By Beth Seyda –

I usually love Halloween, seeing all the little kids in their cute costumes struggling to hold up their trick or treat bags and trying to say “trick or treat”.  But that first Halloween was only a couple of weeks after our infant son, Dylan, had died and I knew I could not be at home to give out treats this year.  I felt bad about it, but I knew that I would be in no shape to see so many kids.

So my husband, Mark, and I decided to see an early movie and have dinner.  This would keep us away from our house when the young kids were coming around and get us back home before the college kids got wild on Franklin Street.  I turned off all the lights in our house so it was clear that no one was home as I left to meet Mark downtown.

The little ones had already started the door-to-door ritual as I drove out of our neighborhood.  I cried as I saw all the little ghosts and goblins.  It was another reminder that our little one was not here.  I would not be able to hold Dylan’s hand and walk him around our neighborhood on this holiday.  This was just one of the many things we would never get to do.

When we returned from the movie and dinner, Mark and I talked about how it was good to be away.  We needed to take care of ourselves this time.  There would be other Halloweens.

Beth Seyda’s life was transformed in 1997 with the birth and death of her critically ill newborn son, Dylan.  She combines her 25+ years of professional experience in consumer research with her personal experience as Co-Founder and Executive Director of Compassionate Passages, Inc. The mission of her non-profit organization is to give a voice to pediatric patients and their families through advocacy, education, and research with the goal of improving pediatric end-of-life care and providing support to dying children and their families.  Compassionate Passages donates the book Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby to bereaved families.

Beth lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., with her husband, Mark, and their 7-year old son, Tyler.  To learn more about Beth’s non-profit organization, go to:

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Monica Novak

Monica Novak became a bereaved mother in 1995 with the stillbirth of her daughter Miranda, learning firsthand the devastation of saying goodbye to a much-loved, much-wanted baby before having the chance to say hello. Three weeks later, she began a journey towards healing when she attended her first Share support group meeting. Along the way, she and six other bereaved mothers formed a close bond that carried them through the grief of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death, as well as the challenges of subsequent pregnancy and infertility. Having been at the opposite ends of grief and joy; despair and hope; indifference and compassion; fear and peace-sometimes simultaneously-she has captured these emotions and the story of her journey in a highly-praised new memoir titled The Good Grief Club. Monica writes and speaks on the subject of pregnancy loss and infant death and is involved with local and national organizations that provide support to families and caregivers. She is a member of the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA). Her mission is to bring comfort and hope to bereaved parents worldwide and to educate and promote awareness to the physicians, nurses, clergy, counselors, family, and friends of every mother or father who has or ever will be told that their baby has no heartbeat or that nothing more can be done. The mother of three daughters, Monica lives in the Chicago area with her husband, children, and a rat terrier named Sami. For more information, please visit or e-mail Monica at Monica appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing ”Miscarriage and Infant Loss.” To hear Monica being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, go to the following link:

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