Tag Archives: children

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness (2016)

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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It is a day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death which includes, but is not limited to, miscarriage, still birth, SIDS or the death of a newborn.

**90,000 children die annually in the United States before their first birthday.

**Nearly 2,500 babies are lost/year in the United States due to S.I.D.S.

**Nearly 30,000 babies a year are born stillborn. The number of stillbirths that occur worldwide jumps to more than 4.5 million/year.

**More babies die as a result of stillbirth than all other causes of infant death combined.

**Stillbirth occurs ten times more frequently than S.I.D.S.

**15-20% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage each year

Unfortunately, pregnancy loss through miscarriage is a natural and common event. More women than you think have experienced at least one; others many more. If this is the reality, then why is pregnancy loss so hard for society to deal with? People talk around it but rarely about it. I think it goes back to the fact that anything dealing with loss is a taboo subject. Realistically it’s because people don’t know what to do or say to someone who has suffered such a loss.  In addition, the responses we have perpetuated for generations are far from helpful:

**”You will have other children.”

**”It wasn’t meant to be.”

**”The time just wasn’t right.”

**”God needed another Angel.”

These statements, although logical, do nothing to help a broken heart. Dr. Jessica Zucker created the #IHADAMISCARRIAGE campaign after she had her own miscarriage. She watched as friends and family struggled to find what words to say, while some said nothing at all.  She created a line of “empathy” cards about what should be said to someone after a pregnancy loss. These cards hit the miscarriage bullseye. When Mark Zuckerberg was honest about his wife’s three miscarriages, women and families who have faced a similar situation shared their stories. It demonstrated that talking about miscarriage is okay – even for men.

Thinking back to my own miscarriage I remember the immense feelings of loss. One moment you are wrapped up in the excitement of finding out you are pregnant; the next is devastation and disbelief. You are powerless to do anything. For me, we had just announced my pregnancy to our families the night before. I woke up the following morning to find blood. I panicked. We were out of town and far away from my Doctor. I begged my husband to get us home. The whole way I wondered why it was happening. Was there something I did or didn’t do? I placed my hands over my stomach and prayed for my unborn child. Once we got home the cramping and bleeding progressed. My head knew it was going to happen but my heart wouldn’t let go. For days afterwards, I still felt pregnant. If I still felt it then it still must be true. Maybe it hadn’t happened at all. Maybe it was just a bad dream.

The Dr. did an ultrasound. No heartbeat. Nothing.  Just an empty womb. I looked at the computer screen and it finally hit me. There was no more baby. It was over. All I know is at that very moment my “feeling” of being pregnant disappeared. My head and my heart had finally caught up. They were now in the same place. I could admit it. I had a miscarriage.  The deep sense of sadness cannot be described. I felt empty. Literally. Empty. Alone. Lost in my despair. Fortunately, my husband was supportive. When I cried, he cried with me. But he would never understand what it felt like to have a child growing inside of you one moment, then have it gone the next. On that level he could never understand.

I found these quotes to be some of the best about miscarriage:

“A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven’t. Most don’t mention it, and they go on from day to day as if it hadn’t happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had. But ask her sometime: how old would your child be now? And she’ll know.”
― Barbara Kingsolver

“The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?”
― Laura Bush 

So here are things you can say to someone who has suffered through a miscarriage:

“I can’t imagine how heartbreaking this must be for you.” – Grief is about a broken heart. How do you even begin to understand how a miscarriage feels? This statement indicates that you respect how sad and difficult it must be for them.

“I really don’t know what to say.” – Words can’t even describe the feelings associated with losing a pregnancy. Saying you “don’t know what to say” is one of the most honest answers you can give. This way they know you are not trying to judge, analyze or fix them.

“I am so sorry for your loss.” – Sorry in this sense means to be sad or mournful. It reminds someone that you are also sad for their pregnancy loss. It’s another way of being honest. 

“Can I give you a hug?” – Hugs reduce the amount of stress in our bodies. Grieving is one of the most stressful events in our lives. Offering a hug (or two) to someone who has suffered a miscarriage will be good for their emotional, physical and spiritual health.

“What happened?” – As hard as it it, someone who suffered a miscarriage needs and wants to tell their story. They want you to hear and understand to what they have to say. Don’t avoid talking to them. The most loving thing you can do to listen without judgement. Be a “heart with ears.”

Just having someone to listen or offer a hug bring a sense a peace.

As Barbara Kingsolver stated most women don’t mention a miscarriage but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have an impact on them. In fact, I can say that I still love someone who was never born. And how old would my child be now?  Twenty six years old.



Sending you love, comfort and peace!


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#ddjf #griefreiki

Power of Love Radio Show (8/31/16)

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This week I was very honored and privileged to have been invited by the Dee Dee Jackson Foundation (DDJF) to appear on their Power of Love Radio Show to talk about grief and loss. The Power of Love Radio Show, broadcast on LA Talk Radio, shines a light on loss and grief and how it impacts our lives. It provides hope, resources and a community so no one feels alone in their grief.

Listen to the 8/31/16 radio broadcast archive here.


DDJF was founded by three brothers, Taj, Taryll, and TJ Jackson along with executive producer/showrunner Henri Hebert and former ABC executive, Lillian Lim while filming the docu-series for Lifetime “The Jacksons: Next Generation”. Taj, Taryll and TJ were born into the famous musical Jackson family. The brothers inherited their talent from their father Tito, but it was their mother Dee Dee who instilled in them the discipline to hone their craft. She was their best friend and their hero, a role model who tirelessly donated her time and resources to a number of charitable causes.

Tragically, Dee Dee was murdered when they were still teenagers and young adults. Fast forward 20 years later, while filming a TV show about their lives, the brothers were ready to come to terms with their mother’s passing. To honor their mother’s spirit of positivity, selflessness and grace, they are now dedicated to building a meaningful and lasting pathway to giving back through the foundation — continuing to make their mother proud.


The Foundation has taken a hands-on approach to develop music therapy programs for vulnerable young people. Working with Ronald M. Borazon who founded the internationally renowned Music Therapy Department at California State University, Northridge in 1984, the programs aim to reduce the psychological effects of trauma and provide participants emotional and cognitive resources for coping with their experiences.


Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in the community and a child’s life. To learn more you can go to their website: www.ddjf.org.


Sending you love, comfort and peace!



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