|My son Matthew Kristopher was stillborn at 37 weeks gestation due to a complete placental abruption. It took several months for me to recover physically, but much longer emotionally. I joined local and online support groups to help with the healing process. Later on I was able to be a speaker at support groups for newly bereaved parents. I still keep in touch with friends that I made in the support groups. We understand each other in ways that regular friends canít relate to.
During the time of my grief, I scoured every mail order catalog and website listings looking for items that were specifically for pregnancy or child loss, however these were hard to come by. I had to fill myself up with tiny comforts as I called them in order to feel a little bit better. It made me feel like I was doing something for him, since I was not allowed to raise him here on Earth. I also made a memorial website in his honor, planted a garden in our backyard, and designed a tattoo of baby footprints inside a heart with wings and a halo.
The birth of my subsequent son 18 months later was both overwhelmingly joyous and yet, cut the emotional scars back open. It was then that I realized that I didnít just want to forget about what I went through and move on. During this phase of healing my mind started racing again as I thought up ways to make a difference in pregnancy and infant loss. My mission was forming: to create items of comfort for those touched by the loss of a child, raise awareness, and donate to charitable causes related to child loss. Working towards a goal helped to keep me going, even at times when I wanted to throw in the towel. I had been making jewelry for years as a hobby, so it seemed like a natural progression to combine my love of jewelry making with pregnancy and infant loss awareness.
I have had my website, www.MyForeverChild.com since 2005. I design and create a majority of the jewelry, and I put a lot of thought into each piece. Many of the pieces come with cards explaining the symbolic nature of the charms and meaning of the gemstones and birthstones used. I also engrave and personalize the pieces further. Usually, parents like to see their childís name in print. It is a way to show that they are remembered. For many people, wearing one of my handcrafted keepsakes is a tangible way to honor the child that is no longer with them physically, but alive within their hearts. It is through helping other bereaved families that I have found the greatest healing.
From the book, "Remembering Our Angels-Personal Stories of Healing From a Pregnancy Loss" by Hannah Stone
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