Everybody hates clichés, platitudes, excuses, and empty words. And if you have had a stillborn child, you have heard plenty of all of the above.
These comments may come from our friends, family, health professionals, or even ourselves at times. We try to make ourselves feel better or to justify what has happened. However, sometimes it’s not enough to just feel bad or to be sorry.
I’ve talked before about the clichés we hear along the grief journey. Today, I’ve been thinking about the excuses. They all come from well-meaning people. The problem is when we just allow the excuse to be the final word.
Some of the more common excuses I hear from health professionals:
- “Sometimes bad things happen.”
- “We’re not God.”
- “I can only do what has been proven.”
- “There isn’t proof it could help.”
- “We just don’t have good information about that.”
All of these things may be true; however, we can’t let that be the end of the conversation! Where are the people who say that 26,000 babies dying every year in the United States (over half of them at a viable gestational age) is NOT ACCEPTABLE!
We must force the dialogue and work to keep going.
Our society and experts can do incredible things when we put our minds to it! We send machines to other planets. We have nearly conquered HIV/AIDS and it is certainly no longer a death sentence after only a few decades since its identification. We can talk to people on the other side of the planet easily and inexpensively. The list goes on and on. Why haven’t we made better progress toward saving these babies – a problem that has been an issue for centuries?
Sometimes it isn’t enough to just WISH it didn’t happen. Sometimes we have to actually DO something about it. Our actions will speak louder than our words.
Your contribution may be big or small – but if we put all of our efforts together – we could make significant change!
What can YOU do?
For starters, I encourage everyone to attend the Stillbirth Summit 2014 in Medina (Minneapolis), Minnesota on June 19-21, 2014. Be part of the conversation and take your voice out into your own community! This unique event allows all to learn more about the research that is being done – but it will also focus on moving the issue forward. You have the opportunity to participate in discussions and events that will create real action toward our goals. The Stillbirth Summit is open to health care professionals, researchers, families of stillborn children, stillbirth advocates – everyone who wants to see the national and world-wide stillbirth rates start to drop significantly and soon! In addition, we will learn about what we can DO to better support families enduring a pregnancy loss.
We hope you will join us! We also hope you will make a special plea to your own health care providers and encourage them to participate in this event.
First, you can take brochures to your OB, midwife, labor and delivery unit, mental health professionals, social workers, clergy and spiritual advisors, etc. Tell them your story and how much it means to YOU that we support those that passionately seek the answers! Let us know you need brochures to distribute at email@example.com! Details about the Stillbirth Summit are available here
Next – you can be sure to watch Return to Zero, the first major motion picture to look at the grief a family endures after a stillbirth. And encourage your friends and family to watch, too! You can find details here.
Third – Host a fundraising event for a stillbirth organization. These efforts can be large or small and can reflect your interests, desires, relationship with your child, or any other aspects that are important to you. If you have questions about how this can be done, would like some suggestions, or would like to consider donating to Star Legacy Foundation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fourth – You can donate items to be given to families beginning their grief journey. This can be burial gowns, blankets, hats, bears, etc – anything the family will treasure as they say hello and goodbye to their child. Contact us if you would like to know more email@example.com
Fifth – Do your online shopping through igive.com or smile.amazon.com! Both of these sites allow you to send a portion of your purchase price to the charity of your choice – without any cost to you! Star Legacy Foundation receives a nice quarterly check from both organizations based on purchases by online shoppers like you!
The options are limited only by our desire and our creativity! But the more we do, the better chance we have at making a difference and getting the attention of others who can make a difference!
Our actions will speak louder than our words.
How will you put your support into action?