Losing a child is a pain like no other. No parent should ever have to bury their baby, but unfortunately it's a reality that occurs all too often. Parents who have spent up to nine months preparing for a happy, healthy baby are hit with grief and sadness.
That's where Mom Friends steps in. The group's mission is simple: let moms be moms, and help when you can.
"We believe that if you just had a baby (or babies!) you should be able to focus on rest, healing and enjoying those first moments together," the group says.
Though they initially started as a postpartum support group, they knew there was another group who needed help: grieving mothers.
"By the time we launched the Mom Friends postpartum care kits in April, we had seen many close loved ones experience miscarriage and stillbirth," they write on their website. " We felt helpless to offer support beyond a hug and saying "I'm sorry, this sucks". Miscarriage has also hit close to home for the Mom Friends team with Aviva miscarrying in her first pregnancy, and Lisa losing her pregnancy in May - just one month after we launched our business."
The Mom Friends decided it was time to expand their resources, and ended up partnering with a woman named Rachel who had also experienced loss.
"Rachel and her partner have experienced two tragic losses. Along with her team of volunteers Rachel recently organized Ottawa’s first Butterfly Run, engaging over 400 community members to walk or run in memory of their losses and to grow awareness of pregnancy and infant loss in our city."
That's when they decided to start something new: Butterfly Boxes.
"We are honored to announce that Butterfly Boxes have landed in Ottawa-Gatineau to support bereaved families facing pregnancy and infant loss," Mom Friends writes on their site.
Butterfly Boxes "packed with thoughtful items and local non faith-based resources to support grieving families." They're "a tool to grow awareness and bust stigma surrounding pregnancy and infant loss in our community through a card-writing and storytelling project."
Every Butterfly Box is free of charge, and are hand-packed by volunteers who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss first-hand.
Each box contains:
- Forget-me-not seeds to plant a memorial garden
- Lavender soy candle
- Lavender bath bomb
- A snack
- Bereavement reading list
- Listing of local resources for bereaved families
- A pre-stamped postcard for families to share an aspect of their loss with communtiy (optional, to be displayed in public awareness-raising project October, 2018)
- A card of condolence written by a fellow member of the community
"There is a momentum, energy and enthusiasm for this project which has harnessed the efforts of birth practitioners, grieving parents writing sympathy cards, and a willingness of many to share the story of Butterfly Boxes to help spread the word," Mom Friends say on their site.
These Butterfly Boxes are filled with supplies that grieving mothers may not even think they need. It takes a small amount of stress off their shoulders, knowing there is an entire community who is working tirelessly to help them cope.