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Posts Tagged ‘Just a Cloud Away’

Memorial Ad for Just a Cloud Away Inc. ™ Journal

1st patchwork Quilt of Remembrance will be published January 2011 within Just a Cloud Away Inc. ™ Journal, online at http://www.justacloudaway.com/journal.html and https://justacloud.wordpress.com.

In addition to remembering those who have instilled many wonderful memories, your donation enables the journal to be printed and distributed monthly. Please support your human interest paper regarding love, loss, healing and memorials…… a subject of great importance.

 To place a 1 ½   by 1 ½ inch full color memorial ad for a loved one

  • Please send a close up (digital headshot) of your loved one to Diana@justacloudaway.com
  • The name of your loved one (18 characters)
  • Choose-In Memory of or In Honor of
  • 18 characters (including spaces) for the third line to note dates, loving words, etc
  • $25.00 check mailed to Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal PO Box 327 Julian, NC 27283
  • How many months would you like your loved ones memorial ad to run
  • If you are outside the Piedmont Triad Area, please include your mailing address or that of the bereaved family to send journals
  • Please send all of the above by the 7th of the previous month the ad is to be published (Example-to run in January’s issue, submit information by the 7th of December)
  • If this is an early pregnancy loss, we will accept sonogram pictures or other significant photos in memory of your babies
  • The Quilt of Remembrance is also provided for pet owners

 

 

 We thank you for your supporting the journal. The first Quilt of Remembrance will be published in the January 2011 issue

Please contact Diana to share your story

We Remember Them

 

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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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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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“You are better off, there was probably something wrong with the baby” or “Heaven needed another angel” are supposed to comfort bereaved parents of pregnancy and infant loss. Would those words comfort you after the death of your baby or pregnancy?

 Words and Actions Not Recommended to Comfort Bereaved Families

Even though your words come straight from your heart, they may not offer the comfort you intended. Here are some phrases and words not recommended for bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss.

  • Your baby is in a better place
  • It was God’s will
  • God needed another angel
  • You are still young, you can have more
  • You never have to worry about your baby
  • There was probably something wrong with the baby
  • Everything happens for a reason
  • It wasn’t the right time

Things you may want to consider:

  • Do not ignore what has happened
  • Do not avoid saying their baby’s name, unless they have stated to do so
  • Do not take down the nursery, unless they have stated to do so
  • Do not expect bereaved families to attend festive events for some time
  • Do not ignore the baby’s angelversary (birthday or death date)
  • Do not compare your grief experiences with theirs
  • Do not expect them to “move on” quickly because they never held the baby alive
  • Do not tell them how to grieve

 Every bereaved family is different and grieving is hard work. You may help them on their healing journey by avoiding some of these actions and statements that are well known in this community as being hurtful. Please see articles on recommended words and actions that may offer comfort located at Haven of Hope and Healing  and Heartstrings.

If you are a bereaved parent or family member, feel free to mention other words that did not bring you comfort. We can learn from each other what did not bring the support needed while noting what words or phrases may console.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal

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The color white feels so right when designing a garden for a baby angel. Whether your baby passed early in pregnancy or as an infant, a garden of beauty can be created to honor little angels gone too soon.

 When I see white flowers I think pure, sweet, angelic, innocent and uncomplicated. The color white is prevalent in life changing events and bridges the past to the future.  People who have endured near death experiences claim to be surrounded by warm, white lights.

We wear white to weddings, to christen our babies and white shirts are worn to funerals by many. White has a true respect and dignity by various cultures.  White flowers not only have meaningful properties, they are the only color that is highly visible at dusk and in the moonlight.  The moonlit or white garden has a classic beauty that transcends time. If your baby passed before their gender was determined, white would be suitable for both. Maybe the early evening hours are significant and reminiscent of your angel. It could have been the time you told your family you were pregnant, when your baby was the most active, or the time you said nighty night to your sweet child.  Whether or not the time of day has relevance, a moonlit garden is more likely to be enjoyed because of work schedules. If you have an existing garden for your angel, I highly recommend adding some white blooms within. 

White flowers display incredible contrast with the dark, lustrous green foliage of certain plants.  This contrast automatically attracts your eyes while brightening a dark space.  Here are some plants that offer this contrast in a shady location; gardenia, otto luyken laurel, hills of snow hydrangea, immortality iris, and winters cupid camellia. Some suggestions for full sun areas are; annual periwinkle, swamp hibiscus, daisy and Diana rose of sharon.

Not all flower blooms are the same in shape and you may want to explore the different forms that could be significant to you and your baby. The white bleeding heart perennial has heart-shaped blooms that line the stem and the white balloon flower looks as if it could fly into the clouds. There are several white blooms shaped like snowballs; yoshino cherry tree, album rhododendron, hills of snow hydrangea, and snowball viburnum. There are several flower blooms that are bell-shaped which will add a very unique element to the garden. Some of the plant varieties are; pieris, lily of the valley, enkianthus, rabbiteye blueberry, and japanese snowbell tree. A few flowers are shaped like small bottle brushes including; otto luyken laurel, itea and monroe’s white liriope. Other plants have a fringe-type flower with strap-like petals like the fringe tree, white chinese loropetalum and cleome.

White flowers not only add beauty but also sweet fragrance. This could be one of your favorite scents to breathe in while reflecting upon your child. Some highly intoxicating flowers for sunny areas are; daffodils, crinium, garden phlox, dianthus, oriental lily, hyacinth, peony, sweetbay magnolia, sweet alyssum, petunia, gingerlily and snowball viburnum. Some shade-loving plants are; himalayan sweet box, itea, winter daphne, hollyleaf osmanthus, camellias, and fortune osmanthus.

You can also include the sense of audio in your baby’s garden. Blown by a gentle breeze, the sound of grass can be very soothing. Ornamental grasses add a fine and delicate texture to the garden and wonderful contrast beside course textured plants. The white, feathery plumes usually stand a bit higher than the strap-like foliage and can be seen from a distance. Grasses are usually drought tolerant, grow in full sun and very easy to maintain. Some good choices are; pampas grass, quaking grass, switch grass and maiden grass.

If you have a structure like a fence, vine pole or pergola, you may want to select a vine- like plant to cascade or climb along it. There are several plants to choose from, including; climbing iceberg or sally holmes rose, climbing hydrangea, silver lace vine, armand clematis, alba plena lady bank’s rose, moonflower, hybrid henryi clematis, sweet autumn clematis, perennial sweet pea vine (pictured above), star jasmine and  white japanese wisteria.

No matter if your loved one was your baby or your grandmother, white is soothing and comforting. Adding white blooms will contribute to the overall beauty of your memory garden for you and your loved ones.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal

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Give the Gift of “Love Memorials™” to Grieving Families.

 “Love Memorials™” are very personalized sympathy gifts given to comfort a person or family grieving the loss of a loved one. This gift comes straight from the heart without the possibility of duplication. A “Love Memorial™” can be sent immediately after the death, on death anniversaries, angelversaries, birthdays, the season, approximate pregnancy due dates or holidays. There is no timeline for a gift honoring a life.

 At least three people are involved in the creation of a “Love Memorial™”; the person grieving, the deceased person or pet and you. There are no rules to compose a “Love Memorial™”, only the depth of thought for its conception. When you take the time to understand the relationship of the bereaved individual and loved one passed, a precious and unique keepsake can be composed.

“Love Memorials™” can be a simple handmade card, remembrance ribbons , poems , journal entries, or scrapbook pages. Other forms of “Love Memorials™” are virtual memorials, memory gardens and drawings.

 A handmade card is a wonderful and considerate way to send a heartfelt “Love Memorial™”. The card located above was created for a couple who lost their daughter Abby at 22 weeks gestation due to miscarriage. The photograph of a golden sunrise, the yellow butterfly and lemony cloud the angel is resting on, symbolizes the gemstone citrine. Abby’s approximate due date was December second. Providing this kind of information is helpful when creating a card reflecting the color of her gemstone.

 If you have a talent for writing, compose a “Love Memorial™” in the form of a letter or poem. This type of gift would be highly treasured because of the amount of thought required for its creation. My girlfriend created a “Love Memorial™” for us after the stillbirth of our son Tanner. The poem is called, If he could tell you…” and was read at our Memory Garden Dedication for Tanner. My girlfriend was also a new mother of a 3 month old when she composed this comforting poem that touched my heart. Her words also reflected a very real pain for her too.

 If you are creative and have either an organic or symmetrical style, try designing a “Love Memorial™” in the form of scrapbook pages . This “Love Memorial™” created from your perspective could comfort bereaved families while providing a memorial keepsake reflecting hope. My sister-in-law created a beautiful “Love Memorial™” for us honoring little Tanner. One could even create scrapbook pages from the perspective of child in heaven, reassuring the bereaved that they are doing just fine and love them deeply.

 Virtual memorials are another way to express your support for bereaved families. By working through the logistics and set up of an online memorial, unnecessary stress for grieving family members are alleviated. These “Love Memorials™” allow you to write short stories, poems or anything else about the deceased or those grieving the loss. Memorials can be personalized by background colors, music, and significant photos, making this online tribute unique.

Remembrance Videos are another option to create a unique memorial. Families usually have the video playing during the wake and funeral meals. This beautiful tribute will be treasured by hurting families.

 Typical sympathy gifts usually involve you and the individual grieving the loss, such as a sympathy card. Sending such gifts would be fine if it is distressing or uncomfortable to send a “Love Memorial™”. After some time passes, ideas and thoughts may be discovered helping to compose a “Love Memorial™” for your bereaved friend or family member. These types of sympathy gifts will be truly cherished because you haven taken time to think about their special relationship and the undying love within their hearts.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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Heartstrings is a local support group for those suffering from the loss of an infant, pregnancy or stillbirth. Tracey Holyfield, the founder of this much-needed support group, began the organization stemming from her own sorrow.

Every year many volunteers and bereaved families gather together to walk, listen, read and remember the lives of so many babies who briefly stayed with us physically.

Not only is this a special time to remember and honor tiny lives, the money raised helps this non-profit program to thrive and continue to support the families suffering pregnancy and infant loss.

Vendors providing products and services to assist bereaved families also attend the annual walk.

Memorial jewelry to remember the angelversary  birthstone.

Special ornaments with the child’s name are hung on the tree during the brief service.

This year the ornaments were beautifully hand carved from wood.

A bereaved father was able to share a song he composed for his angel playing an acoustic guitar. The area was so quiet and still while he shared the heartfelt words with reference to a snowflake.

Heartstrings has many needs and if you feel you could offer support , please contact Tracey.  An extra pair of ears could be just what a bereaved family needs from you.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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