Judging from the Outside: Coping with Chronic illness

Two of my four (living) daughters live with a chronic illness, epilepsy. When they were very young (ages 11 months; 2 years) we spent every 4th month traveling to a large children’s hospital for neurology check-ups and lab work. We had a great neurologist! As I sit back and think over these years I find myself teary-eyed and baffled at how I ever made it through without being put on some type of medication!

Honestly Scattered

From the outside, people I have come into contact with through church, business, and college, have unknowingly called me “scattered brain” or “airhead” based on the outward appearance of my actions. The strange thing is that those were the exact moments that I was dealing with some form of a medical emergency with one of my children.  I was judged from the outside without the person taking any thought as to why I might be coming across in a certain manner.

OUCH! Those Accusations!

From the outside, people judge another person without taking the time to get to know them or their situation. I mean, who has time these days to get to know another person? (honest sarcasm wrote here)

Here is a list of accusations I’ve dealt with and the reason behind them, let me know if you can relate!

  1. Are you bipolar? No, I just dealt with my child having a major seizure and her foot was stuck in the back of the kitchen chair while her body was flinging off the side and her head was banging into the wall! Now, let’s talk about business deals!
  2. Are you depressed? No, I’m just dealing with another set back with my daughters (yes, plural.) lab results and it looks like both children have to have a 5-day hospital stay so we can figure out what medication will actually stop their episodes while making sure my other two daughters have a safe place to stay, food to eat, and get to school on time. Oh, plus I have some virtual assistant business clients expecting their blog content to be completed on time.
  3. Are you tired? Yes, I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night without waking up to make sure my children were still alive.
  4. Are you lazy? No, in fact, I’m the most organized, purpose-driven mother you’ll ever know. I can guarantee you that my calendar all-in-one planner would make your head spin! Perhaps this is why I’m a white belt Lean Six Sigma and have companies ask me to “volunteer” my time to get their team organized. (Unfortunately, I can’t take zero payment for these services because I have a family to care for financially. )
  5. Are you OCD? Uhm, let’s see! If making sure the medication is organized and properly placed …or that there are no tripping hazards (everywhere we go), or making sure that they are never, EVER alone, or keeping my eyes on them in the pool or ocean, or checking how often they suffer from migraines.. and the other 1 MILLION other things I think about on a daily basis… then perhaps I am OCD.

This blog post was a snippet of humor and reality and is meant to help other mom’s ‘laugh through the tears’ of having loved and lost while caring for chronically ill loved ones. There are so many things that go through our minds on a daily basis, and even more unexpected things that get thrown into our day that we either become very organized and methodical or we allow them to pull us under. It’s our choice! We choose whether we are going to excel or suffocate. I hope you choose to excel, my friend!

Go, Excel!

Be the one person in another person’s life that makes them feel VICTORIOUS instead of VICTIMIZED! Our world and the major message that is spread through advertising is hurtful to our spirit, in fact, most of the news stories and funding are based on VICTIMIZATION and not VICTORIOUS living. Be the victorious women you were made to be, regardless of the hurdles in your life!

Be mindful of your music, your friends, your reading material, your social media connections, your relatives. Stand firm on the truth that you are here for a reason and you are walking this personalized journey.for.a.reason! Acknowledge the struggles, the pain, the uneasy and uncomfortable and find the strength that is hidden inside of those.

You’ve Got This because He’s Got You! <— #truth #onlyjesus #gracewins

 

Posting Reminders

I am the type of person that needs physical reminders of God’s unfailing love for me and how victorious I can be in this life. Some of my favorite reminders are posting bible verses on index cards and hanging them on my mirror and refrigerator, along with wearing jewelry charms.

By clicking on the pictures below you will be taken directly to my ‘LaBella Baskets’ Gift Shop!

sterling silver charms believe in yourself anchors \ sterling silver charm jewelry

Moving Forward After Loss: Learn a New Hobby

Moving Forward After Loss: Learn a New Hobby

After my daughters’ death, I found myself searching for ways to create a new ‘normal’ for myself and my family. This did not happen quickly and if memory serves me correctly, it took about three years. During those three years, I finished my college education, moved to a new home, separated from my husband, and then crashed! Seriously, for the first time in my life, I actually felt as if I had crashed into an invisible wall and there was no way around it.

Hobby-Time

I don’t think I set out to find a new hobby out of boredom, I believe it was to make me feel alive again and it ended up being one of the things that pulled me out of my ‘funk’. I’m going to share with you why learning a new hobby could be the one thing you need to implement in your life as you  “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

5 Reasons a Hobby After Loss Is Good for You

  1. Learning a new hobby takes time and often forces you to leave your house and meet new people. Often times it can take experimenting with a variety of hobbies before finding one that suits you perfectly. During this time be sure to give yourself permission to enjoy life again.
  2. Learning a new hobby at any age, especially after the loss of a loved one, can give you the opportunity to learn more about yourself that you may not have known before this event.
  3. Learning a new hobby can be the one thing that connects you with others who may be going through an earlier stage in the grieving process, ultimately giving you the option to help them through their time of sorrow while helping yourself.
  4. Learning a new hobby takes time, as I mentioned earlier, and this means you have less time to spend alone. I know first hand that the evenings and times I was alone were among the most difficult to bear. Having a new hobby gave me the opportunity to take my mind off Hannah while helping me feel like I could breathe again.
  5. Learning a new hobby can be good for your overall health; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Among my new found hobbies were bi-weekly mom’s groups at my church, offering me the opportunity to come up with table favors to give to the other mother’s who were joining us for a few hours of encouragement and inspiration.

This blog is written from my personal story and should never take the place of medical or legal care. Please remember to see your doctor for their advice. I hope you took a moment to join my newsletter and receive your free pdf bible verse and journal.

Take Good Care!

Stephanie Grams

 

A Mom’s View: How to Deal with the Death of a Child

A Mom’s View: How to Deal with the Death of a Child

The ordeal actually began unfolding on Hannah’s first birthday in September 2001 and went wrongfully diagnosed until her autopsy report after Thanksgiving 2001. It’s difficult to believe that as of today’s date she has been gone 17 years! I actually have to look at the calendar and remind my heart that this is in fact because most days my brain and heart to do not agree. *wink*

Hannah’s Illness

Weekly doctor visits happened for three months prior to her passing, all visits resulted in a wrong diagnosis, that ultimately led to her death. You can read more about Hannah’s illness here.

How to Deal?

Dealing with your child’s passing is a personal choice and there is not one person who can tell you how to deal with your loss, however, I can share my story with you and how I deal with my daughters’ unexpected death. Notice I didn’t say “dealt” as if in the past because every day she is part of my thoughts and I deal with this reality daily.

FAITH

Yes, you’ve got it! My faith in the Lord is the one sure thing that continues to bring me through the grieving and healing process. I am a born-again Christian and you can learn more about salvation by clicking on the title “God’s Plan of Salvation”.

I’ll tell you when Hannah died I was shaken to the core and I went through some scary emotions and had so many thoughts. I vividly remember coming home after spending the day at Salt Fork Lake (in Ohio) and my four daughters and I were so exhausted! We had a great day and for the first time in several years, I can remember laughing without pretending! Then, it hit me like a big punch in the gut! You know, those sneaky thoughts of ‘false guilt’ (satan’s tricky tactic!) and it went like this, “Wow! How can you enjoy your life knowing that your daughter is buried right up the street and she is missing out on all this fun.”

I CRUMBLED! I can not explain to you what that moment did to me and my sunny day went BLACK! I fought a type of depression for a year after that episode and I am here to tell you…I won the battle because I ran to the Lord. I did not try to win this battle of my mind and emotions on my own. It was the worse wrestling match I have ever been involved in, and in the end, I came out victorious. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was not a battle I won on my own or of my own will and power…it was of the Lord and completely out of this world!

Final Thought

The wrestling match ended with this final truth, and that truth was this:

  1. Hannah’s life was planned before I knew her.

Psalm 139 

For You formed my inward parts;
You [f]covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for [g]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My [h]frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

2. Hannah was created for the Lord and I, as her mother, was the recipient of His gift. Meaning, our children, my child, is a gift from God and she was only loaned to me for a specific period of time. I will not pretend the pain of holding my deceased daughter does not sting, because death does sting no matter how much time has gone.

James 1:17 ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 

It’s been 17 years since I said my final goodbye this side of heaven, standing over my daughters’ coffin in the cemetery that snowy, cold, drizzly, grey day and I said goodbye with hope. My grieving has been one based on God’s promise to all who believe and have accepted His gift of salvation. Grace through Faith from Jesus Christ. Over these 17 years, I have seen parents grieve without hope, and that is the ultimate sorrow.

1 THESSALONIANS 4:13
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.

I find peace and comfort reading my King James Bible and spending time with the Lord daily. I’m not “super Christian”, in fact, I am a sinner saved by Grace through Jesus Christ and not of any works that I do. I do nice things for others out of a grateful heart from what Jesus has done for me.

There are no shortcuts to God, there are no magic or spiritual things to bring our dead child back to us and there are no quick paths to healing from the loss of your child. Give yourself time, seeking medical help if you are dealing with depression, and seek the Lord for the real healing that only He can give. 

##

Stephanie Grams, Christian Blogger Mom on topics of lifestyle, bereavement, child loss and healing, and how to give gifts of encouragement during life’s storms. Stephanie is available for podcast and video interviews, public speaking, and guest blogging. Did you get your free pdf journal? It’s free when you join my newsletter! #mysewingneedle

5 New Things I Do As A Bereaved Mother

#mysewingneedle #bereavedmom

5 New Things I Do As A Bereaved Mother

 

The day my toddler daughter, Hannah Grace, passed away I went from being titled “the mom of the five daughters” to “the mom with 4 daughters and a dead baby”; the bereaved mother in town. I was encompassed with grief and strange emotions and add to that, I had to figure out a new way of life. This led me to write this post about the new things I do as a bereaved mother and why I do these new things. Grief has been a journey that brought me to a fork in the road…either be better or be bitter.

With the Lord’s help, I beat bitterness and became better. My hope through this blog is to help you through your journey.

Bereaved Mom Moments

  1. Look up her diagnosis regularly online to see if there has been any new research or medical breakthrough in the illness that took her life. This typically starts with me pulling out her death certificate and reading over her autopsy reports, from there I go online and began to research any new information on the virus and any related causes that could have come out of new research.
  2. Look at pennies and dimes as if she were the one that placed them there, interestingly enough, those two coins show up out of nowhere when I’m having an extra rough day. The evening that Hannah was dying, the two of us spent 12 hours in the local emergency room alone in a backroom just being together. This would end up being the most important 12 hours of my life, those hours would shape everything in my world in a new way. About a month after Hannah passed away I found myself back in the same emergency room with my oldest daughter who had a flurry of seizures (she is an epileptic) the emergency room secretary brought me a penny placed inside an angel jewelry box. She proceeded to tell me that she was working the night that Hannah was pronounced dead, she said that she immediately broke down and as she returned to her computer, there, sitting on the edge of the printer was a penny. She said she was the only worker in that computer station and there was no penny before Hannah passed away. That’s when I was introduced to “pennies from heaven.” Regardless of whether you believe in this or not, the fact is that it’s kind of strange that pennies and dimes (I’ll tell you about those later) just appear out of nowhere and in places that they were not just minutes before.
  3. Hord her pictures, as in, not wanting my other four daughters to touch them. This sounds terrible but I just can’t replace the few photographs of Hannah that I have.
  4. Scrubbing and decorating her tombstone when I get the chance to visit the cemetery she is buried in. I never gave any thought about tombstones and keeping them clean and how the act of doing this would cause me to be engulfed with mixed emotions such as sadness, questions, comfort, and celebration. Weird, right? Especially celebration because on the surface we are taught that there should be no celebration of any sort when it comes to death. Well, as a born-again Christian I have to look past the physical and see the spiritual and that causes me to celebrate the fact that Hannah is no longer ill or in pain, and that she is in Heaven with my Lord and Savior celebrating what real life is all about, and for that truth, I can celebrate through my temporary, earthly pain.
  5. Breaking down in tears over nothing at random times on any given day. Honestly, I’ve analyzed these bouts and can’t pin down any reason why I have them since most of the time they happen at random without any thought as to what I’m doing, who I’m with or how I feel. It’s an odd happening that I have come to respect and view as perhaps, my hearts longing to hold her again. Regardless, I take those moments and hide away from the world and have a heart to heart conversation with the Lord on how thankful I am for His gift of salvation and for giving me the gift of Hannah.

It’s been 17 years since Hannah passed away and I often catch myself thinking that these habits should have disappeared by now, then I’m reminded that in my heart, Hannah hasn’t been gone all that long and I should give myself permission to feel what I need to feel and continue the journey of healing.

Did you know that healing isn’t forgetting, in fact, healing allows you to embrace everything new in life while having a healthy view on the time you had with your loved one. I think this is a personal point of view and my hope for you is that you can find your new “new” each day you journey through life, taking time to remember the good times and allowing those moments to take over any grief you might be feeling. Do I believe that time heals? My answer to this question is simply this, “time gives us the opportunity to embrace what’s happened and learn how to move forward in our life while taking the good memories with us on this journey.”

One of my favorite verses has been Psalm 30:1-3

30 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.[a]

 

##

Stephanie Grams, Christian Blogger Mom on topics of lifestyle, bereavement, child loss and healing, and how to give gifts of encouragement during life’s storms. Stephanie is available for podcast and video interviews, public speaking, and guest blogging. Grief has been a journey that brought me to a fork in the road…either be better or be bitter. With the Lord’s help, I beat bitterness and became better. My hope through this blog is to help you through your journey.  Did you get your free pdf journal? It’s free when you join my newsletter! #mysewingneedle

 

Unique Remembrance Gifts for Loss

Unique Remembrance Gifts for Loss

 

Choosing the right gift to give to someone during their time of loss or sending one as a remembrance gift shouldn’t be difficult, and often times we just do not know what gift options are available. In today’s post, I will share several unique remembrance gift options online that can be given immediately after the loss of a loved one or any time after as a remembrance gift.

Disclaimer: All photos are copyrighted and link directly to my business website at LaBella Baskets. I am an independent consultant with LaBella Baskets and offer these as additional services to my custom memory bear sewing services.

Unique Gifts for Loss –

Click the photo to be taken directly to my Gift Shop website

Plantable Seed Greeting Cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swarovski Crystal Charm Necklace

 

Family Tree Canvas*FREE PERSONALIZATION*

e-Gift Cards strictly on my LaBella Baskets Website. Memory Bears not included.

 

 

 

 

Child Loss and Bereavement: The First Three Years

 

Child Loss and Bereavement: The First Three Years

I have been rolling this blog post idea around in my head for many years and it wasn’t until recently that I decided that it might be beneficial for others going through child loss to hear about my journey. I believe it takes a village to encourage, uplift and speak life to one another and my hope is by reading my blog you will be encouraged, uplifted, and on your way to a closer relationship with the Lord. My blog posts are not going to be frilly and bright, they are going to real and at times, raw. I will not sugar coat my journey through the grieving and healing process, nor will I skip over the fact that my relationship with the Lord is the only way I have been able to heal properly.  I do acknowledge and respect the fact that our stories are different and the circumstance surrounding the death of our child will be different. I can only speak from my personal experiences and through these posts (and my upcoming book) that you are able to find comfort, a new joy in life, and the encouragement to continue to move forward in your life.

 

YEAR ONE

I believe that the first year following Hannah’s death was a lived in the safety of shock. It was the year of firsts for my family and me. The first Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Birthdays…every holiday was a reminder of the big gaping hole left in my heart from the absence of Hannah. There wasn’t much time for me to think about myself and I didn’t have anyone readily available to talk to that could personally relate to what I was going through, though my parents and siblings were a great help during this time. They, like the few friends I had, were there just to listen to me and give me a shoulder to cry on. Our tiny town had few resources and even fewer meetings, in fact, during this first year I had no idea, there were support groups such as GriefShare or Compassionate Friends. This was the first time in my life that I found myself going online to search for Christian counseling and ended up finding a mother who had just buried her child from a stroke. It was during this time that I found online friends for the first time, along with the counseling that was not available in my area. As I think back to the first year, I have no idea how I made it through because it really is a blur. I wonder, now, how I was able to continue my college education, take care of my older four daughters, deal with the several epileptic episodes my oldest daughter endured and still manage my household. My only answer would be the support of the Lord and my family.

 

YEAR TWO

I remember the second year after Hannah’s passing was a year filled with false guilt. Thoughts swarmed my every waking minute such “how can you celebrate this holiday without her” or “how do you give Thanks (on Thanksgiving) when you had a child that died”. This was the year I learned what false guilt was and how to, with the Lord’s help, overcome such thoughts and emotions. This was also my first full year of holidays and special occasions without Hannah, including my college graduation. As I received hugs from my four daughters, I longed to have Hannah with me to celebrate this special occasion and  I know she would have been proud of me just like her older sisters.

 

YEAR THREE

I have to say, the third year was the absolute worse for me personally and spiritually. I struggled with one constant emotion that masked itself as a question which was “WHY”. Why Hannah? Why me? Why my child? Why this way? Of course, I knew that the  God of the Universe did not owe me an explanation, but my motherly heart just could not rid itself of this one question and I knew that in order for me to grow in this new life journey, grow closer to the Lord and be able to raise my children, I had to have some type of answer. I got my answer and it was this, Hannah lived the life that was meant for her;  she had run the race set before her.”

 

Psalm 139:16

16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

 

This was the year that would make me see the world with new eyes, gain a new voice, and begin a new walk with my Savior. I had two choices; either this experience could make me BETTER or BITTER. The choice was mine and chose to be BETTER.

Our grief and healing journey is so personal and having a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and a confidant that allows you to share your deepest concerns. Life is hard and when you are thrown into the reality of having to bury your loved one, even the strongest person needs someone to help them up and through the journey ahead.

 

If you are a bereaved parent, please know that there is help for you during this journey, please don’t feel you have to go it alone. If you are a family member or friend of someone bereaved, please just be there for them, you don’t have any special answer.

Every day I lean on God’s promise, found in Revelation:

Revelation 21:4
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’
or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

 

Self Care During Grief

No one had ever mentioned self-care during the time of my daughters’ death and it was something that I eventually found on my own. Hannah death occurred during the Thanksgiving weekend while I was attending college, while other families were enjoying their long weekend off from classes, I was consumed with the reality that my youngest daughter would be leaving me soon.

My college classes resumed the Monday after Hannah was buried and so did a new way of living, for me and my family. I began to realize that each day was almost melting into the next and I could not seem to grasp a new way of life. Old routines where I would juggle five children, household duties, and college classes were no longer my reality and I was now forced to figure out a “new normal” for all of us. During this time of new, I lost all sense of self-care.

I would like to share some of the practical ways I began to provide myself with the self-care that I so desperately needed and in truthfully, so did my other children. Learning how to move forward from a devastating loss affects you and those around you. As the mom, I was seen as the pillar of my family and I could not allow myself to sit in my grief and ignore my other children, however, I needed a healthy way to care for my wounds and move forward.

Please remember, I am not giving medical advice, just sharing what has worked for me and my family. 

 

  •  Evening Routine – I began putting my four children to be at a regular time each evening, even during weekends and holidays. Every evening we would eat dinner together at the table, each child had a chore so she could feel like she was an active part of the family. After we ate, we all cleaned up; the table, the floor, and the stove were all cleared off and washed. All the dishes were washed, dried and put away.
  • Bedtime – After dinner, all of the children would get a bath and head up to their bedrooms to make sure that their school clothes were laid out for the next day, and that their rooms were tidy. After everyone was in their rooms I would read a child book to them and then go around the bedroom and say our prayers. From there I would tuck them each into their beds, put on the night lights, and go downstairs alone.
  • Personal Time – Evening was the absolute worse time of the day for me. Truthfully, I was so lonely and that is when my grief was the worst. It was pertinent for me to find ways to care for myself and I knew that once my children were in bed, that I needed to fully utilize that time. Every evening I would take a hot bath and read a chapter out of a devotional book, from there I would make a cup of hot tea, light a tea light candle, and continue my time with the Lord.

Tiny positive habits make the journey through grief more manageable ~ Stephanie Grams

 

5 Gifts Ideas for Those Who Are Grieving

Gift Giving for any occasion can is stressful enough but when you are buying for someone who is grieving, it can cause additional stress. What if you are the one grieving and the one shopping? This can cause additional stress for you, wouldn’t it be nice if you had a list of ideas that were specifically geared for those who are grieving? The grief and memorial gift ideas listed below can be found online, and are created for shoppers just like you.

When my daughter passed away (she was 14 months old) it was a few days after Thanksgiving and it was also during the Christmas shopping season, as you can imagine I was completely heartbroken and still expected to Christmas shop for my other children. I was in such a state of shock and heartbreak that I could not think straight, I just could not wrap my mind around Christmas shopping. I so wished I had a gift guide this one to have helped me and help my loved ones with gift ideas. On the other hand, losing my child also caused my relatives to question what gift to buy me. It really was a time of overwhelm and loneliness.

5 Gifts Ideas for Those Who Are Grieving

  1. Memory Bears – memory teddy bears are made out of the clothes of your loved one and offer a tangible way to remember the one who has passed. Memory Bears are often kept in the family as a keepsake and passed down throughout the family.
  2. Memory Pillows – memory pillows are often made from the shirts or blouses of the deceased loved one and include a poem. Memory pillows also offer a tangible way to remember your loved one and give a special type of comfort to the person who is grieving.
  3. Grief and Memorial Gift Boxes- these gift boxes are often curated with the option to choose a variety of handpicked and handmade items of high value and excellent quality. Grief and Memorial Boxes make a great gift for the gift receiver who is experiencing extreme loneliness or could use an ‘I remember’ you gift during different times of the year.
  4. Memory Quilts – memory quilts or blankets are made from a variety of items such as shirts, robes, dresses, blankets, and other clothing that your loved one once wore. These types of memory items are often costly but come in a variety of sizes from lap-sized blankets to those that fit a king size bed.
  5. Memory Ornaments- we often think that ornaments are only for Christmas trees, however, ornaments are often used throughout the year and are hung on doorknobs, windows, bed frames, and wall hangings. Ornaments offer the bereaved the constant comfort of having their loved one present. These memory ornaments are often made from the clothing remnants from the memory bears or pillows, or from printed fabric that the loved one finds comforting. There are other options for memory ornaments such as glass or plastic filled with glitter and personalized or even made from wood circles that depict your loved one’s picture.

I hope these 5 Gifts Ideas for Those Who Are Grieving brings comfort to you as you go through the grieving process or offers you a variety of ideas for buying a gift for your bereaved loved one. There is numerous bereaved gift option offered through the online marketplace and it is important that you find a gift provider who is ethical and offers quality items.

##

Stephanie Grams, owner, and operator of ‘My Sewing Needle’; your full-service bereavement gift provider. We currently offer memory teddy bears, memory pillows made from shirts, grief, and bereavement gift boxes. We offer price discounts to large orders. Sign-up for our newsletter for discounts, sales, and industry news. Media: please see StephanieGrams.com for more information or via my contact page

 

5 Helpful Tips for Bereaved Parents

When my daughter, Hannah Grace, passed away it was four days after Thanksgiving and less than a month before Christmas. I had already purchased some Christmas gifts for her and was trying to figure out what to do with what I purchased. I did not feel I could keep them, yet I knew I could not give them away. Gift giving was definitely a touchy subject for my friends and family and I knew they had questions but did not know how to approach me.

I took the lead and asked my mom and one of my sisters to please take Hannah’s gifts and donate them because someone in our community would be able to use them as Christmas gifts. Saying all of that, I remember an outpouring of people in my community bringing gifts for my other four children through the weeks between Hannah’s burial and Christmas Eve.

Here are some tips that helped my family during our time of bereavement:

  1. Talk about the deceased person – I had to talk about Hannah. Yes, I cried but it was so important for me to talk about her and include her in the festivities. My friends and family allowed me to bring her name up, and this was the best choice of action.
  2. Include the deceased person – I received a few gifts that were personalized with Hannah’s name and those were so meaningful to me! It made me realize that Hannah meant as much to them as she did to me.
  3. Start a tradition – I wanted my other daughters to remember their sister so I made it my personal mission to come up with a tradition that we could implement for major holidays. At Christmas, I still hang a stocking for Hannah but place gifts for each of my daughters into her stocking such as a locket or some type of trinket.
  4. Be at Peace – You have to decide if you are going to come to terms with your loss. Once you are able to deal in a healthy manner with the loss of your loved one, those around will feel that and begin to heal. If you are dealing with emotional depression, please seek out the proper medical help.
  5. Be Patient – It was so difficult for me to put on a brave face for my children, husband and family members but I had to so they could see that it was okay for them to enjoy the holiday. I was able to cry in front of them, and that was good for all of us. We all recognized the emptiness that Hannah’s death left in our family and we were there for one another. This is how our healing began and continues to this day.

My advice comes from a personal point of view and is not medical advice. I am a mom who has lost two children: one due to a miscarriage at 9 weeks gestation and another child at the age of 14-months due to a virus.

 

##

Stephanie Grams, owner of “My Sewing Needle” and “The Memory Bear Coach”, married and mother to many. Contact me for interviews, business coaching, memorial sewing services, or media!

International Bereaved Mother’s Day 2018

International Bereaved Mother’s Day 2018

 

While I was searching for bereavement services, I happened upon an interesting national holiday called International Bereaved Mother’s Day, also known as International Babylost Mother’s Day, is observed next on Sunday, May 6th, 2018. It has been observed the first Sunday of May since 2010.

I can not take credit for this information, so I will keep this post short and to the point.  Mother’s Day was actually started by Anna Jarvis

“The proclamation came after Philadelphia activist Anna Jarvis thought to send 500 carnations to her mother’s West Virginia church in her honor on May 10, 1908, in what is considered the first Mother’s Day celebration. (source: http://time.com/4292088/mothers-day-2016-may-8/)

Additional Sources:

https://www.checkiday.com/d636fd535322245c76bc62ecd9e2cc3b/international-bereaved-mothers-day

http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/2016/04/international-bereaved-mothers-day

#InternationalBereavedMothersDay

#BereavedMothersDay

#InternationalBabylostMothersDay

#BabylostMothersDay

#mysewingneedle