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Support Grieving Parents: #BereavedMothersDay Campaign

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Moms everywhere will be celebrated with breakfast in bed, homemade gifts from the kids, maybe a day at the spa. They’ll be enjoying their children and families.

Things are very different for bereaved Moms though. Mother’s Day can be a little painful for those who are mourning the loss of a child.

Many years ago, I had a miscarriage. Most people never knew, because I didn’t talk about it. It was very early on. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was distraught. I had three children who were 5 and under, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around going through another pregnancy right then. When I called my husband to tell him the news, his first comment was “how did this happen?” You see, we planned our other children.We were those lucky people who got pregnant when we wanted to get pregnant.

At this point, I was on the pill. We weren’t trying. The funny thing about the pill though, is it works better when you follow directions and take it every day.

But after we got over our initial shock, we became excited about growing our family. And then the unthinkable happened.

Granted it was early. Very early. I started to feel like it was my fault, because I’d been so upset when I first found out. I know things happen, and sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason. But I’d already started to love.

Neither my husband or I ever really allowed ourselves to mourn the loss. I didn’t tell many people, and those that did know said things like “it’s probably for the best.” Not what I wanted to hear. In situations like these, most of us simply don’t know what to say. And honestly, I feel like saying something is better than saying nothing.

When I read Sunshine After the Storm, all those memories and emotions came back. This book is a collection of touching stories of loss that will tug at your heartstrings, as these moms share their personal experiences with grief.

I read the entire book on a plane coming home from a conference. I cried the entire time. There were tears streaming down my face for hours. But I could not put it down.

This book is a wonderful resource for grieving parents. Not only do the authors share their very personal stories, but they also offer suggestions on how to cope. But I’d also suggest this book to anyone who has a friend or family member who has lost a child. For those of us who don’t know what to do or say, the advice here is really helpful.

My friend Alexa Bigwarfe, formed a a non profit to support grieving parents, and she is running a Mother’s Day campaign to raise money to donate books to those who are struggling through the pain of losing a child. We would love to have your help in supporting this worthy cause.

So now, I’d like to turn it over to Alexa.


beautiful mother green

From Alexa:

For most mothers, Mother’s day is a day to be spoiled by their children (and maybe husbands.) It’s a day we look forward to. A day that we, the mother, gets the one day that we are acknowledged for everything that we do as moms. And mothers should be honored. All mothers.

For many mothers, Mother’s day is a source of pain. A constant reminder of what is no longer here, or what will never be.

It’s a very difficult day for grieving mothers. I know, because I am one of them.

“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love that she holds in her heart.” ~Franchesca Cox

A few years ago, CarlyMarie of Project Heal began International Bereaved Mother’s Day. This day for mother’s to talk about the true meaning of Mother’s Day, and celebrate our children, both with us and not. Do you know why Mother’s Day was begun?

Anna Jarvis officially founded the traditional Mother’s Day to honour her mother Ann who experienced the death of 7 of her children and somehow through the years it has turned into a commercialized mess that corporate companies make millions of dollars from, but the worst thing is that bereaved mothers are completely forgotten. ~CarlyMarie

This Mother's Day

International Bereaved Mother’s Day is now the Sunday preceding Mother’s Day. So this year it is May 5th.
Inspired by the actions of CarlyMarie and so many others who make it their mission to bring light to grieving parents, I wanted to do something as well. Last October, in time for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15th, a group of bereaved parents and I published our book Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother. It is our stories and our best advice and tips on surviving the loss of a pregnancy, infant, or older child.

Fueled by the positive feedback and the positive impact it was having on other parents who have suffered the death of a child, we went one step further and created a nonprofit, Sunshine After the Storm, Inc, to raise funds to donate the books to hospitals, bereavement groups, and organizations that support bereaved parents.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I wanted to do something special. So we decided to start a special “Mother’s Day Campaign.” The goal is simple: raise money to donate as many books as we can to hospitals and bereavement groups for Mother’s Day, and use a portion of the funds to make a special Mother’s Day contribution to the organizations that support bereaved parents, infant death, pregnancy loss, and research for children’s health issues.

I also reached out to different people, including some well-known authors on baby and child loss, such as Sherokee Ilke and Teske Drake; to CarlyMarie (who creates the most beautiful artwork for bereaved parents on her Shore of Remembrance) and many others. I asked for donated items and services so that we could offer a wonderful incentive for those who decide to find it in their heart to make a donation. The response was amazing, and on May 4th, International Bereaved Mother’s Day, we will have a giveaway of 15 incredible items. And more may be added!

We just ask for one thing. A very small donation. $5 (or more if you’d like!) It costs us about $8 to donate each book. One donation will get you entered for a chance to win all of these amazing prizes! For every $10 you donate, you’ll have the opportunity to personalize a donated book with your loved one’s name.

But more importantly, you will know that you have directly impacted the life of a mother who is hurting on Mother’s Day.

[Tweet “Help #grievingparents by supporting our #BereavedMothersDay campaign! Enter for a chance to #WIN great prizes too! “]

Mother's Day campaign prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway


catherine gacad

Saturday 10th of May 2014

michelle, i'm just getting around to catching up on all my favorite blogs and reading this now. i'm so sorry for your heartache and really appreciate you sharing something so personal. this book has been on my list to read. the topic certainly resonates with me.

Chris Carter

Monday 5th of May 2014

I came back to give YOUR story some well needed affirmation and love... Michelle, bless your heart. I can only imagine how you felt, especially after the initial shock of being pregnant with three little ones! I would have felt the same way! And then having the unthinkable happen. Oh the anguish! And yet, because you already had three, I bet you didn't think you 'deserved' to grieve the loss of your little creation inside you... And yet- you will always grieve your lost baby... and that makes my heart ache so much for you.

I am so so sorry you had to experience that pain...

I promise you will have your baby in your arms in Heaven. This I know...

another jennifer

Sunday 4th of May 2014

Thank you for sharing your story, Michelle. Losing a child is heartbreaking no matter when or how it happens. That must have been so tough for you, going through so many emotions. I am so happy to see Alexa's book being spread out far and wide. It is so helpful to bereaved parents.

Ana Lynn

Sunday 4th of May 2014

I haven't had that kind of experience but I have a friend who had a miscarriage. I won't say I know what it feels like, nor will I pretend to know; but I will say I can only imagine how awful it must be. Just the thought of losing my children sends tears to my eyes. Wonderful campaign!


Saturday 3rd of May 2014

I'm so sorry for your loss. Any baby we carry, no matter how short of a time, is our baby. And loved. It's wonderful that you want to support grieving mothers this way.