When my husband and I lost our child, Jude, on December 8, 2011; I was devastated and felt very alone. I knew I had family and friends who were willing to help me through this loss, but I struggled with how to handle this loss in my life. First, we had to make the decision to tell people in our life that I was pregnant and had lost a child. I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do but it felt as if I was keeping a secret to the very people who would be my support. I also felt that by not saying anything it was if I was embarrassed or didn’t recognize this child in my life. I made the decision to speak about my child because I was not ashamed of him and needed to honor his life. It helped when I started sharing my story with other women in my life and they began to share their similar stories of losing children in their lives. This is when I realized the importance of women sharing with other women, couples sharing this bond together and the need for support services to be given to parents who experience this loss so they never feel that they are alone.
I struggled, initially, with how society would view my grieving process. I felt like this was a taboo subject that made everyone uncomfortable and was definitely not socially acceptable to talk about. I have had women tell me they never shared their stories with friends and family willingly because they felt ashamed or embarrassed. I was fortunate to have a supportive core of family and friends who allowed me to speak about my child. However, in general, I found people didn’t know what to say to me. When they did say something it was words of encouragement to move past this loss and reassurances that I would have another baby. I felt I was not being allowed to grieve this baby. It was as if they expected my husband and I would just forget it happened.
This was unacceptable to us and so we knew we needed to do something about it. This website is intended to help all women and their partners who have experienced loss. It is important to know that it is OK to remember. In fact, you will never forget. I believe it is important to grieve this loss and find healthy ways to remember your child and celebrate their life.
For my husband and I, we decided to find out the sex of our baby and to name our child. We chose the name Jude, after the Saint for Lost Causes and Miraculous Hope. We intend to have an annual fundraiser in honor of Jude. In this way, we are celebrating the life of our child. It is a way for our family and friends to honor this baby with us. Jude will bring us together annually to spend time with those who mean the most to us. This is what was important and worked for us; you, too, will find what works for you and I celebrate you for doing it.
The Story of the Starfish
One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, "I'm saving thesestarfish, Sir".
The old man chuckled aloud, "Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?"
The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, "It made a difference to that one!"
Hopeful Connections was started with the belief that if we can help even one person find the support they need to help deal with a pregnancy loss than it is well worth the effort. We hope that this site is a helpful resource for you or for someone you care about to find the support that they need. We will continue to grow and add pieces to the website, if you have any resources or information that you think would be helpful for people to know about please feel free to contact us.