Tag: #mysewingneedle

Memory Bears in the News: The Club No One Wants to Join, But is Full of Members

Memory Bears and the Club No One Wants to Join

 

This blog post is a mix of real-life experiences as a publicity assistant and a child loss mom. I was reading a story written from another newspaper on how a mom had a stillborn daughter and the hospital gave her and her family a special bassinet that had a hidden cooling pad in it so she and the family could spend 48 hours with their deceased child. The story went on to say that they had the ashes of the deceased child placed into a memory bear keepsake that was created from the child’s siblings baby outfit and blanket.

The Broken Mother’s Club

It’s not a club any mom wants to join, yet it has members joining daily. The broken mother’s club is what it is called, yet rarely spoken about and as time goes on the members continue to grow and it changes everything because when it happens our first inclination is to shut everything out and not confront our reality because it’s too difficult. If members of the broken mother’s club were more open to honestly dealing with their personal grief and be willing to share their story with other’s who are new to the journey, perhaps we would be able to create an atmosphere where we don’t feel alone.

To Be Honest

To be honest, I was never a teddy bear person, until Hannah passed away, Then in 2002, I began a teddy bear ministry that was introduced to me through a distant cousin of mine. The difference between then and today is that I offer custom memory bear sewing services that are made from your clothing, whereas in the past I used to by ‘off the shelf’ teddy bears. Then this year something changed for me, it was after many years of prayers for a way to reach others with the Love and comfort of Christ through using my gifts and talents. There is still so much to be done in my memory care gift business and on many occasions, I have to step away from the computer and revisit my written plans just to be sure that what is happening is real.  For example, the other day I was speaking with a fellow woman in business who juggles a completely different business than mine, and our paths crossed one day on Facebook when I posted a ‘job wanted’ sign on my wall. We got on the phone and spoke, though the opportunity she presented me was not a good fit, we were able to give one another idea for business outreach and growth.

Super Women-ish

It seems that everywhere you look there is a broken mom, they come in all shapes, sizes, ages, races, and from all walks of life. Some hold their heads up high while others are too weak to hold their heads up at all. Their grief can come from a loved one’s death,  the loss of a friend, a pink slip from work, or any other broken relationship that can happen. The blog isn’t just about child loss or bereavement of a child, no, in fact, it’s about grief and learning to heal through any of the life’s promised grievances. One thing we can most likely agree about is that a real superwoman doesn’t wear a cape and a big ‘S’ on her chest…she most likely wears a fake smile and blends in with others. The Broken Mother’s club is open 24/7/365 and has new members entering every second of every day, and if we stop to look around our community I bet we will see a need for a real club that offers friendships, in a non-judgemental way, and offers the real solution to their brokenness.

Standing Ovation

No, I’m not talking about the secular song…I’m talking to you, BROKENHEARTED MOTHER! Every day you wake up and learn to be stronger, learn how to ‘deal’ with everything that once was nothing and has become the very weight that wants to pull you back down. Every day you get out of bed, you are a real hero. Every day you look at your loved one and chose to remember one good moment, you are the hero! Every day you decide to forgive the person who brought you to this time in your life, you are the real hero. I’m not one to give myself a pat on the back, because honestly, my strength comes from Lord and without Him, I would be nothing! So, take this moment and remember that every time you get up, get dressed, and learn to live, someone is giving you a standing ovation!

Memory Bears made from your favorite clothing made right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. My Sewing Needle is owned and operated solely by Stephanie Grams. Grams has been sewing since her grandma and mother taught her at the age of seven, and hasn’t put the sewing needle down since! You can find Grams selling her OOAK primitive dolls and offering memory bear sewing services year round! Visit Stephanie’s contact page for media inquiries and/or to place an order for a memory bear!

Memory Bears are Teddy Bears Made from Clothing

What is a Memory Bear?

A memory bear is a stuffed teddy bear made from your favorite clothing or clothing from a loved one that has passed away. Memory bears come in all sizes. The typical size requested is 15″-18″ in length.

How is a Memory Bear Made?

A memory bear, or keepsake teddy bear, is made from a few pieces of your favorite clothing. Most memory bears are made from 3 pieces of clothing or a combination of clothing, ties, and blankets. Your memory bear designer can discuss these details with you before you place and pay for your order.

How long does it take to make a memory bear?

Memory bears can take 7-12 business days depending on the number of memory bears you order. Many people like to place group size orders to save on shipping and many times the memory bear designer will give a discount on large group orders.

Why would I pay for a memory bear when some volunteer for free?

There is a saying that goes, “you get what you pay for” and that means you may never know who the memory bear designer is and may not know what your memory bear will look like until it is delivered to you. There are horror stories of unpleasant looking memory bears being made by volunteers, and the sad truth is, once your favorite piece of clothing is cut, there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Why take the chance on receiving an unsightly memory bear when you could have a beautiful one made for an affordable price?

How do I order a memory bear?

This process of ordering your custom memory bear from Stephanie Grams (My Sewing Needle) is super simple!

  1. You pick out your favorite, freshly laundered clothing (no fabric softener, please)
  2. Shipping them to me with your order form and payment (payments taken through Paypal)
  3. I design and sew your bear according to your request
  4. I ship your bear back to you!

We have a dedicated page for ordering processes and FAQ 

How much is a memory bear?

Our memory bears are frugally priced at $75.00 and INCLUDES SHIPPING  (UNITED STATES ONLY). The memory bear is packaged nicely and ready to be given as a gift (or keep for yourself), shipped via USPS with basic insurance and a tracking number. I will send you the tracking number so you can track your memory bear!

Do you have pictures of your memory bears?

Yes, I have pictures of my memory bears and testimonials!

 

 

#memorybears #memorybear

 

 

 

Memory Bears made from your favorite clothing made right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. My Sewing Needle is owned and operated solely by Stephanie Grams. Grams has been sewing since her grandma and mother taught her at the age of seven, and hasn’t put the sewing needle down since! You can find Grams selling her OOAK primitive dolls and offering memory bear sewing services year round! Visit Stephanie’s contact page for media inquiries and/or to place an order for a memory bear!

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. 

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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

Memory Bears made from your favorite clothing made right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. My Sewing Needle is owned and operated solely by Stephanie Grams. Grams has been sewing since her grandma and mother taught her at the age of seven, and hasn’t put the sewing needle down since! You can find Grams selling her OOAK primitive dolls and offering memory bear sewing services year round! Visit Stephanie’s contact page for media inquiries and/or to place an order for a memory bear!

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.”

 

Memory Bears made from your favorite clothing made right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. My Sewing Needle is owned and operated solely by Stephanie Grams. Grams has been sewing since her grandma and mother taught her at the age of seven, and hasn’t put the sewing needle down since! You can find Grams selling her OOAK primitive dolls and offering memory bear sewing services year round! Visit Stephanie’s contact page for media inquiries and/or to place an order for a memory bear!

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.

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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

 

Memory Bears made from your favorite clothing made right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. My Sewing Needle is owned and operated solely by Stephanie Grams. Grams has been sewing since her grandma and mother taught her at the age of seven, and hasn’t put the sewing needle down since! You can find Grams selling her OOAK primitive dolls and offering memory bear sewing services year round! Visit Stephanie’s contact page for media inquiries and/or to place an order for a memory bear!

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.

 

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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!

Memory Bears made from your favorite clothing made right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. My Sewing Needle is owned and operated solely by Stephanie Grams. Grams has been sewing since her grandma and mother taught her at the age of seven, and hasn’t put the sewing needle down since! You can find Grams selling her OOAK primitive dolls and offering memory bear sewing services year round! Visit Stephanie’s contact page for media inquiries and/or to place an order for a memory bear!

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

Memory Bears made from your favorite clothing made right here in Beaufort, South Carolina. My Sewing Needle is owned and operated solely by Stephanie Grams. Grams has been sewing since her grandma and mother taught her at the age of seven, and hasn’t put the sewing needle down since! You can find Grams selling her OOAK primitive dolls and offering memory bear sewing services year round! Visit Stephanie’s contact page for media inquiries and/or to place an order for a memory bear!