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Archive for the ‘Comforting Memory Gardens’ Category

For those who have lost a baby or pregnancy, our month to remember the dreams we had  is October. We also share this month with those who have been touched by Breast Cancer. Angelversary Pregnancy Loss Ribbon Garden Flags create awareness of  those suffering “silent grief”.

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An angelversary is the death date of a much wanted baby. Miscarriage, molar pregnancies, cord accidents, incompetent cervix , stillbirths, and SIDS are tragic ways our children become angels.

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Bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss may not have a public angelversary get together, but they do acknowledge the day their world changed forever.

The angelversary garden flags can also be hung like a banner by inserting a hollow PVC pipe or dowel. If you know the gender of your baby, tie a bow of the appropriate color and adorn with remembrance keepsakes. If placed outdoors, use rust proof keepsakes.

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If you do not know the gender of your angel, green or yellow ribbon can be used.

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Your garden flags can also be placed into your memory gardens.

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 Angelversary Pregnancy Loss Ribbon Garden Flags Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. A $20.00 check can be sent to:

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Po Box 327, Julian, NC 27283,

The costs include shipping, handling and taxes. If you live out of the Continental United States, an additional fee may apply. If this is a sympathy gift, please include the mailing address of bereaved family.

PVC pipe and garden stands can be purchased at your local hardware or garden shops for under 12 dollars.

 Happy 6th Angelversary Baby Tanner-September 28, 2003

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Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana 

www.justacloudaway.com

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When my baby Tanner passed September 28, 2003, sympathy flowers were delivered almost every day for a month. Scruggs Florist in Greensboro, North Carolina delivered the most because they were located less than a mile away from our house. 5 1/2 years later I am helping the florist create an appropriate sympathy basket for bereaved parents of baby and pregnancy loss.

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The grief from pregnancy and infant loss is an overwheming sadness where parents often suffer in silence. If this type of loss hasn’t happen to you, it is difficult to understand. Acknowledgment of a much wanted baby is one step towards supporting bereaved parents.

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Scruggs Florist now carries a sympathy basket for the death of a baby and for angelversaries. The sympathy gift includes:

1 Indoor Plant
1 Azalea Plant
1 Basket
1 Just a Cloud Away Remembrance Kit
1 Plant Care Sheet
1 Zodiac Sheet
1 Memory Garden Tip Sheet
1 Scrapbook Tip Sheet
1 Pamphlet-Ways to Comfort Bereaved Parents
1 Pamphlet-What not to say to Bereaved Parents

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1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur every year in the United States. If you know of a bereaved couple who has suffered the loss of their angel, you may want to think about sending a sympathy gift for the angelversary or death date. There are not too many loving parents that ignore this special and tragic date.

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There are many supportive gifts included in the Scruggs Florist sympathy basket for grieving parents. There are also ideas for those supporting and comforting them.

Remembering all baby angels….

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana http://www.justacloudaway.com

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My Angel’s Memory Garden starts to bloom just in time to wrap up the winter blues. The air is beginning to warm with a gentle fragrance of flowers and daylight shines a couple more hours.

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The white daffodils, tulips, creeping phlox, helleborus or lenten rose, and candytuft are gracing us with whites, creams and colors of pale yellow. It is an amazing display, also in time for Easter.

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When the children visit during the holiday, I always make sure there are some eggs hidden in Tanner’s memory garden. Having Tanner included in the holiday festivities are very important to me, even if it’s simply a stroll through his special place.

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The weather is perfect for reflecting on my little angel in his garden.

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The surrounding wildlife will now enter into Tanner’s memory garden by nesting, slithering through under the cool stones or the cows listening to the beautiful chimes blowing in the breeze.

I love spring and it is a wonderful time to start thinking about your angel and how to memorialize your child by creating a memory garden.
A perfect tribute for your baby’s angelversary.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above
Diana http://www.justacloudaway.com

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5 years ago was the worst day of my life when Tanner was pronounced dead at the hospital. I would have never thought I’d be acknowledging my sweet son’s 5th birthday in his memory garden.

When you loose a baby, these times are not easy to endure. Tanner would be going to kindergarden and making new friends, playing t-ball, and just being a beautiful 5 year old little boy. They are the same milestones parents of living children think about.

My grief was not overwhelming this year as previous years. Maybe it has something to do with the medication I am on from being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Whatever the case, I still couldn’t bring myself to attend church yesterday. That is a place where my grief creeps up on me and I am trapped within crowds of people with my eyes at full capacity with tears. We spent a quiet day at home.

It has been a tradition to fly a brightly colored balloon in Tanner’s Memory garden on his angelversary. I always wished that the store clerk would ask me whose birthday are you celebrating with this beautiful balloon. It hasn’t occured yet.

We also hung a beautiful blue angel ornament. The angel ornament complimented the beautiful blue sky and white fluffy clouds.

Since my husband and Tanner share birthday’s, my parents put a little extra cash in his envelope to purchase something for Tanner’s Memory Garden. My husband made a good choice with the ornament of an angel.

Every year my dear Uncle sends a birthday card addressed to both Tanner and my husband. Something as small as writing my stillborn son’s name is a great feeling of warmth.

Last evening my in-laws brought a metal flower to place in his garden.

Tanner is not physically here but his presence certainly is. Tanner’s Memory Garden was included in a SANDS newsletter in Australia………………on his 5th birthday. Thank you Pauline.

Happy Angelversary Honey

Mommy Loves You Always

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Pastor Cecil came to the hospital as soon as the community heard of Tanner’s death. We had never met this man before and with his tremendous faith in Jesus and love for Tanner, came to comfort us in our time of absolute devastation.

My husband and I did not belong to a church at the time of Tanner’s death. Pastor Cecil had just started his ministry at my in-laws church, Pleasant Union United Methodist in Liberty, North Carolina.

He later came to our house to pray with us and just sit beside me as I cried. It made me feel so good to have this man of God in my house where our little boy began his short life in my womb. His soft voice, his words and his gentle nature helped my family in this delicate time of grief. Even though he did not know us or Tanner, there were tears in his eyes.

Pastor Cecil offered to give a memorial service for us, honoring our precious angel. He and another Pastor gave a wonderful service and spoke of the love and of how Tanner touched so many lives without a physical presence. He wrote a letter addressed to us from Tanner that touched my soul.

One paragraph reads:

There’s a part of me that wishes God would give me back to you. I don’t know why I can’t be with you. After all, there are plenty of angels here in heaven to do all the work. But, what I do know is that someday we’ll all be together here in Heaven. So, just take Jesus’ hand, I’m holding the other one. Sometimes the hand of Jesus comes to you in the hand of a pastor, or a next door neighbor, a church member, a co-worker, a family member and sometimes through the hands of a stranger. Reach out for the hand of Jesus, and you will be close to God and close to me. You see God, wants to hold us all, especially in sad times like now.

I only wish I could help him now in his time of grief like he helped me. His sweet son was killed a few days ago in a car accident. His eldest son in his early 20’s is now with Jesus. Even a man of God with tremendous faith will grieve the loss of his child. Cecil, I will pray for you and your family as you did for us. I just found out Tanner and your son’s birthday are but a day apart. September is a time where nature and flora are slowly coming to a rest, rich colors of autumn are transforming the landscapes and the scent of wood burning fires and aroma of pumpkin spice candles will have new meaning, as life with Jesus begins for our children. 

Pastor Cecil was very instrumental in our memory garden dedication for Tanner the following May. I will plant another perennial to honor his precious son.

We love you very much Cecil

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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My brother and sister-in-law were nothing but supportive after the death of my son. They did not think twice about flying to North Carolina from Buffalo for Tanner’s memorial service to comfort us. Still today, almost 5 years later they remember our baby in heaven with a special activity, a butterfly release.

My nephews purchased a butterfly kit to raise and release them. They were going to be visiting us at the exact time the butterflies were recommended to be set free. Ryan, my eldest nephew brought the butterfly kit into our house and said we should release them into Tanner’s memory garden. I did not ask if this was his idea or his parents because Ryan seemed very determined and willing to let the butterflies explore Tanner’s memory garden. I was incredibly moved by Ryan’s kindness and he probably didn’t know the effect he had on me. A nine year old now but just a small 4 year old when Tanner died, yet we always visit the memory garden when he comes and it is always referred to as “Tanner’s Garden.”

The butterflies needed a little help finding their way out.

and there they go………………

It was so sweet to see the expression of the boys.

If your sweet angel passed away during a time when butterfly kits can be purchased, I highly recommend it. Sometimes it is difficult to include other children in rituals for deceased babies, but this activity can involve everyone. An angelversary can be a special time to remember your angel baby and to release beautiful butterflies free to fly. This could be a new tradition if the butterfly symbolizes your deceased baby.

If your child’s angelversary tradition is a butterfly release, we would love to know.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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The angelversary date has no rules. For us it is the day Tanner’s stillborn body laid in my arms (also my husband’s birthday), for my girlfriend it was the day of her D&C, for another, her child’s expected due date.

Once the month of August hits, my anxiety starts building. September 28th is Tanner’s angelversaryand for years I have become very tense beginning in August ending in October. Maybe because October 1st was Tanner’s memorial service and October 14th was his expected due date. Now that I am on Citalopram, anxiety levels shouldn’t be unbearable for my family.

Tanner’s first angelversary we had a few close friends over for cake. I had both Tanner and Todd’s name on the cake and we sang to both. My girlfriend brought balloons to tie onto Tanner’s memory garden cross which started this tradition. Even if we do not have a cake, it is a new tradition for my husband and myself to visit Tanner’s memory garden with balloons for his cross. I also like to bring his journal to the memory garden and write a letter wishing my angel a happy birthday in heaven.

One of my girlfriend’s started a new tradition for her baby’s angelversary by visiting her stillborn child’s grave bringing flowers and also placing flowers at the graves of other deceased babies. Another friend makes a donation to the pregnancy loss support group that was very supportive in her healing. Another tradition is assembling care packets for the homeless and inserting a small note- in loving memory of our deceased child.

What ways do you remember and honor your baby’s angelversary?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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After almost 5 years of building Tanner’s memory garden, there is life other than the plants we installed. The sweetest sound was that of 4 baby birds in one of the crape myrtle trees planted. They obviously thought mama was on her way with food.

I was so happy a mother bird found refuge in Tanner’s tree, the one directly behind his cross.

Not only did the crape myrtles provide a nesting area, this year was the largest display of white blooms.

Natchez crape myrtle trees were chosen because of the white flowers, being drought tolerate, a weeping growth habit, gorgeous cinnamon colored bark and the growth rate is extremely fast. They grow to about 25 feet in height.

Eventually the trees will shade the interior of Tanner’s memory garden. It is rather hot in Zone 7 during the summer months so shade will be welcomed. This is what I see when I look up through the crape myrtle trees while sitting in the center of his garden.

The natchez crape myrtle tree is one of many crape myrtles available. Below is a variety called burgundy cotton crape myrtle. The white flower buds look like popcorn before opening to a pale pink bloom. Burgundy cotton crape myrtle is much smaller than the natchez, growing to about 10 feet tall.

Another variety of crape myrtle is twilight. Twilight crape myrtle trees are more upright growing to about 15 feet in height bearing purple flowers.

There are so many different colors and mature heights to select, you are bound to find just the right one for your child’s memory garden. Crape myrtles grow in zones 7,8 and 9, which is the lower half of the United States. Yoshino cherry trees are also wonderful, growing further north.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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I so love my girlfriends with all of my heart. I am so appreciative for how they supported me when my son Tanner was stillborn. 80% of my friends were either pregnant or just had their babies at the time of Tanner’s death. Doesn’t it seem to always work out that way.

One of my friends actually came to the hospital the day after Tanner passed wearing a bright yellow t-shirt carrying in a dozen yellow roses just for me. Those roses were the only thing I carried away from the hospital. She helped me to the bathroom and we laughed at my butt just hanging out of the loose fitting garments they so kindly provided. I don’t remember any tears at this point, maybe I was still in shock as well as my girlfriend.

I want to share this beautiful poem she wrote for my husband and me of hope and faith. My friend’s mother also had a son that died and he was my girlfriend’s older brother she never had the opportunity to meet. You never know how many people are touched by pregnancy and infant death until it happens to you.

This poem was also read at my son’s memory garden dedication.

If He Could Tell You…..

I’m sure if he could tell you, “Thank You,” he would. I’m sure he would want you to know that he loved being a part of your lives even though brief. He remembers the belly rubs, soothing sounds of your voices, and the adrenalin of wanting him so badly.

I’m sure if he could, he’d tell you..he’s with you forever. He will remember you both in his own angelic way, watching over you, holding onto your souls with his little hands and never releasing. He’s all around you, touching your thoughts and hugging your memories. He smiles and laughs to comfort you each day you feel sad. He’s happy for your strength and needs your hope to help him fly.

I’m sure if he could tell you, “Thank You,” he would, For all the powerful love, for remembering him, for holding him when he was born and missing him when he became your angel. He knows he is your combined, manifested pure love and he is your hope.

He’s the light in your window, he’s the hope in your heart, he’s the baby angel that throws the first snowflake upon your face- his kiss to Mommy and Daddy. Just know that the smiles on your faces help him get through his day, too, and he knows you love him, knows you miss him, and wants you to know that he’s watching over you both. If he could tell you..I know he would.

12-16-03 Melanie Johnson Isayev
A good friend of Diana

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana  www.justacloudaway.com

 

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Angel Jars can be created as memorials for our babies in heaven. This is a simple craft to hold all of the Angel Pennies our sweet children leave us on the streets, sidewalks, doorsteps and other places. Living siblings, cousins or friends can also help create Angel Jars. This craft project may give younger children an outlet to express their love and their grief by creating a memory keepsake.

Here is a list of possible craft supplies you will need:

  • A glass jar with lid
  • Colored paper, stickers, and magazine pictures
  • Elmers glue (dries clear)
  • Paint brush
  • White spray paint
  • Glitter
  • Decoupage
  • Dried flowers
  • A button
  • Cotton balls
  • Needle and thread
  • Hot glue gun
  • Ribbon and cording
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Small piece of fabric

First, select a glass container you would like to use as your Angel Jar. I am using an instant coffee jar.

Next, tear the colored paperand magazine pictures you have selected and adhere with elmer’s glue to the jar making sure to overlap.

I used green and yellow colored craft paper and pictures of flowers from a calendar. Paint on the glue to adhere your dried flowers. The blooms can be gathered from your child’s memory garden or even wildflowers on the side of roads. The smaller the better for this size project. Foliage is also used.

Butterfly stickers were placed onto the torn colored paper.

Don’t worry if the flowers are sticking out a bit, the decoupage solution will seal them in later steps. I wanted to mute and soften the intense colors of the flowers so I used white spray paint. Hold the jar 2 feet away and gently shower the jar with the spray paint. It gives the Angel Jar a cloudy look.

Let the jar dry completely. Now begin designing the lid. Place the lid upside down onto a piece of cardboard and trace. I used a shoe box. 

Cut out the circle and make sure to cut a little smaller to properly fit on your lid. Poke a small hole in the center for a needle and thread later on.

Gather your cotton balls on top and you may hot glue them, but it isn’t needed.

Cut your piece of material a bit larger than your circle. I have selected my grandmothers handkerchief because I just love the delicate fabric and the fact I am able to use them in crafts. Hot glue the fabric at one point and make sure it dries before moving on so you can pull it tight.

Pull tight and glue the next point directly across from the first. Keep moving around until the fabric is all secured.

You will not see this part, so do not worry about how it looks. Place the button you have chosen in the middle and sew into place. I made only one trip through with the thread and hot glued into place on the ugly side. Take your cording, ribbon or rope and glue onto the lid. This will hide any imperfections. I also glued a pink ribbon onto the lid under the cording.

When your Angel Jar is completely dry it is time for glitter and decoupage. I used my paint brush to gently apply the decoupage. This substance will seal your Angel Jar and protect the dried flowers. While still wet, white glitter was applied to the jar.

Because I have many memorial keepsakes for Tanner, I have wrapped one of his necklaces around the lid. It is a charm of a little boy with his gemstone, sapphire.

Angel Jars for Angel Pennies is another way we can create awareness of pregnancy and infant loss and remember our children. They are still a part of our families, even in their absence. Donate your angel pennies to your favorite charity on October 15th ( pregnancy and infant loss awareness day) or your child’s angelversary.

There are many different ways to create Angel Jars. Tear family photographs, gemstone colored papers, family fingerprints, sentimental pictures, pictures of the season your angel passed and others.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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