Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Paying it forward

as i mentioned in my previous post, i have been forced to analyze and re-prioritize my life. and though overall i still feel lost, certain things have become so clear. from here on out i will be simplifying my life. i need to remove all obstacles in my life that will keep my from eventually feeling happiness again. there is no more room for drama, toxic people, etc. only people that truly care for and love me will be allowed in, and i will only do things that are meaningful and that bring me joy.

so i have been thinking a lot in the last month or so about ways that i can "pay it forward." things i can do to give back, show my gratitude for everything that people have done for us, and honor my little boy. i know i have said it several times, and will probably mention it several times more, we have been so extremely fortunate to be surrounded by so many selfless, generous people {in real life and virtually}. it makes me very sad that not everyone has the same level of support that we have. it shouldn't be that way. i try to imagine where we would be had we not had all of these people around us, and it makes me shudder to think about it. i don't think i would have survived this long without them.

i thought of a couple of ways that i could help. the 1st and simplest way is by donating/fundraising for SIDS research and education. Juju has memorial funds set up for him at the American SIDS Institute, and at First Candle, and we've distributed this info to our friends and family in case any of them are interested in helping us. and of course i included the links to both on the right hand side of my blog {don't worry, this is not the part where i send around the collection basket...unless you want me to ;) }. last week, i also set up a fundraising page for him at The CJ Foundation for SIDS, which i also inlcuded on my blog. i've set a goal of $1000, and will be working throughout 2011 to raise/contribute that amount. and thanks to some very generous people, i'm already 25% of the way there!

another idea i had was to create some sort of support group for bereaved parents that have suffered the loss of their baby(ies). of course this "project" would be more involved than the first. and i haven't committed to anything yet, since i'm still in the beginning stages of my own grief. this is just me "thinking out loud." but the more i think about, the more i feel drawn to the idea.

there aren't many resources available in my local area for bereaved parents of babies in particular. i believe there is 1 group that meets monthly facilitated by an administrator of the hospital. the same hospital that Juju was taken to, and the area that i now avoid like the plague - so no chance i'll be going to that one any time soon. as i mentioned in my previous posts, i attend 2 support groups for bereaved parents {for children of all ages}. i have learned so much from the people in these groups - there really is some comfort in sharing with other bereaved parents. and though the grief is different, the pain and the love is the same. i will most definitely continue to go to those groups, but i really also want to connect and share with people that have experienced a similar loss {that is the loss of a baby, not just a SIDS loss}.

it doesn't even have to be a formal support group, we really could just get together at my house and cry and talk about our precious little ones. but i still want to organize something. grief is already such an isolating experience. and i know that not everyone feels comfortable sharing in a group setting. but i want people to feel that they have a place where they can turn. and people who know *exactly* what kind of pain they are in. that they don't have to be alone, if they don't want to...

so these are just some of the ideas that i have, and some of the things i will be working on in the coming year. i know it's not much, but it's a start. and i think it will give my life a bit of purpose, and a way to hold on to Juju just a little bit longer. i miss that little boy so very much...♥


Angie said...

I don't remember if I've ever shared this article with you,(about dealing with people after losing a baby) but I've found it very helpful and the other loss mom's I've shared it with loved it too.

I think your paying it forward ideas are great. I know that our support group (which is at the hospital, it did take awhile to get comfortable going there) is very helpful.

Caroline said...

I think it's great all the things you have started. You are such a wonderful Mommy. Your little Juju and your family will always have a special place in my heart. Thinking and praying for you always.

Rachel said...

I think it's a huge start! I think it's a wonderful way of giving back. You are changing lives, sweet girl!

Our Journey said...

Great ideas! I think the group at your house would be so good. You have some great ideas, I pray that the Lord puts resources and people in your path to help you get everything off the ground. Thinking of you!
BTW, it is an honor to have Julius's face on my blog. He is just precious and has one awesome mommy.

Megan said...

They are perfect ideas, sweet Tiffany.
I know Juju is flashing his big beautiful smile at all that his mommy is doing to "pay it forward." :)
All my love <3 <3 <3

Tiffany said...

Beautiful ideas friend <3 it never ceases to amaze me how our children inspire us.

cainml said...

great ideas to honor your son!

Angie said...

Tiffany you're so kind and generous. I, too, have been feeling the strong urge to do something to help. I had been thinking about starting a support group as well. I like your idea of having a casual atmosphere to let other parents talk and let out that emotion. I know you'll do great things in honor of your Juju. Your compassion is going to drive you to hep so many other men and women.


MrsH said...

I love the support group idea and was on the verge of starting one myself, but now it will have to wait as I am too exhausted. You would be good at it since you express feelings very well and are so supportive of others . Go for it. Here is another idea : eventually write a book. I doubt many have been written on the topic. Then you can donate part of the proceeds to Sids research.

Jaclyn said...

Such a strong determined post I hope you achieve your goals in 2011. Julius really was a stunning little boy, life is so unfair.

I hope you dont mind me commenting I came across your post through another.

You are a truly stong woman who is going through the most unimaginable loss. xx

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