is special. Every child's death is loss of a significant person. Chris' thoughts are often shared at our meeting...they are normal responses. Ones that are meant to soften what has happened to you. But, having living children doesn't make our loss less or different. Yes, we have the blessing of having a living child at home to physical hold, but we know exactly what we are missing because we DO have that child at home. Tough all ways.
The ache of our empty arms is a known reality. Some moms hear their child's cry at night. We will talk about this next month...
Naming your baby is something we encourage, but not everyone does. These special little ones are our children and we think about them and care about them so a name follows through with what all parents do for their children. Some name them "Baby Girl" or use their last name with baby. Others give them the name that they would have given them (I did) and others choose names that reflect how they feel about their baby (like Shannon and Grant next to you). It really helps healing for moms and dads to do this. Often mom does it and needs to do so more than dad...my husband was fine either way.
I LOVE the idea of the pillow! You could pick fabric that makes you think of your daughter. Moms have done all kinds of things in the past...dolls, stuffed animals, real pets, quilts, etc. It is a way to show how much your baby means to you and allows you something to hug and hold on to.
Marcia, I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed last night's meeting. I prayed that powerful sharing would take place, and it did. ...He (my husband) told me that he enjoyed the meeting, and he thanked me for inviting him to come and share.
I am also grateful for Polly and Mary (and their husbands), who came back to group to share their experience. At this crucial point in my healing process (4-6 month.), my heart was glad to hear their stories. It lets me know that I will make it through this whole ordeal. It will take a while to weave my person together again, as Polly so eloquently phrased it, but I am confident and hopeful that it will eventually happen.
Thanks to you and many thanks to SHARE Atlanta. Hugs and Love, "
"SHARE Atlanta's support meetings helped get me through some pretty hard times..."
Hello Marcia, I just wanted to thank you for your emails. I have not been to a meeting in a couple of months primarily because I do not have anyone to watch my 2 year old son on Wed evenings. My husband has a class on that night.
I wanted to let you know coming to your meetings helped get me through some pretty hard times after my son was lost to me. I don't know what I would have done during those horrible days if I had not attended your support groups and listened to what you had to say and saw for myself how you, yourself, made it through several losses.
I hope to attend some meetings. I still have some days when I get a little down but am overall better. You had mentioned a 6 month mark at one of your meetings where things can get rough again and I know I went through that in September.
We are now trying again and hope that we can get pregnant again but we will see what happens. I just wanted to thank you, though. You and the women in your groups helped me alot and I still think of things that were discussed on days that are bad.
My husband went to see our baby's brick in the garden. I have not been able to go. I just feel too sad right now to make it there, but I will go one day. I would like to come to the memorial service. Thank you again and I think of you often. I will always remember your kind and encouraging words, Nima
4/18"I suffered a incompetent cervix at 19 1/2 weeks...I need support." by Nima Midterm Loss/Known Cause/Incompetent cervix Atlanta, GA (3/13/04)
4/29"The roller coaster ride and control issues..." by Nima (4/21/04) Grieving and healing...
4/68Medical Issues and how to start looking for a doctor..by Nima and Marcia's answers (10/5/04) GANima
Marcia's thoguhts: I have thought of you many times and hoped you were beginning to heal. I am glad that the emails were supportive as well. It is good that you knew to expect some increase of feelings around the 4 to 6 month and it prepares you for these feelings.
I have missed you at the recent meetings. I, too, wish you could attend the meetings, but I certainly know we have to care for our little ones at home. It is good, also, to hear that you are having some better days...healing does happen. You have worked hard at understanding the grieving process and working through your ongoing grief.
I hope that you can join your husband at the garden some day. Parents have shared that though they may cry while there they gain much comfort from its beauty and message of peace. It is special that your husband can go and find peace there.
I would like to add your son's name to our written litany for the memorial service. We will call each child's name aloud during the program. Parents who are there will receive a small candle memento.I am glad you wrote me..it means much to me to hear from our members as they make their way down the path of healing.
Also, as I said in one of my emails, Angela, a SHARE Atlanta mom, is doing a Subsequent pregnancy diary. Please consider visiting the page...she had an incompetent cervix as well and her son, Johari, was born after a successful pregnancy where she had a cerclage put in. With her diary are two entries...hers and another one of our moms, Leah, that describe the procedure of the cerclage and how they felt about it (both very positive). They feel that their subsequent children are here because of this procedure.
I thought these entries might give you even more hope...
Thank you SHARE Atlanta for "guiding" me a long my dark and lonely path. It's been almost 6 months since my daughter Lacey was stillborn and I, thanks to you, am starting to live again. Without the love and support of the people around me, I would not have survived. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
I love you,
Forever In Our Hearts......
Lacey MaKenna Ivey
September 16, 2003
Cindy Ivey's, a SHARE Atlanta member, 2004 Pledge Letter in memory of her daughter, Lacey.
Father’s Day is fast approaching, and this year is the third year since my Amelia is not with me. There is not a day that goes by that I am not reminded of or think of my sweet angel.
My wife and I attended our first SHARE Atlanta meeting two weeks after the loss of our daughter. Right away I became aware that we were not alone, and that this was a safe place to openly discuss our loss and our feelings.
I consider myself a typical male in that I want to be able to protect my family from any harm and fix any problems right away and make the hurt go away. When you have a loss of such a magnitude there are no quick fixes. One of the things I learned from SHARE Atlanta is that everyone grieves differently, and there is nothing set in stone as to when you will get back to normal. There is nothing that will ever be normal again, especially on how you look at your life, your wife, your family and the rest of the world. It is important to communicate your feelings with your wife. It is just as important to have someone else to talk with besides your wife so that you can have another avenue of communication. The people involved with SHARE Atlanta are a great source, either to talk with or put you in touch with someone who you will feel comfortable talking with.
The statistics show that parents who have a loss of such magnitude often separate. I feel that by open communication and working with each other you will build a stronger relationship with your spouse. Marcia and the people of SHARE Atlanta have helped my family by allowing us to openly discuss our Amelia in a safe environment and introduced us to incredible people with incredible stories. SHARE Atlanta is about sharing memories, family, faith and hope.
My wife and I had a fourth child in October 2001, Natalyn. She is beautiful and is definitely spoiled by her 2 older brothers and her parents as well. We remember our Amelia every day in our prayers and every year on her birthday, April 30. I know in my heart that Amelia and I will have our dance when I see her in heaven. Thank you Marcia and SHARE Atlanta for all of your support.
A. Todd Smith - May 2003
A picture of Todd and Melina and the poem Melina wrote as they are a part of our 2002 Memorial Service. Click on hearts.
Dear SHARE Atlanta,
I will always remember the car ride to our first SHARE Atlanta meeting. It was only twelve days after our daughter was stillborn at 42 weeks. I know we were still in shock. We were just beginning the long journey of grief. I am told that it is rare for someone to come to a group so soon after a loss, but I am a firm believer in talking things out, and my husband was in no frame of mind to argue. We were not sure what to expect, but we were hoping for hope.
What we found was a wonderful family of people; a support network that has continued throughout these three years. We both continued the couples group for about six months, and I stayed with the women’s group for a year and a half. I made some good friends and have been able now to give back a little.
There is no pain so sharp as that of losing a child. SHARE Atlanta addresses not only that unique grief but also the loss of the dream for that unborn baby. Only another parent who has had the same loss will truly know how you feel. I would encourage anyone who has had a pregnancy or early newborn loss to seek out the unique support that SHARE Atlanta has to offer.
It is an opportunity to tell the story of your loss, a chance to talk about your baby, when often you are not able to with other friends and family. Even if you don’t share but only listen, you will find that by hearing other people’s stories you experience some healing and will know that you are not alone.Melina Smith
SHARE Atlanta and my church helped me in my grief process
I plan to enter my story on the website soon in hopes that it will help others.
At this time, I just want other families to know that SHARE Atlanta (in addition to my church) family has helped me immensly in the grief process. I am not sure if I could have gone on with life with out the support of this group. I thank everyone that I have met and has shared their experience in order to help me. Angela Johnson
Angela's story: "Gwendolyn" by Angela (4/29/01)
"SHARE Atlanta's mom's, Angela, Subsequent Diary started 9/10/04..follow her journey through her pregnancy."Angela Johnson
Note from Marcia Feb. 6, 2004: Janna was a very important link in an in-service that SHARE Atlanta held on Feb. 5th at Rockdale County Hospital. She spoke from the perspective of a "caregiver" and as a parent. Her contribution was very meaningful.
Thank you for the reminder email. I did not realize the meeting was tonight until I received your message today. Perhaps I can plan to come to next month's meeting.
I do have kind of a strange question, but one of the biggest things holding me back from attending a group is the fear of hearing other horror stories of loss. One thing that keeps me going is the hope of one day having another baby, and although it helps to know I'm not alone in my grief, it's also scary to hear about how many times it has happened to other people and the many things that can go wrong. It's easier to believe that this was a one-time tragic event. Do other parents ever mention this concern or am I being unreasonable? Thank you for your help. JannaJanna
"The story of Avery" by Janna (6/11/02)Dear Janna,
Many paths for healing...
I have wanted to spend a moment and answer this very important question. SHARE Atlanta's mission is to help bereaved parents to heal and to work towards "what will be" in their lives. We attempt to do this through many different mediums: our site, our newsletter, written materials, memorial gatherings and candle lightings, our angel garden with memorial bricks, and groups. We invite parents and close friends or relatives to participate in these as the parent wishes.
We understand that parents’ needs vary as they move "through" the grieving process and what works one day may not the next OR what works for one parent may not work for another. That is why we keep so many options open. Options, after any tragic loss, are important. All too often, a parent will feel as though there are NO options. Choices are part of what helps us move through the many transitions and changes in order to heal.
Groups provide a common ground for working through the grieving process..
Having said this, we are pleased that we have our local groups. Many parents who visit our site wish that they HAD a local group to attend. A group does more than give a place to know you aren't alone, it provides a common ground for working through the many parts of the grieving process in order to heal.
Loss of innocence...death does happen at birth...
Your concern has been expressed in our groups. It is a valid concern. After a loss, our innocence has already been attacked: we now know that death can come with birth. A quick review of the site points this out - especially in the Sharing Stories section. A natural part of grief is denial. It is hard for us to accept any of what has happened to us, and we wish to believe that this horrible experience is not really a part of the larger world. That ours is a once in a lifetime happening. Coming to a group clearly validates that it does happen to others. We do learn about other kinds of losses. It is real.
Close bonds as we work through grief...
I will speak to my Women's group because I facilitate it. I have written 10 booklets to help focus the group. The booklet’s emphasis is on the grieving process with healing being the desired outcome to attending the group. We do not "tell" every story during a meeting. Pieces of stories come out as we explore the topic of the evening. The topics, found in our Parent Packet, are aimed at learning about the grieving process, coping skills, and the discussions are centered on how you and the others in the group can move through this time and what you might expect.
Usually, the women in the group develop close bonds and support one another through difficult times. Our babies have names or identities, our experiences are often shared after the meeting as mothers want to know more about each others child. Healing also comes because we can share our story and baby in a safe haven with mothers who really want to hear.
While it is hard to hear about other losses, we learn about the strengths of each other. Several times someone else's story has helped another person during a subsequent pregnancy and sharing ideas for pregnancies can also help during a subsequent pregnancy.
Permission to grieve...to heal..
Most "group" moms have agreed that though they have learned about other kinds of losses, the support in being given "permission to grieve to heal" tied with being able to express and discuss "real" feelings and reactions with others who truly understand - makes having local groups worthwhile.
In the 18 years of groups, most all of our parents go on to have another baby (mostly biological but we have had many adopt, too), and they have found additional support in our Subsequent Pregnancy Group. SHARE Atlanta's role is to help you come to the point where making the choice to "move on" is doable. Healing is our number one goal.
Healing takes different paths for each member
Some mothers come to the group once - others every month for a year and many fall in between. (Many return on anniversaries to remember and to support newly bereaved moms.) Most find others in the group who they can share. Sharing is very important for these mothers—especially when the rest of the world is ready for you to be past it. I also have had local members find supportive friends via the website.
It is each parents decision as to what they wish to do. I totally honor that. It is important for you to feel as comfortable as you can wherever you choose to be or whatever you wish to do. That is why we have several options.
Good questions deserve a thought out response. I have said this many times, just not written it (recently, anyways).
Order our "Parent Packet" to learn how our members feel about SHARE Atlanta...
I am glad you have found our site and I hope our Parents Packet has helped you. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you move through this path. Take care, Marcia
Note from Marcia July 2003: Janna did come to the group. She shared her story and heard others. She told me that it helped a lot and she very much appreciated what the group offered. She has since had a son.
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