Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pop-Up Support Group

Pop-Up Restaurants, also called supper clubs, are temporary restaurants. These restaurants often operate from a private home, former factory or similar space, and during festivals.

Pop-Up Support Groups are more rare. In fact, I know of only one. And I was honored enough to be a part of it.

A member of my former support group heard of a mom in need. This mom lost her daughter at 38 weeks this past May. She and her husband and their living son are beside themselves with grief. They did not know where to turn.

This former member, my friend, texted and emailed and supported this mom the best she could. But the grieving mom needed more. So my friend called in back up.

This past Saturday, we met up at a local park. We did not bring snacks and we did not dress up. It was unlike any other kind of meeting I have attended. We sat around a picnic table and just told our stories. We talked about our babies that were also born still. We hugged and cried and told the newest member of our circle that she is not alone. Unfortunately, there are many parents like us.

"There is no before, but we are here to show you there is an after." I said this and immediately knew I had to write it down. I was explaining to our new member that life as she knew it before her loss was over. Done. Gone. But there is life after loss, and a good life at that. In order to experience it, though, you have to let yourself grieve.

It's so easy to get caught up in the anger and frustration, but you can't live a good life with those feeling ruling your life. I think you need to find a place for them so that you can exist with them in you, but not consuming you.

Our support group lost our local charter so we do not meet anymore. But these moms and I decided that there are still parents out there that need us. So we are forming our own Pop-Up group. It will not take away from the formal group that still has many chapters and does great work. This is an more intimate group that will meet as needed, wherever we can find the space, to sit and talk and help.

It was nice to talk about Allie. It was hard to share her story, but once I started talking, my throat was dry from all I had to say. With Miranda, I have new stories to share every single day. With Allie, I had 38 weeks and 1 day to make and remember stories. I am so glad that I wrote so many of them down and that people want to hear them still. 

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. To me, every month is an awareness month. But I will play along. I will bring even more awareness than I usually do. I will do it for Allie and for her friends in the clouds. I will do it all the women that delivered their babies to silent delivery rooms. I will do it for all the men that will always wonder if their babies would have looked like them one day. And I will do it as a way to support all of us who have loved and lost and hopefully, learned to love again.

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