Updated with new times/dates in May 2020. This post initially was published by Amy George on her Facebook profile and Rocket City Mom was asked to share to help get the word out about the new support group.
Hi friends, I want to share with you about a way that we are expanding Melissa’s Fund to help parents who have lost babies.
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years now, but the fear of revisiting those dark places always talked me out of it. When you are years removed from a traumatic experience, the last thing you want to do is go back to that time and feel that grief again. But I’m learning that the only way we can really help others who are hurting is to be willing to hurt with them. And through that hurt, we can help them try to move forward to find joy again. And most importantly, to LIVE again.
To that end, the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund is partnering with Hospice Family Care to create the HOPE group (Helping Other Parents Endure) for parents who have lost infants. We will meet for the first time on Tuesday, January 8th at 9am at The Caring House on Longwood Drive in Huntsville and will go on to meet the second Tuesday of every month. I’ll facilitate it, along with a social worker with Hospice Family Care. It will be a safe place to meet other parents who are navigating this journey of grief, and to share and be real. Or to just hold a warm cup of coffee and listen. We will meet you where you are.
We think this expansion towards bereavement is a natural progression for Melissa’s Fund. Of course, this doesn’t change our mission to help provide lifesaving equipment to the NICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. We will continue to do those things. But not every family leaves our hospital with a healthy baby. Some leave with empty arms and we want to make sure we are doing all we can to help those families. Chris and I know firsthand the pain of saying goodbye to your child. It’s our deep desire to help those families learn to live again after a debilitating loss.
Here is what I want to ask of you. If you know a parent who has lost a baby and who would benefit from this, would you please share this with them? And this isn’t just for NICU families – this is for ANY family who has lost a baby under any circumstances. That loss could have occurred six months ago, or ten years ago. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. As always, we’re grateful for how you support Melissa’s Fund and our family. And we are hopeful for the opportunity to help other families, just like ours.
**Just to clarify, this particular group will be for infant loss only. But Hospice Family Care does offer other support groups to parents who have lost children of all ages. To learn more, call 256-650-1212.
HOPE: Helping Other Parents Endure
UPDATED May 2020 with new Date/Time
When: The 1st Thursday of each month from 5:30-6:45PM
Where: The Caring House (map)
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