This past weekend I had the honor of attending a Peer Companion workshop hosted by the Florida Chapter of the Tears Foundation. If you've never heard of Tears check them out, http://www.thetearsfoundation.org/page.php?id=69. I was able to spend the day with 10 amazingly strong and beautiful women who, like me, are the unfortunate 1:4 women who have experienced infant and pregnancy loss. In our small group there were moms of multiple miscarriages, moms whose babies were born still, moms who lost due to incompetent cervix, trisonomy, strep B and vein of gallen. All of our stories different yet each of us still aching for our little ones who don't get to be with us. All of us wanting to help break the silence and be support to those who every day are added to our 1:4 club.
Some of us were young, some were older. Some with other children, some who never got to keep theirs. Some many years from their loss and others more recent. Some pregnant, some hoping to be. Some who had met before and others total strangers. Eleven women different in so many ways but bonded by one commonality; our beautiful babies.
We shared our babies, our pain and our hopes. There were tears yet there was lots of laughter. There were new friendships made; bonds that will last over many years as we all work towards our shared goals. We were all there to be trained to help others who are just starting their grief journey. Each of us wanting to be able to be the safe shoulder to cry on when the world is full of darkness and all hope is lost. To be that rock for others when their world is crashing down. And to be the calm voice when they feel like they are going crazy.
Being with these women was incredibly rewarding. You feel an instant connection. We could have spent days together and still had so much more to talk about. I truly didn't want the day to end. I found myself in a conversation with two other moms and I heard myself saying how exciting it is to talk to someone who truly gets "it." And I realized how odd that sounded. Excited and baby loss don't belong in the same category, yet it's so very true. When you find someone who gets "it" and you on that deep, I've been there and know how you feel level, it is exciting.
I left this weekend feeling refreshed and inspired. Since Avery I've wanted to do good. I want to bring some positive out of an absolutely awful situation. Becoming a peer companion is just one of the first steps towards that. I am so thankful for this workshop, these relationships I've built and for the Tears Foundation for making it possible. I see many more things coming in the future for me to reach out to the community, support other families of loss and do to is to hp break the silence.
"Out of the ashes of our hopelessness comes the fire of our hope." - Anne Wilson Schaef