A DREAM FOR EMPATHY

When we were in the hospital facing this unbearable pain and impossible decisions, we so desperately wanted to talk with someone who had been through this unimaginable circumstance we were facing. But everywhere we asked, we were told, there was no one.  We had many wonderful doctors, nurses and social workers who provided us sympathy, but none had been through what we were facing. What we needed, what we so desperately yearned for was empathy….

Out of desperation, I asked my dad if he’d be willing to share his story.  My dad had experienced the loss of his first son, Joey. But he never spoke of it…! All I knew was that he had a son, his name was Joey and at 2 1/2 months old...he died.  I fully expected my dad to say no; but, when I asked, he paused...and in that moment, it was 47 years earlier and my dad was right back there again walking through the grief, immersed in that experience with Joey.  

And then something absolutely incredible happened...as my dad shared his story, he was healing as he was helping my husband and I receive the empathy we so desperately needed.  We were hearing from someone who had been through it and survived. We were looking into the eyes of someone who knew the intensity of the pain and the overwhelming feeling that you don’t believe that you will endure this.  Who knew intimately the part of you who believes wholeheartedly that you will die too, right along with your baby, and even the part of you who wants to. 

Connecting with someone who had been there gave us hope that we might endure this...gave us a small light in the darkness, and reminded us that we were not alone. And neither are you…. Heaven’s Hummingbirds seeks to be a safe haven where those who are suffering can run and be heard, be seen and their babies be honored.  Together...we can experience healing in the hope...peace in the pain and hope, through empathy. 

2018/2019 Annual Priorities:

There are 3 important initiatives for July 2018-June 2019

  1. Providing Empathy - Through the support group and expanding its reach, this project is seeking to provide parents who are facing the loss of a baby with access to parents who have been through this experience.  These parents will go through a vetting process, be provided training and education on grief support, and have completed their own grief work.
  2. Strengthen the Bridge from Hospital to Home - This project will reach out to various resources targeting this ministry, obtain up to date and accurate information on these resources and ensure that information is accessible to the nurses and social workers who are on the front lines serving these parents.  An online central resource with up to date, real time resources will help bridge the gap between the support received in the hospital and being at home solo, where people can feel very isolated in their grief.  A place where resources can be listed, links shared, helpful information posted and maybe a platform for bereaved parents to connect. We will include everything from grief support and counseling contacts to funeral and burial support to financial support for medical bills to memorial events and keepsakes.  
  3. Financial Support Connection - We will help to fill this gap in two ways: First, through ensuring that parents are connected with the organizations that are already offering financial support. This includes ensuring hospitals and those on the front lines can provide parents with application forms and other required materials to receive financial support. Second, we will partner with a local funeral home to receive discounted rates on burial expenses and have some funds set aside to support families from CRMC and MGMC, especially at year’s end when other organizations have run out of funding.

Would you like to help or partner with us in these priorities?  We’d love that! Please email us at heavenshummingbirds@dignityhealth.org or message us on Facebook.

 

 

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