Along this journey of grief, I’ve come in contact with many wonderful parents who’ve had similar, devastating experiences. We’ve all lost sons and daughters and can offer each other a special kind of understanding and support. For us, there is no silence about stillbirth. We are often compelled to seek out others who have walked in our footsteps because even when we have supportive friends and family, we still feel so alone in our loss.
We all find ways to reach out to other grieving parents and to honor our missing children. I started this blog and became active with a small group of women who lost babies around the same time as me. I talk openly about Hannah and about her death so that I can, in some small way, help break the silence surrounding stillbirth.
Other parents go beyond that. They do much more to help support grieving parents. Many start charities in memory of their children. A Heart to Hold is one of those charities. From their website: ”Our mission; To offer comfort to families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss by creating and sharing the gift of a weighted handmade heart.”
Our heart arrived today. It weighs 6 pounds, 8 ounces – exactly what our precious baby girl weighed when she was born. I’ve thought about requesting one for some time now, but I honestly never had the courage. Even today, when I opened the box, part of me hesitated before lifting the heart out. Once I did, I cradled it closely, trying to remember exactly what it was like to hold Hannah. It’s strange…the weight seems heavier in my arms now. Time has changed some of my memories already.
Now I wish I’d requested it sooner. In those first painful weeks and months my arms were empty and I ached with longing to hold my daughter again. This weighted heart – though no substitute for our lost little ones – helps fill that void. It’s a tangible way for us to stay connected to those memories. Even now, a year and half after losing Hannah, I will cherish this heart. I’ll have it to hold for as long as I live.
Thank you to A Heart to Hold for such an amazing gift. Please, if you have a moment, visit their website, www.ahearttohold.com. And if you are able, please make a donation so that other parents can have this beautiful gift.