To Share or Not to Share?
I had a friend call me today asking for advice on how to share Parker's Place information with others in her life who have experienced infant loss. She was unsure and wondering if she should reach out to them. And, if she should, how should she approach the subject?
Are you in the same position? Maybe you are afraid to reach out to someone out of fear that it may make them sad or upset. Or, maybe you just don't know what to say or how to approach the subject. Let me share with you my perspective as a parent who has experienced infant loss.
First, decide the best way to communicate with this person in your life. Is it someone you see often and can share the information in person? Or, maybe you don't see this person often and an email would be the best way of reaching out. Either way is fine. What I have experienced is that you really can't go wrong when bringing up resources related to infant loss when it is done out of love, compassion and the intent to provide help and support.
Be upfront and clear about what you are sharing. You might say something like, "I came across this website and couldn't help but think of you and (insert baby's name). I thought you might be interested in checking it out. It could be a really beneficial resource for you." Or, maybe you're reaching out to someone whose loss was a few years ago and you're not sure if mentioning this resource will open them up to pain they seem to have already walked through. The reality is that parents who have lost infants continue grieving no matter how recent or long ago the loss was. Your approach could be something like this. "I'm not sure where you find yourself today in your journey of grieving the loss of (insert baby's name/your baby boy/your baby girl), but I have heard that this type of loss and grief is unending. I found this great organization called Parker's Place Foundation and I thought you might benefit from it. I would like to connect you by sharing their website with you."
If you are afraid of approaching this topic out of fear that it will bring up additional pain for the parents, don't be. This pain is something that is always there. They remember their child daily and likely feel grief on some level every day. It is my experience that offering a resource that can provide help and healing will most likely be welcomed and appreciated and would not cause additional hurt or pain.
Throughout my grieving process these past seven, almost eight, years I have experienced several different stages/phases. I went through a period of time when I withdrew from others and times when I found that I couldn't talk about Parker enough. When I reflect back on those different times, I know that I would have welcomed someone reaching out to me at any time to provide resources that would support my grieving process and connect me with others who understand my pain.
So, if you find yourself debating whether or not to share Parker's Place Foundation with someone you know, someone who could benefit from this organization, I encourage you to go ahead. Reach out in love and show you care by introducing them to Parker's Place Foundation.
Author: Janelle Demaree