Sea Glass Writing Course
26 days of writing and community with fellow bereaved parents
26 days of writing and community with fellow bereaved parents
From that first moment—whether sitting at the doctor’s office; having an initial conversation about adoption; holding a positive home pregnancy test; or any of the many other ways children come to be part of our families—the entrance of a child into our lives changes us.
—If we are pregnant, we may experience changes in our body.
—If our child is almost ready to arrive, we have likely purchased clothing and prepared a nursery.
—If we are adopting, we may have spent months or even years searching for the right match and preparing for the adoptive transition.
—If we are building a family via surrogacy, we may have struggled with infertility and found hope in the implantation of a viable embryo.
However we arrive to be expecting, the experience is often full of hope, love, and anticipation for a long life parenting our children.
When the anticipation of a new child is followed not by life, but by death, we find ourselves profoundly changed in a different way.
—For some of us, this is our first experience with tragedy and loss.
—For many, it is our first introduction to the knowledge that babies can die.
—For most, it is a moment of pure heartbreak; a division of our timeline into After and Before; an experience we live and remember for the rest of our lives.
My name is Miranda, and my son Adrian was stillborn in 2017 due to complications from undiagnosed preeclampsia.
His loss broke me so completely as a person, that for a long time, I almost ceased to exist. It was only through writing, at first TO him, and then later ABOUT him, that I found any kind of purpose in my world.
Today I operate this website in Adrian’s honor. Over the past several years I have created free resources and also share blog posts about various aspects of being a bereaved parent. It’s a different kind of parenting that what I first envisioned when I was pregnant with him, but it IS parenting, and it’s important to me. It’s also how the concept of Sea Glass Parenting was born.
This writing course is an offshoot of the Sea Glass Parenting concept and community. I hope by offering this course to provide fellow bereaved parents with some of the same comfort my writing has brought to me.
I look forward to writing with all of you. I’m so glad you’re here.
Sea Glass Parenting was born out of a desire to recognize that bereaved parents are still parents, and that we love and remember our children regardless of old they were or how long ago they died.
As an extension of the Sea Glass Parenting concept, Sea Glass Writing is a guided-but-fluid set of writing prompts that seek to explore the full spectrum of love, loss, and grief. We hope that in offering you these prompts, you will feel more comfortable exploring, writing, and speaking about all aspects of your experience and your child.
If you’ve experienced the death of a child, you are welcome. Your love and grief are honored here, now and always.
– Miranda Hernandez, Adrian’s Mother
Participants will receive a writing prompt each morning, Monday through Friday, and will have the option to share their response to that prompt in a private Facebook group created specifically for the course. Participants will also receive an optional weekend activity.
Within the Facebook group, the group will utilize a unique type of workshopping technique, focused on responding to the emotions evoked by a piece instead of critiquing style or technique. This will allow parents to more fully explore their thoughts and experiences without worry for the mechanics of writing. (Editing can always come later.)
To facilitate dialogue and community, each session will run with a minimum of 10 participants, and a maximum of 20. We find this number allows for sufficient participation while maintaining a community atmosphere. Participants are never required to share their responses to the prompts, but we do encourage everyone to read and provide feedback for their group-mates.
Although participants will receive prompts nearly daily, there is no requirement to keep up with any specific pace. Each session’s Facebook group will remain open for anyone who wishes to share after the conclusion of the course. There is also an open free-writing group where bereaved parents may share child-loss-related writing within the larger Sea Glass Parenting community.
The course runs annually towards the end of each winter. The next session is scheduled from 6 February through 3 March 2023, and is available for sign-up now via the Adrian’s Elephant account on Ko-Fi.
For those with financial difficulties, scholarships are available.
Yes! We welcome all levels of writers in this group, even if you've never written anything before. You may be surprised by the raw power of your words.
The prompts in this course are centered around the experience of losing a child shortly before, during, or shortly after birth. While the course is not restricted to these categories of loss, you may need to use some flexible interpretation skills to translate some of the prompts for losses at older ages.
Absolutely not. While some of the prompts do touch on experiences associated with pregnancy, we understand that not all children come to us through pregnancy and that not all gestating parents identify as mothers. Further, all prompts are written with options to make them applicable to gestational, non-gestational, and adoptive parents. We are also happy to take suggestions to improve applicability of each prompt for future courses.
No! One of the things we learn after loss is that grief is not limited to a singular experience; it touches on most or all aspects of our lives. Prompts in this course will cover family and community, physical body, mental and emotional state, and even spiritual feelings.
You do not have to share your response to every prompt. You technically don't have to share your response to any prompt, though sharing your responses is both encouraged and welcomed. The words you write will always belong to you and you alone.
We understand life happens. Although prompts are delivered nearly daily, you don't have to answer each prompt each day. You can write and share in whatever time and whatever order feels best for you. Your individual course's Facebook group will remain open permanently, and you are also welcome to come and share in the larger Sea Glass Writers Forum at any time.
Scholarships are available. Please email [email protected].
Because our schedule only permits an annual course offering at this time, we are exploring means to offer a self-paced Sea Glass Writing course. We hope to have this ready to share early in 2023. Watch this space for additional details.
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