In the first year of Amelia's life and death, as I processed everything that happened in the 24 hours between "I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat" to us leaving the hospital without our daughter, I realised that I was lucky to have the memories and keepsakes that our midwives and doula helped create. At least I had something...
Still, as I walked the path of grief, a lot of things were missing, Amelia was missing.
In the second year of Amelia's life and death, I met two families who were walking their first year of grief. As we shared stories of our stillborn children, born at term in three different hospitals of one city, we realised how it was luck that decided what we got and what we missed during the precious last moments with our babies and the events that followed.
It was also luck that brought us together, yet we felt anything but lucky.
Over coffee, lunch meetings, potlucks and walks in the park we decided something had to be done. We knew there was a gap in services, understanding, and awareness of stillbirth and we wanted to make sure parents walking in our footsteps will have less regrets and more memories.
This is how Still Life Canada was born.
Still Life Canada: Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Education, Research and Support Society is a non-profit organisation that provides bereavement support for anyone affected by stillbirth and neonatal death and promotes research to reduce both. As bereaved parents, we accompany others in their discovery of healthy grieving practices, work towards building a caring and compassionate community, initiate personal and professional development networks and provide opportunities for dialogue among parents, families and community.
Please visit our website Still-LifeCanada.ca to learn more.