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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Pride is crushed by desperation to keep the home, family and dreams of a stable life. I am asking for financial help and after reading this story, maybe you can find it in your heart.

2003- Our first child was stillborn, his name is Tanner. An umbilical cord accident and I don’t know if I caused it to tighten by raising my hands over my head during the last week. This will always be on my mind. Alcohol was my best friend for the month following his death. Not knowing I was Bipolar at that time, mania set in and the idea of constructing a memory garden turned into an obsession.

Soon afterwards, pregnant again against doctors wishes and the pregnancy followed the same season as with Tanner. This was a curse to endure wearing the same pregnancy clothing, seeing the same weather patterns and feeling unsure of baby movements. I did not want any family members to show their happiness for fear they weren’t grieving Tanner. My living son and Tanner’s birthday are 2 weeks apart.

2004- Our first living son was born by induction and I went into a deep depression shortly afterwards. Doctor prescribed antidepressants for postpartum because of unhealthy thoughts. Not knowing that Bipolar Disorder patients are sent into mania if a mood stabilizer is not also taken, ideas to help bereaved parents rushed my brain.

2006- Just a Cloud Away was incorporated as a resource for bereaved parents of baby loss. A scrapbook kit was the product designed to help bereaved parents work through their grief by memorializing their babies with the kit. I had a business coach and a one woman marketing company. I now see how many mistakes were made by their counsel with the biggest being a $60,000 home equity line used for new business ventures.

2007- Realization the kit would be a failure and the loan taking a lifetime to pay back. Started having relationship problems with friends and spouse

2008- Focusing more on Diana Digs Dirt

2010- In a manic state without thinking through, decided to open Cornerstone Garden

2011- Claimed bankruptcy because all credit cards were used for Just a Cloud Away. This horrible experience that rips your insides into oblivion sent me into another deep depression and decided to seek psychiatric help. In addition to existing ADHD, SAD and Panic Disorder was the forever  diagnosis no one wants to hear, Bipolar Disorder. It took many months for myself and family to accept. One travels the same process as in death; Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The main goal is to stabilize the condition, called Bipolar Remission or Recovery. This is at least 6 months without mania or depression. The norm for Bipolar people will never be that of those without the condition.

2011-2014- Medications- It takes years to find the right combination for each individual. Everyone tolerates medicines differently, several different disorders could be present, tolerating side effects or dosage and the interactions of medications could cause confusion.

2012- First hospitalization for suicidal planning in an unfamiliar unit.

2013-Emergency Room visit for a severe panic attack. Another 9 days later, an over night stay in the hospital for Lithium Toxicity. Physical pain sets in causing difficulty moving in the morning and evening hours. Painful numbness in hands and forearms

2014-Trip to the crisis unit for severe panic attack and a week later to the ER for physical pain that cannot be identified.

Currently I have a Landscape Design company called Diana Digs Dirt, a garden shop named Cornerstone Garden and Just a Cloud Away. Loosing them would throw me into depression because the passion  keeps me moving forward.

If you can help out it would be appreciated from the bottom of my heart

Diana Williams    2652 NC Hwy 62 East    Liberty, NC 27298

Read how hospital rejects me

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How many children do you have?

The dreaded question and the guilt surrounding it could be overwhelming. The hesitation of the parent being questioned is much more than a mere pause. A child born (subsequent pregnancy) after or before the loss of a baby is recognized as an integral part of the family, in most homes.

My subsequent pregnancy was another son and he is well aware of his older brother. He is now six and draws pictures of our family, including Tanner.

When in preschool, he was asked how many brother’s or sister’s he had.

As you can see the teacher painted white out over the number one, for how many brothers he had. In a way, Tanner dies again. I do not blame the teacher, but if a child acknowledges a deceased sibling, they should too.

I asked my six-year-old about this questionnaire and he said, “Yes, I told her I had a brother named Tanner and he died.”

What you tell someone in the grocery line may be different from telling someone who works out at the same gym as you, it is your decision. We only do the best we know how and what feels right for the family.

The warmth inside my heart is tremendous when my 6-year-old wants to let a balloon go up to Tanner, draw a picture of him or just ask how he is doing.

People ask, “Doesn’t it make you sad talking about him?” No, I choose to remember my angel son because I love him and that love is manifested through me in my willingness to help, give, and support others. It is nothing but positive energy and it’s all because of Tanner.

How many children do you have?

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 4 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 120 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 116kb.

The busiest day of the year was October 7th with 495 views. The most popular post that day was The Birth of My Stillborn Baby-Part 10.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were justacloudaway.com, search.aol.com, en.wordpress.com, blogcatalog.com, and search.conduit.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for stillborn babies, stillborn, helleborus, stillborn baby, and angels.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The Birth of My Stillborn Baby-Part 10 July 2008
42 comments

2

Angel Gifts Comfort Grieving Parents of Baby Loss March 2008
10 comments

3

Writing Poems for a Friend’s Baby that has Died March 2008
9 comments

4

Planting Helleborus in Gardens Remembering Babies February 2008
1 comment

5

Music, Memories & The Death of a Baby March 2008
15 comments

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 No one ever dreams of loosing a baby, however, 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur in the USA every year.

If the parents have not named the baby, you may want to suggest thinking about this. Even if the loss was an early miscarriage, naming the baby will give them an identity and validation.

What do I do to help a friend who has lost a baby regarding the funeral or memorial service?

If you have not lost a child yourself, it may be very difficult to find the words to comfort them. There is a list found here to help  support your friend. Another list is available regarding, what not to say to bereaved parents.

Some funeral homes offer free memorial service for stillborn babies and give discounts for a funeral. Help them by making these necessary phones calls.

When the parents of the deceased baby have decided to have a funeral or memorial service, they may need additional help from you with the logistics. It is important to involve both parents as much as possible in the decision making. Even though this is a very sad time, this event will be remembered for a lifetime.

Areas of the funeral:

  • Notifying people of the service
  • Location
  • Music
  • Readings, Poems or Stories
  • If a priest or pastor will be present
  • Does the baby need to be baptised
  • Cremation or Burial (small caskets for later miscarried babies are available at Heaven’s Gain)
  • Burial Clothes
  • Container or urn for ashes
  • Headstone or marker
  • Obituary in paper
  • Would the family like flowers or encourage donations
  • Helping to assemble the altar with keepsakes and other memorabilia
  • Contacting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if  parents want professional pictures of the funeral and baby after declining at the hospital
  • Choosing an outfit for the baby
  • Donating organs

Remember that the scents of the season, colors, music on the radio, the landscape, the ambiance of the month will all attribute to the memories etched into the minds of the  parents, later triggering thoughts of  their baby.

Usually about the time of the service or funeral (2-5 days after the baby’s death) the mother’s milk will come in if she was further along in the pregnancy. The milk can be donated to save another child’s life. The program is The Breast Milk Project.

Wedding gowns can be donated to the Mary Madeline Project or Heavenly Angels in Need  to make burial gowns for babies that have died. Sewers are also in great need.

Some of the smallest burial gowns were made for 18-22 week old babies.

Here is the Triad, Busy Bee Crafters, a non-profit, volunteer their time sewing, knitting and crocheting. This group, led by Sandra Vernon and has been in place for over 20 years. Some of the garments created are: bereavement pocket or bereavement dress and blanket, and prayer shawls in pastel colors. 

These are some of the logistics family and friends can help organize for the bereaved parents of pregnancy loss or infant death. Having this knowledge could someday be the gift providing a grieving family direction and assistance in a time of devastating grief.

Please feel free to leave additional suggestions and comments.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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TTC for those not familiar with this acronym means, Trying To Conceive. For those who are trying to conceive, these 3 letters are frequently used in emails, forums and message boards.

Knowing all of our losses are unique, do we share a common waiting period from the doctor when it’s safe to start trying again?

For us, after Tanner was stillborn and our doctor informed us that a 6 month waiting period was recommended. He did explain that this includes physical and emotional healing.

Because it took us 6 months of SERIOUS PLANNED intercourse to conceive Tanner, having unprotected sex after his death was safe, so we thought.

I would have never thought seeing the 2 pink lines (or PPT) would happen so fast. No, I was not ready emotionally, but 3 months after our little angel left us, another baby was developing in my womb, ready or not.

Another boy and he is healthy.

I had talked to a few friends who have had miscarriages and they too say 6 months is the waiting period and one said 3 months.

What did your doctor say and did you listen?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana  www.justacloudaway.com

 

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I used to think everything happened for a reason before my son was stillborn. I am guilty of uttering those insensitive words, “Everything happens for a reason”. I remember them rolling off my tongue to my uncle whose new grand baby was born with a terminal illness.

This phrase “Everything happens for a reason” is now non-existent in my book of sayings. Whoever started this was apparently without compassion. The phrase still lingers in today’s society without batting an eye. Once you are faced with a tragic death of your own child the world around you is an enemy for a time.

We are good parents, we have so much love to give and we desired to teach our children how beautiful the world is. It isn’t fair that people are having babies and ultimately neglect them. Why do they get to have perfect and healthy children and we are denied? What would be the reason for this?

My much wanted child died before he could see me with his own eyes how much I loved him. The reason he died was a cord accident and I do not think God intentionally tightened the cord to cut off his oxygen supply. This is not a perfect world and accidents and tragedies occur completely out of our control. We do not have much control anyway.

“Time will heal” is another saying people provide after the death of a baby. I don’t believe this either. I believe it is what you do with the time that mends our broken hearts. After Tanner died I drank heavily everyday for a good month. If I continued this ritual I would have self destructed and become a woman with the only indication of being alive- a heartbeat.

I like to think that because my son became an angel I have become a better person. My heart is filled with much more love of the physical and spritual kind or the visible and the unseen.

The play has been written but we can change the perception of the audience by sharing our love for our angel babies in heaven, whatever the reason was. They are our children.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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When Uncle Danny was coming through the birth canal, the umbilical cord tightened around his little neck cutting off oxygen. He would be born, healthy, happy and have the biggest heart you could imagine.

I live on my husband’s parents land, 2000 feet from their home. Uncle Danny is my father-in-laws brother who also lives in the home. Uncle Danny had been cared for by  his parents until their death. Uncle Danny is the type of person who would drop everything to help someone out. He is sweet, loving, incredibly hardworking with a gentleness all of his own.

When my son Tanner was stillborn, we weren’t living out here at the time. I was not as close to Uncle Danny like I am now. My in laws told me that Uncle Danny was taking Tanner’s death really hard because this similar situation had happened to him.

Uncle Danny’s cord accident has made his speech somewhat slurred and he may move a little slower than the rest of us, but he has a great deal to offer society. He is very good with directions, remembering important dates, mowing, and even making cookies.

I asked Uncle Danny to come over and help me make Christmas cookies and of coarse he said yes. I gave him the spoon for the cookies dough and told him to make small cookies and place on cookie sheets. Afterwards he told me he had never made cookies before. I was quite surprised because he is so helpful with everything else.

After the death of a baby from a cord accident comments like, “something would be terribly wrong with them”, is not something a parent wants to hear. Uncle Danny’s compassion is deeper than most and to hear that something could have been wrong with the child doesn’t give comfort to me or any other parent. A parent will love their child no matter what the circumstance.

I am so glad to have Uncle Danny in my life and truly blessed by his constant postive attitude. Umbilical accidents don’t always have a sad outcome.

I love you more than you know Uncle Danny

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Your baby is in a better place. It was God’s will. Heaven has another angel. You are still young, you can have another. There was probably something wrong with it, you wouldn’t want a handicap child. Everything happens for a reason.

The last statement is a big one many bereaved parents of pregnancy and infant loss struggle with. Honestly, I did believe that before our son Tanner was stillborn, but I don’t anymore. Does God allow other children to be neglected, abused, raped or murdered at the hands of another because there is a very important reason? I believe God knows the pain and grief we will endure after these horrendous acts, but does not intentionally inflict this upon us. This is not Heaven and we will suffer here. It is how we deal with the grief that allows us to walk in the sunshine again.

After the death of my son, someone offered me their insight. “Diana, I think babies have a choice before they are born if they would like to stay here with us or with God,” they said. I was in shock and the statement didn’t register with me until weeks later when I was sober again. They meant well, but how could that statement offer me comfort? I wanted peace, comfort and my stillborn baby back. Then I wondered why Tanner wouldn’t want to stay here with me. I know I had faults but I would love him with all my heart. I started to second guess myself.

At the time of Tanner’s death, I had several landscape jobs in the works. It was a few months after Tanner’s passing when I needed to collect payment from a client. She asked me to come in and her 9 month old was crawling around on the floor. I could look at babies, but it was still painful inside. My client then asked me to watch him while she went upstairs to get the check book. This was the same women who attended Tanner’s memorial service and left early because it was so painful. Was she thinking about how painful watching her living baby was for me.

I was obsessed with Heaven and seeing Tanner again, asking all my friends of different religious denominations of their beliefs of the afterlife. My girlfriend stated that we won’t be able to recognize family members, but we will know them. How scary that was for me to hear. I love her dearly, but there was no comfort from that statement.

If you are a bereaved parent and have additional comments that could educate supporting family and friends on statements best kept unsaid, please do below.

Please be considerate and tender during this fragile time. Here are some ideas for you to help your bereaved friends in their time of grief.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Flowers, foliage or berries of plants within your babies’ memory garden or plants received as a sympathy gift can be dried and preserved. Early pregnancy losses, stillbirths and infant death are losses with horrific pain to follow. Flowers are the one thing I wanted delivered everyday after the death of our stillborn son Tanner. I love flowers, the colors, the fragrance and just being surrounded by them. Maybe I thought they would have lifted my spirits. They didn’t, however I was able to be visually content while I grieved for my son.

driedflowers.jpg

Drying flowers did not enter my mind after Tanner died. Since we have 2 memory gardens for him and several house plants given in his honor, I am able to dry flowers and foliage whenever I’d like.

This is an easy craft and doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge. Flowers reminiscent of your sweet child can be framed, placed onto handmade cards, create bookmarks or placed into shadowboxes in honor of your baby. If you have flowers from your babies’ funeral or memorial service and they have dried already,they are unable to use in crafts at this point. The flowers need to be dry and flexible to be pressed or flattened.

driedflowers2.jpg

If you do not have a memory garden, pick flowers that remind you of your child, gemstone colors or some favorites you love.

driedflowers5.jpg

Make sure they are blotted dry with a paper towel. Place the flowers on wax paper and lay another piece on top. Take several books and lay on top to press. I would keep them overnight so they are nice and flat in the morning.

If the flowers are very delicate I use tweezers to move them. I purchased silicon gel to dry my flowers in the microwave within 30 seconds. If you do not purchase drying gel just keep them in the wax paper for several weeks. It is important to remove all excess moisture from the flowers and foliage before creating your tribute memorial. When removing flowers from the gel, use a paint brush to remove the excess gel.

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The flowers I’ve chosen are Helleborus (the large purple blooms), Purple-Leafed Plum, Daffodils, Vinca and the foliage of Loropetalum and Gardenia.

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I love to emboss and have invested in a light board, embossing tools and templates. You could easily write your child’s name, use stamps and ink, or purchase scrapbooking or wooden letters. A decorative corner punch was also used.

driedflowers9.jpg

A frame, paint brush, glue and backdrop paper is needed to finish your angel babies’ artwork. Just a dab of glue is painted on the backside of the flowers to hold. If you have a  steady hand, the glue isn’t necessary.

driedflowers6.jpg

There are some many wonderful crafts to utilize the flowers from your babies funeral, memorial services or those given as a sympathy gift. The blooms provide a tangible memento of your angel baby to frame, create scrapbook pages, handmade cards, or decoupage onto tile and decorative plates.

Preserve your angels’ flowers as a keepsake reflecting your love and their precious life

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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The next phone call was to my parents in Buffalo, NY. It was very early morning and I knew they would be sleeping when I called. My mother answered the phone because it is located on her side of the bed. With her sleepy voice said “Hello”. I did not sugar coat anything because of my shock and overwhelming sadness for the loss of my sweet little baby.

“Mom, Tanner is dead, he died,” I screamed to her in the phone. She said, “What!! What are you talking about? Where are you?” “Mom, they can’t find a heartbeat, we are here in the hospital” I told her. Looking back I think how absolutely horrible for her to be so far away and hear this heart crushing news. I wasn’t thinking about how they would feel telling them their 3rd grandchild would be born dead.

We just sobbed and sobbed in the phone to each other. I know there were nurses coming in and out trying to tell me what was going to happen next. I don’t remember this too well now. However, I specifically remember asking if I would have to undergo a C-section. They said surgery was unnecessary at this point and he would be born on his own. I was confused because this is not something I read in the pregnancy books. I needed to know how this would happen.  Will I have to push for a long time? Will he come out in one piece? I just could not grasp this.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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