The first opportunity started with nominating my bosses in 9/06 for the 2007 Compassionate Friends Compassionate Employers Awards (check out the link from last week to see how the nomination came about). So, I opened my e-mail this morning to find this message from my Director:
"Marcia Alig from Compassionate Friends, NJ Director, wants to arrange a date/time to come over and present the plaque. I'd like to do this at a time when you are here, of course, but also to see whom else you would like to have present for the presentation. They may want you to say something if you feel like you want to. Clearly Sarah should be included. What about others? They suggested publicity, so we could invite Carl Blesch if you thought this was something you felt comfortable about publicizing. Marcia said their group likes publicity since it is good for them. Let's talk about this tomorrow. They would like to do this some time in the next few weeks. I'll be out of town a lot next week and some the week after, but we could do it the week of March 26."Uh, I wasn't expecting this kind of publicity other than the center's name being listed on the Compassionate Friends web page!
But, you know what? I am glad that the local chapter is also acknowledging my bosses for being as kind and considerate as they were over the past year or so. It is very rare to find a group of people that supportive - and they deserve the recognition. So, I agreed to have this publicized by the University Relations Department and to also have everyone here at my Center be there (with my Hubby and I) when my bosses are given the plaque. Maybe this is a stepping stone for all employers to be kind during such a time of sorrow when going through a pregnancy loss or a death of a child.
Who knew I would become such the activist!
The second opportunity came about when I contacted someone named Hanna about a book she was writing on how couples remember their angels after a pregnancy loss or stillbirth. This request for stories came over a loss support e-mail list I received back in November - and I decided to share my story in February. Well, the book is now published - and my story is a part of it. I ordered a copy, as I have not yet seen the book at all. If anyone is interested, go here:
Remembering Our Angels: Personal Stories of Healing from a Pregnancy LossWhen I get the copy, I can let you know where our section is.
"No one knows the devastation and heartache of losing a baby more than a father or mother. Grieving parents often do not know where to turn and what to do with their grief in the aftermath of a pregnancy loss. In "Remembering Our Angels," Hannah Stone has collected essays and stories from pregnancy loss awareness activists, doctors, grief counselors and grieving parents in the hope of offering a resource to parents in mourning."
The third opportunity is that my husband and I are taking part in a research study with someone from NYU doing his doctoral thesis on learning the experience of couples who have lost a child prior to birth. His research will be complete around 6/07 - and he is hoping to publish his findings in the future. I saw this through the SHARE March newsletter and online here - but it is also available through RESOLVE. If anyone is interested, he would like to get a very broad sampling of couples that will strengthen his research.
I guess that part of acceptance is not being afraid to publically acknowldge your experiences... I hope at least one person will have a positive experience through sharing my story. I have certainly been aided by others sharing their stories - I hope I can repay the favor to someone else.