We lost our son and wanted to give up and move a million miles away from anyone that we’ve ever known. Just disconnect and shut down. Share Parents has connected us with people who are going through a lot of the same things that we are going through. To feel understood and loved during such a deep grieving process is completely priceless. They have done so much for us and we could never thank the people involved with this organization enough.
-Luke, Leina & our sweet Leland
I think we all remember the day our world stopped, the day the rugged was pulled out from underneath us and how our worlds were changed forever. For my husband and I, it was our 20-week ultrasound when we found our precious little boy had encephalocele, a rare neural tube disorder. We were provided three options, none of which were positive. Pax Carlin was born on November 22, 2017. We found gratitude in the fact that he was born alive and we were able to have some precious moments with him as he took his first breath, and last breath, in our arms. It was the most beautiful, painful day of our lives. My husband and my mantra has been put one foot in front of the other, and it took a few months before we found the courage to do just that and attend a Share meeting. I remember walking out of my first meeting feeling like I had just a little pep in my step as for the first time I didn’t feel so alone, so isolated, so crazy. It wasn’t that I was taking pleasure in other’s who had experienced such a heart-wrenching loss, but it provided a light at the end of the tunnel. I was able to see couples who had come out on the other side, who were able to honor their baby(ies) by sharing their memory and who were now mentors to us to show us the sun comes out again. We knew we had found a judgment-free, safe place to be the grieving parents we needed to be.
It has been said by many, “that this is a crappy little club to be a part of,” but I am so thankful this group is around.
I found Share Parents of Utah after my son passed away unexpectedly at 38 weeks gestation. I was distraught and I desperately wanted to talk to anyone who could understand my pain. That is why I love Share Parents so much. It is an infant loss specific group so everyone who comes has a common foundation. We can all relate to each other and my feelings have been validated time and time again. It is so helpful to have a safe place to vent or cry and to share the inner parts of myself that I keep closed off to others. I am reminded each time I go to a meeting that what I’m feeling is completely normal, that I’m completely justified, and that I am doing awesome by being able to survive such a traumatic loss. I have heard things that have helped me on my journey of healing-from others and from the facilitators. I have made real friends-ones I want to keep. These friendships started from sharing our most intimate feelings and from letting others inside our hearts and so they are genuine. It has been so incredibly helpful to have a group of women who are on my side and on my team. Girls that understand how hard it is to keep going but help me do it anyway since we are all going through similar heartache. When I feel alone, ignored or forgotten by the people around me, I can reach out to my grief group family and they lift me up. They remember my son and they remember me. If you are thinking about attending Share Parents of Utah, I promise you won’t be disappointed. In fact, it may just be the lifeline you are so desperately looking for, like it has been for me. The pain will still be there. The grief will continue. But you won’t be alone and you will be able to see you and your baby will not be forgotten. Come and join us and if I see you I will say hi.
From a bereaved mother,
When we found out we were going to lose our son Forrest, I felt a fear and loneliness I never thought was possible. What was supposed to be a celebration turned into a nightmare. SHARE sent a volunteer to the hospital when he was born to let us know we were not alone. She told us about the meetings that were in place to help us connect with others who have gone through tragedy. My first time attending a meeting, I felt an astonishing amount of love and support from everyone there. Going through a child loss is the hardest thing I have gone through in my life. The knowledge that I can go somewhere, express my conflicted feelings and not be judged –and instead accepted– is a gift I can never repay. The SHARE meetings gave me a community filled with love when my life was in shambles. I will forever be grateful to that volunteer who opened this avenue to me.
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