Children grieve too. Cherishing the Journey also recognizes that children grieve differently than adults when there is a loss in the family. Preschool children usually see death as temporary and reversible, a belief reinforced by cartoon characters who die and come to life again. Children between five and nine begin to think more like adults about death, yet they still believe it will never happen to them or anyone they know. Once children accept the death, they are likely to display their feelings of sadness on and off over a long period of time, and often at unexpected moments. The surviving relatives should spend as much time as possible with the child, making it clear that the child has permission to show his or her feelings openly or freely. (http://www.aacap.org)
Sibling Sacks were developed with Matthew's big sister in mind, to provide something tangible to the surviving children who may have nothing to show for a baby brother or sister who has died. It is a toolkit that can be used to show the child that you care, and that their grief is important too.
Sibling Sacks come in blue and pink, and have a "Brother of an Angel" or "Sister of an Angel" logo on the front. They include a teddy bear, bracelet, book, balloon for release, and canvas with paints and a paint brush to make prints of their handprint alongside their baby brother or sister's. Please click here for additional information on this program.
3D/4D or Diagnostic Ultrasound
Cherishing the Journey has partnered with "The Images of Life," a division of Mobile Ultrasound Imaging, LLC of Melbourne. If you or someone you know is pregnant with a baby that has received a fatal prenatal diagnosis, we wish to offer a complimentary 4D ultrasound or diagnostic imaging session. "The Images of Life" offers a comfortable, family-oriented environment, and you will receive a keepsake CD and DVD of your baby to last a lifetime. Please contact Cherishing the Journey to receive a referral for this service.
Negative Prenatal Diagnosis Support
If your baby has received a diagnosis that may make his or her incompatible with life, we'd like to help. Though we cannot change the medical diagnosis or stop the pain, we can make the journey filled with memories, and guide you along as you make decisions for yourself and your baby during pregnancy and while planning for labor, birth and death.
We wish to help you honor your baby's life by providing options, a memory box, and more. Please email or call us to set up a time to meet in person or speak over the phone.
Our memory box program provides remembrance items to parents who anticipate the loss of an unborn baby, as well as to hospitals to provide to parents who have unexpectedly lost a baby. The items contained in these boxes will give parents the opportunity to make memories with their baby that will last a lifetime. This is their only chance to spend time with their precious babies.
Some of the items included are:
Pamphlets, forget-me-not seeds, tissues, candle, picture frame/album, casting kit for baby's hand and footprints, disposable camera, journal, balloon with notecard for release, small teddy bear, bereavement book. A volunteer from Cherishing the Journey may be available to assist with memory-making in the hospital if requested. Please click here for additional information on our program.
Mommy Match Grief Support
One of the most difficult parts of going through a pregnancy where you are told your baby may likely die after birth, or losing your baby unexpectedly, is not having the support you need. We have started a support program for mothers in Florida who are currently pregnant, or who have experienced the death of a baby. There is nothing like having a friend to relate to who has already been in your shoes, or is in the same phase of pregnancy or grief as you are. Whether you are just beginning your journey, or far along in your grieving process, it is important to have someone to reach out to who can say, "I know what you're going through." If you would like to participate in this program, please follow this link to fill out the Mommy Match form. A volunteer with Cherishing the Journey will be in contact with you soon.
Angel Gowns Ministry
Angel Gowns of Brevard is a ministry to hurting hearts. Volunteer seamstresses create burial gowns for babies who don't come home from the hospital.
We are a small group of volunteer seamstresses. We rely on donated wedding gowns, bridesmaid gowns and prom dresses to create precious little Angel Gowns which serve as burial gowns for babies that don't come home from the hospital (from 20 weeks gestation to full term).
Please contact Kathy if you would like to donate or volunteer to sew.