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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy Loss’ Category

Rabbi Dickstein has led the Conservative movement to establish new legal responses that carry with them the full authority of Jewish law. Here are the major points of this new practice:

1. In the case of a full-term pregnancy, when an infant dies for any reason, at any time after birth, its parents and other family members should be obligated for full bereavement practices, just as for any other child. The parents should recite Kaddish for 30 days and should observe yahrzeit. Young siblings have no oblig­ation to say Kaddish, and post-bar/bat mitzvah siblings should be encouraged to use the traditional rituals to work through the many feelings they have.

2. The body should be buried in accordance with Jewish practice. The funeral should follow standard practice with appropriate readings of comfort in place of a eulogy. Parents should be encouraged to attend the funeral, as should family and close friends. The funeral should be held as soon as possible, although if the mother wants to attend, burial may be delayed until she recovers enough physical strength following the delivery to attend.

3. If the infant was not named prior to death, it is usually given a name at the grave. The name may be the one the parents intended to use for their child (although this might be difficult for the surviving grandparents whose own parents may have been remembered with this name), or they might choose a name like Menahem or Nehamah, names that indicate a desire for “comfort.” There are two reasons for the naming: a) according to Jewish folk tradition, giving a name will enable parents to “find” their child in the world to come; and b) psychologists consider the prac­tice of naming to be an important help in healing the parents’ grief.

4.  If the information gathered from an autopsy can help determine the advisability of future pregnancies for the couple or of treatment of diseases to which other chil­dren of the couple might be susceptible, it should be allowed, even encouraged.

5. A complete shiva should be observed, beginning with the meal of consolation and including daily prayer services for the mourners. Communal participation in the shiva makes real this loss and overcomes the tremendous isolation the parents feel. If things had turned out differently, the community would have been there for visit­ing the baby and welcoming it with Jewish birth rituals. The family whose newborn dies should not be denied its community. It is also extremely important, especially for the father, to allow permission to do nothing else but mourn during the shiva period.

6. The father and the mother should be treated equally as mourners. Both parents will react differently to the loss, [but] it is partic­ularly important for the father to recognize his loss, for it is no less real than the mother’s. When the father is treated as a mourner, he is relieved of the burden of “being strong” for his wife. He has a specific set of ritual tasks to do that encourage him to confront the magnitude of his loss in all its dimensions.

7. In the case of infants born prematurely, there is still debate within the Law Committee on how to define “viability.” Some, including Rabbi Dickstein, argue that between five months and thirty weeks the decision concerning mourning might be made by the local rabbi and the parents.

Certainly, there may be those who feel the centuries-old practice of not mourning a neonatal death could be more comforting than engaging in the whole ritual of Jewish bereavement. But for those who desperately need a vehicle for grief, this recent ruling allowing for the mourning of newborns is indeed a welcome development.

Dr. Ron Wolfson is the Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University and the president of Synagogue 3000.

Jewish twist on parenting

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An energy reading and a very detailed interpretation of the reading were presented to me by Janet Nestor, holistic healer and author of Pathways to Wholeness.

Janet is a supporter of Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Journal offering articles not typically accepted by mainstream society. If you are willing to open your mind to the possibilities, please do consider speaking with her regarding your losses.

Because my son died at birth, any memorabilia, pictures, descriptions are very much welcomed. A few photographs were taken of him at birth, clipping of hair, ashes, foot and hand prints and it just isn’t enough for a mother. Below is an energy reading where Janet connected with my little angel on August 3rd, 2010.

Tanner, son of Diana Gardner-Williams

Tanner has a whole lot to say. His senses are all operational from the spirit realm. His is connected to spirit, his listening ears are wide open for communication. He has a lot to say about a lot of things.

The blue orb at the third eye…inner eye. He is like a magnet. He intuits everything and is able to process through the center better than any others. His vision is full spectrum vision. He sees everything on all at once….many levels of seeing and understanding and had the ability to communicate what he sees and understands.

Colors:

Peach-he is social. Likes to be part of the mix. Also patient and kind and you can feel his love and compassion without hardly trying. He is shadowy in structure, but when he communicates you can hear and communicate with him.

Light pink/lavender-He is vibrant. He has a lot to say/intuit/process. He likes where he lives and is exactly where he is supposed to be. This is his world. He is comfortable within his world. He knows his way around.

The light blue in his energy field-it is his level of permanence. He is ever-present in your life, will remain ever-present in your family life as long as this family exists. He is part of the family and enjoys his interactions. He has a sense of humor. He can pop in and out and does.

His spiritual body seems to be a thought form. He is light and airy. He has great wisdom, which he will share if you listen to what he has to say. It is not infant wisdom, but wisdom of spirit that is collective in nature. He really does not seem to be identified with his human body at all. He is identified with his spiritual being and that life.

Notice his eyes and the fact that they appear alert. They are alert. The line through his eyes is a boundary of sorts. Reflects his deep insights. He will not interfere in what is not his to see and hear. He stays back unless invited. He is not hesitant. But he is respectful of privacy and of his role. As a child one might have called him timid, but not silent. Shy, but not withdrawn. Funny, but not a clown and center of attention.

The only thing he misses is the ability to cuddle. He would have loved touch and still likes touch although it is not the same. He will snuggle in close to you if he can…almost feel like a part of you. You might notice when he is around because he likes to be so close. He would loved to be noticed in those moments, but he does not seek to be noticed.

He is both child energy and very wise energy all rolled up into one spiritual being. His identity in this life is one of infant child. His spirit identity is ages old. A lovely mix of innocence and aged wisdom.

I cannot thank you enough Janet. These words are precious to me and gives my being another purpose and understanding of my child. This is tangible and will be cherished upon my alter for him.

 

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal thanks you for providing resources for our community.

Janet Nestor will be signing copies of her book on Friday January 14th at Chanel Lace Hair Gallery-2011. Beautiful wigs for women on a healing journey, click here for more information

More information on energy readings, click here

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Support is available for bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss in the Piedmont Triad Area. Heartstrings  is our local non-profit working with families who have lost a pregnancy or baby from conception to one year of age. This is done through a variety of supports designed to help them grieve, mourn, and begin to reconcile themselves to the death of their baby as well as cope with the emotions of a subsequent pregnancy.

The 6th Annual “Walk to Remember” of 2010 was held at Triad Park in Kernersville, NC. Families come to remember their children who briefly came into their lives and forever in their hearts.

The morning was beautiful and perfect for remembering angels.

T-Shirts were provided for the walkers.

Tammy Councilman is our local photographer representing the non-profit, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

Handmade Quilt by families of the babies passed.

The children are missed and remembered.

Every year symbolic ornaments are presented to the parents, which are then hung on a tree while the baby names are read.

This year, a butterfly.

Many sponsors provide refreshments, signs and donations.

Many people walk the 1 mile track to honor babies and their families.

To help those comforting bereaved parents of pregnancy and infant loss, please take a few minutes to answer a few questions to be published within Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Journal. It is only by sharing our experiences, will others know how to comfort those walking in different shoes. We thank you for your time.

Journals are published online at, Read Journals Online.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana Gardner-Williams  publisher

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 Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal is our community paper addressing loss, healing, memorials and proactive living. Founded by a mother, whose stillborn son is an integral part of the family today.

They are looking to educate society by providing articles within the journal addressing questions below. The journey of loosing a baby or pregnancy is devastating; however, if one has not walked in these shoes, it is difficult to comprehend. Please contact Diana@justacloudaway.com with answers to these questions (you may remain anonymous). Feel free to comment directly onto this post as well.

  1. Have you experienced any signs from your child/children?
  2. What words or actions of others comforted you the most?
  3. How can people help you in the future to honor your child?
  4. How have you memorialized your baby/babies?
  5. How have you described your loss to other living siblings?
  6. When people ask, “How many children do you have?” what is your response?
  7. Has the loss of your child/children changed your spirituality?
  8. Men and woman grief differently, do you have any suggestions to help other couples understand these differences?
  9. How do you acknowledge the Angelversary (day child passed)

10. Would you be interested in attending a casual paper crafting workshop at the Emerald Event Center, on a Friday night from 5-11? The location is 2000 East Wendover Ave, where supplies are provided to create memorials. More information is provided at http://www.justacloudaway.com on various ways to remember and memorialize our angels.

Please help increase awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. If you are located in another state other than North Carolina, please note in your answers and thank you.

Peace …..Diana

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Angelversary n. 1. is a word created by a bereaved parent denoting the annual date of a baby’s death, either early in pregnancy, stillbirth, or shortly after. This day is just as important to a bereaved parent as a birthday, and many are marking both birth and death on the same day. While “anniversary” might work, that often seems too celebratory a word for this kind of day. Angelversary is our answer to describing the most difficult day during the year.

 These are suggestions and ideas for Angelversary days.

Release balloons or butterflies

 ♥ In-name-of Gift -You can buy a star named after your child or give a financial contribution to a deserving charity

Visit child’s resting place – You can spend this day visiting your child’s gravesite, memory garden, site where you spread your child’s ashes, or any number of places that hold special meaning to your family and remind you of your child

Take baby someplace new – We believe your baby is with you in some spiritual way.  If you too believe this, you may like the idea of taking your baby someplace new each angelversary.  You can take pictures at that location and compose a scrapbook of all the places you visited in honor of your special angel baby

Send a letter to family and friends – Sharing the memory of your child can be especially important and healing.  One way to do this is to send a letter to your family and friends with special memories and thoughts you have of/for your child

 ♥ Adopt a pet – Pets are great healers and need your love. Perhaps now is the day you want to choose an addition to your family

 ♥ Living object – You can plant something in honor of your beloved child.  The choices of what to plant are quite plentiful and if you don’t have space at home you can plant in a community garden, pot or memorial garden.

 by Basil Augusta

Some information provided by www.alovingjourney.org and www.kotapress.com

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If this subject doesn’t affect you, you are blessed. If a friend or family member looses a baby and you are aware of supportive resources, you may be their angel when most needed. No one ever dreams of loosing a baby, however, 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur in the USA every year.

If the parents have not named the baby, you may want to suggest thinking about this. Even if the loss was an early miscarriage, naming the baby will give them an identity and validation.

What do I do to help a friend who has lost a baby regarding the funeral or memorial service?

If you have not lost a child yourself, it may be very difficult to find the words to comfort them. There is a list found here to help  support your friend. Another list is available regarding, what not to say to bereaved parents.

Some funeral homes offer free memorial service for stillborn babies and give discounts for a funeral. Help them by making these necessary phones calls.

When the parents of the deceased baby have decided to have a funeral or memorial service, they may need additional help from you with the logistics. It is important to involve both parents as much as possible in the decision making. Even though this is a very sad time, this event will be remembered for a lifetime.

Areas of the funeral:

  • Notifying people of the service
  • Location
  • Music
  • Readings, Poems or Stories
  • If a priest or pastor will be present
  • Does the baby need to be baptised
  • Cremation or Burial (small caskets for later miscarried babies are available at Heaven’s Gain)
  • Burial Clothes
  • Container or urn for ashes
  • Headstone or marker
  • Obituary in paper
  • Would the family like flowers or encourage donations
  • Helping to assemble the altar with keepsakes and other memorabilia
  • Contacting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if  parents want professional pictures of the funeral and baby after declining at the hospital
  • Choosing an outfit for the baby
  • Donating organs

Remember that the scents of the season, colors, music on the radio, the landscape, the ambiance of the month will all attribute to the memories etched into the minds of the  parents, later triggering thoughts of  their baby.

Usually about the time of the service or funeral (2-5 days after the baby’s death) the mother’s milk will come in if she was further along in the pregnancy. The milk can be donated to save another child’s life. The program is The Breast Milk Project.

Wedding gowns can be donated to the Mary Madeline Project or Heavenly Angels in Need  to make burial gowns for babies that have died. Sewers are also in great need.

Some of the smallest burial gowns were made for 18-22 week old babies.

Here is the Triad, Busy Bee Crafters, a non-profit, volunteer their time sewing, knitting and crocheting. This group, led by Sandra Vernon and has been in place for over 20 years. Some of the garments created are: bereavement pocket or bereavement dress and blanket, and prayer shawls in pastel colors. 

These are some of the logistics family and friends can help organize for the bereaved parents of pregnancy loss or infant death. Having this knowledge could someday be the gift providing a grieving family direction and assistance in a time of devastating grief.

Please feel free to leave additional suggestions and comments.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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