Where it all Started
The morning that Audrey died, my Senior Pastor was away at a speaking engagement. He heard of the news and mentioned what was going on with us at home. Pastors from a small church in Northern Ontario happened to be there at that time, and actually had a ministry for just this cause. They provided hope boxes for mothers experiencing child loss through miscarriage, still birth, or in infancy. They quickly arranged to send me a box, which I received about a week after Audreys death.
This box has been a blessing to me. It introduced me to writing, to faith, but most importantly has given me hope during the most devastating time when I needed it most. God put my pastor where he needed to be that morning half way across the country. He placed him in that exact spot where I could have the opportunity to be provided with a resource I wouldn’t have otherwise. It has been a primary tool that I have used daily to help me deal with my grief. It has also provided me with contacts to support that I would not have found on my own. This is another way that God had been taking care of me.
What is a Hope Box?
A Hope Box is a resource provided for mothers who have experienced a loss either through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. The box is full of various items to help provide comfort in the most desperate times of grieving. The purpose is to provide mothers with hope when they have lost all sense of being. It is to let them know they are loved and not alone. It contents include :
- A devotional book written by a mother that has suffered the loss of two children.
- A homemade card with a handwritten note from another mom.
- A bible, with highlighted scriptures about faith and hope.
- A CD which contains uplifting inspirational songs of hope.
- Various pieces of information about coping with the loss of a child
- Bubble Bath
- A candle
Hope Mommies is the founder of this life-changing ministry. It originated in Texas, after a mom experienced the loss of her first born daughter, just 36 hours after birth. They not only provide moms with hope boxes, but also host retreats and support groups. They have these boxes placed in hospitals all over the United States, and are an amazing resource to grieving mothers. You can read more about their story at hopemommies.org.
The morning that Audrey died was the most devastating day of my life. The nurses were great support but then the time came for me to leave the hospital. As I walked out of the hospital empty handed and hopeless, I felt lost. I had no idea what to do next. I was surrounded by family and friends, yet felt alone. I had no one that knew the true pain of which I was feeling.
When I looked around for available resources in my small community, there was nothing. No support groups, no contacts, nothing that could help me understand what was happening in my life. Luckily for me, I knew another mom named Jody that too had lost a child to SIDS just seven years prior, and was able to speak with her. She was the most amazing support to me. She knew what it was like to lose a child. She got it…she got me.
I received a Hope Box shortly after her death. I never realized how much I really wasn’t alone. How so many other mothers were walking the same path as me. The love I felt from that box is in describable. Not only did it provide me with items to use during my grief, but it connected me with moms in various stages of grief online. I even had the opportunity of being able to come in contact with the special mom who sent me my box! Who has since been helping me to get started on this journey.
After Audreys death I reached out to another mom that had just lost her son only two weeks after Audrey. I was able to put together a box to send to her. Through that we have been able to keep in contact and support each other. I only hope the box has provided her with the comfort and support that it did me.
Yarmouth needs a ministry like this. There is nothing in the community offered for support for child loss. Mothers who experience such loss need to know they are not alone, we need to be able to have the support that we need and want. We need HOPE.
After feeling that my receiving of a box was not a coincidence, I felt like God has laid it on my heart to continue this ministry. Myself and other mothers who have suffered a loss either through miscarriage, still birth, or infant loss have come together with plans to begin to provide these boxes to the community. We are only in the beginning stages and have so much work ahead of us. Myself and Jody have already met with our local hospital in hopes of our boxes getting approved to be offered there, and also have plans to get in contact with funeral homes, womens centers, and other resources in the area.
This is another way that through God, our children can continue to change lives. I am honored to be able to be apart of something that will help so many mothers. I know through dedication, prayer, fundraising, and most importantly God, this will grow into something much bigger than we could ever imagine!
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we step out into this journey. We need prayers that we will have the strength needed, that we will be provided with the means necessary to make and distribute these boxes, and we also need prayer for the mothers that are not yet aware of the loss that they are going to face. I will be keeping track of our progress and am very hopeful that this is something that our community can benefit from in the weeks ahead.
For nothing will be impossible with God – Luke 1:37