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Sea Glass Writing Prompt for bereaved families: One day I would like to… How do you feel about the future? Is it something you look forward to, or something you'd prefer to avoid? How do you see yourself in the future? Is there anything you'd like to accomplish, or anywhere you'd like to see? What is one thing you would like to do or be or feel or see?

One day I would like to… (SG Writing Prompt)

How do you feel about the future? Is it something you look forward to, or something you’d prefer to avoid? How do you see yourself in the future? Is there anything you’d like to accomplish, or anywhere you’d like to see? What is one thing you would like to do or be or feel or see?

Sea Glass Writing Prompt for bereaved families: I wish the world knew… What is the one thing you wish you could share with the world about grief or loss or tragedy? If the world knew this one thing, how would your life be different? How would theirs?

I wish the world knew… (SG Writing Prompt)

What is the one thing you wish you could share with the world about grief or loss or tragedy? If the world knew this one thing, how would your life be different? How would theirs?

Sea Glass Writing Prompt for bereaved families: If I could write a letter to anyone at all, I would say… The bereaved sometimes keep thoughts and feelings inside, worried that what they have to say will be perceived as negative, or hurtful, or will simply be misunderstood. If you could write a letter to someone who you've struggled in communicating with, who would it be? What would you say? What do you think their reaction would be? What keeps you from sending this letter today?

If I could write a letter to anyone at all, I would say… (SG Writing Prompt)

The bereaved sometimes keep thoughts and feelings inside, worried that what they have to say will be perceived as negative, or hurtful, or will simply be misunderstood. If you could write a letter to someone who you’ve struggled in communicating with, who would it be? What would you say? What do you think their reaction would be? What keeps you from sending this letter today?

Why shouldn’t I celebrate today, when I know that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed? -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Celebrating Today because Tomorrow isn’t Guaranteed

Pregnancy after loss can be pretty terrifying. Many people worry about celebrating such a pregnancy, for fear of what would happen if the resultant child died. I understand this. The risk and the fear are both very real. I choose to celebrate anyway.

The most biologically normal thing in the world is death. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Death is biologically normal

I used to lean pretty naturally, thinking that everything in nature was naturally the best. Natural living; natural birthing–these things made sense to me. Humanity had been doing them for millennia. Who was I to question them?

Talking about my dead child isn't a "sad" thing. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Talking about my dead child isn’t a “sad” thing

People who haven’t dealt with tragedy are often made uncomfortable by any mention of the life that remains. It’s as if there is this irrevocable connection between my son’s death and his existence; as if these things are forever entwined instead of merely adjacent.

Notes for the Bereaved -  You are under no obligation to keep anyone in your life for any reason. You are allowed to protect your own peace. - Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You are under no obligation to keep anyone in your life

When I was new in my grief, I both gained and lost people…The one thing I didn’t expect was that I would have to remove some people from my life because they weren’t capable of providing support without worsening my grief.

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: You should be thankful for the children you have. Rewritten: Parenting after loss is an eternal balance. I am always available for babysitting or help around the house if you need a break. It's okay to tend to your grief for your missing child too. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You should be thankful for the children you have

If you know a parent with both a living and deceased child, it’s something to be aware of. Because the most supportive thing you can say in that situation is to acknowledge the work that goes into raising and grieving, simultaneously.

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: It wasn't your fault. Rewritten: I understand emotions can be complicated, and I'm never going to tell you how you should feel. I am here though, if you ever want to talk about things. I will always be an ear to listen. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

It wasn’t your fault

If you truly want to support someone who feels guilt, fault, or blame after the death of their child, then listen, acknowledge, and mirror back to them. This is so much more powerful and authentic than any glib phrase. Please don’t tell them “It wasn’t your fault”

Graphic art of pregnant woman standing in front of an ultrasound machine. The woman has tan skin and is wearing a green dress. She is looking down at her belly. The ultrasound machine show an image of a pink elephant on the screen (djvstock2, smalllike, & clker-free-vector-images acquired from Canva)

There’s an Elephant in the Exam Room

There’s an elephant in the room, and it is more than the fact that stillbirth exists. It’s the fact that pregnant patients, even today, aren’t being given the proper prenatal education to understand and make the most informed choices in their care. This needs to change.

We need to talk about grief. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

We need to talk about grief

We need to talk about grief.
We need to talk about death & the fact that it happens.
We need to talk about relationships & how they don’t go away even when someone dies.
We need to talk about the realities of loss & the complexities inherent in planning a life for someone who never gets to live it.

Refusing to talk about or even consider that death happens is not going to keep it from happening. Death isn't Rumpelstiltskin. It doesn't work that way. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Refusing to Talk About Death; Death Isn’t Rumpelstiltskin

The only thing that happens when we refuse to consider the possibility of death, is that we refuse at the same time to plan for it, or prepare. We refuse to plan for some fairly necessary things like life insurance. Or safe pregnancy…

Motherhood comes in so many forms

Motherhood

I am the mother whose body swelled with pregnancy.
I am the mother who dreamed and wanted and planned.
I am the mother who left my heart in a small and curtained alcove room.
I am the mother who screamed and cried and begged.

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