Written by Sarah Pridham, mum of Jasper, for Still Aware.
Support following any type of loss is one of the most important parts of the painful journey. Now that my Life Lessons blogs are complete, I decided that my next blog would be a list of different resources that relate to support following loss.
It isn’t just the initial support that the bereaved need, it is the support weeks, months and years later that is the most important with a journey of loss and grief.
A couple of days after the loss of our son, while I was still in hospital, I was handed a bag full of brochures and information in relation to grief, support groups and many other things including information about funeral planning and the start of the journey following on from the loss.
Whilst I found some of the information helpful and useful, there was unfortunately also heaps of information that was completely out of date and invalid – websites for organisations and groups that were no longer available, lists of keepsake items that were no longer available and even suggestions on support books to read – that again, were no longer available.
I am not sure how often these lists and information are updated (obviously in my case not often enough). Throughout my journey I have discovered many amazing keepsake ideas and some beautiful books that have made me feel a little less alone in the dark days that end up drowning you in anger, sadness and grief.
So, this is really more of an informative list on some of the things that I have come across so far that may be able to assist someone else in some way.
Unfortunately, I discovered some of these months after I actually really needed it and it was quite sad to think how much of a difference some of them would have made if I knew about them sooner.
In the following lists, I am not going to rank them in any order or going to comment on what I liked about them or how they did or did not help and support me, because everyone’s journey of loss and grief is so different and personal that what helps one person may not help the other.
- Our baby, our love, our loss by Kathi Evans
- Hope and Healing by Kevin Gournay and Brenda Ashcroft
- Saying Goodbye by Zoe Clark-Coates
- The Baby Loss Guide by Zoe Clark – Coates (April 4threlease date)
- Almost a Mother by Christy Wopat
- Ask Me His Name by Elle Wright
- Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki
- Comfort for the Tears, Light for the way by Melissa Desveaux
- Our Babies Have Died by SANDS
- It’s ok that you’re not ok by Megan Divine
- An exact replica of a fragment of my imagination by Elizabet McCracken
- Coping with Grief by Mal McKissock and Dianne McKissock
- The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp
- Three Minus One by Sean Hanish
- Baby Dust by Deanna Lynn Roy
- You Could Have Been by Annie M (this book is nice to either have as a keepsake and read on special occasions or to share with other children around the loss of their brother or sister).
Websites or Groups:
These websites or groups do not just have information around loss however also have good blogs to read around infant and pregnancy loss and coping with the journey itself as well as life after loss. Most of them are through Facebook but some of them also have their own websites. You might be surprised what you find on them and they are worth a look.
Of course, there are the common and normal keepsake/memorial ideas such as tattoos, memorial gardens and photo walls but these are just some of the other keepsake ideas that I came across and decided to add to my collection.
- Memorial gardens (or memorial roses) = guardian angel rose, angel face rose, peace rose, forget me not rose, forever loved rose, remember me rose, never forgotten rose, together forever rose, thinking of you rose and in loving memory rose.
- Custom Star Map – a couple of websites do them, however I recommend thenightsky.com
- Name a star = star-registration.com or www.starnameregistry.com.au
- Buy and name a piece of the moon = moonestates.com
- Handcrafted Sketch – through Free Spirits by Glenn (either Facebook or through his website).
- Willow Tree Ornaments – there are so many in the collection and they are so beautiful, and all have their own meaning. Most gift shops and even newsagents have them now, but you can also order them online.
- Personalised Jewellery (there are so many different websites available for this) but I highly recommend mynamenecklace.com
- Personalised Keepsake Teddy (again so many different ones available) but I recommend My Teddy.
- Custom Keepsakes (made from loved one’s clothing or items such as baby blankets) – Keepsakes by Nicoleta (either through Facebook or her website).
- Name meaning certificate (just look for these through Google as there are so many available).
- Palas Jewellery – there are some beautiful charms for bracelets or necklaces, and they have some beautiful sayings on them that relate to baby and infant loss or the general loss of a loved one.
- I know that popular memorial/keepsake items are decorations for the Christmas tree (and there are so many out there), however, I wanted some that were a little bit different to the normal ones out there, and for this I highly recommend ETSY. I was able to get some different ones such as – a decoration of the phase of the moon from our son’s date of birth, a decoration which is based on his star sign, a decoration based on his birthstone and many more. If you want something different then I suggest searching personalised Christmas decorations in ETSY to see what you can find for that special Keepsake at such a hard time of the year.
There are so many different options these days for support, memorial ideas and keepsake ideas that I can not possibly list them all. However, I do hope that these lists will help someone in someway to find a form of support, something that they can relate to or something that they would like as a keepsake item for their angel/angels.
A lot of books and keepsake items from these lists above I wish I had available to me sooner than I did – I wish I was informed of them and that I didn’t have to discover them myself whilst working through one of the hardest times in my life.
Sometimes on the dark days, you just need to have something that you can relate to in some way, something that makes you feel a little less alone in the world and a little ‘normal’ in some small way.