by Sandy Fox

As a bereaved parent, we always want to keep our child’s memory alive and in front of people so they are not forgotten. We constantly think of ways to do this. Here are a few ideas of things I do that you may find interesting.

I took a color (or you can use black and white) picture of my daughter to a Penny’s store jewelry department (other stores may do it also), chose a gold oval pendant (I liked the oval best but there are also round, square and heart-shaped ones), and then the store sends it to a company that embosses the picture directly onto the pendant. It takes approximately six weeks. I don’t know the process, but the results are beautiful. It is something I always wear to keep my daughter close to my heart. People do notice and comment on how nice it looks. Those who don’t know me ask who it is; others ask, “Is it you?” I smile. I guess Marcy did look a little like me. I then have a chance to talk about her to others.

When I hear about a child dying, whether I knew that child or not, I have on occasion sent letters or cards to those grieving parents. I start by saying that I’m sorry for their loss. I tell them my story as a qualifier for writing to them and it gives me one more opportunity to talk about Marcy. I give them suggestions of what organizations they can contact or grief groups they can join to help them through the difficult times. I tell them surviving grief is a lifelong process, one they will have to go through, but eventually, they will move forward with their lives and find joy again. I feel good writing these parents and find it helps me in my journey also.

I have put together a photo/music presentation of my daughter from her birth picture through her last days. I tried to choose ones where her personality clearly showed through. The instrumental music chosen was upbeat and light. I have it on my computer and can go to it whenever I feel her presence and need more of her. I also have a DVD copy of the pictures to show friends who knew her and even those who didn’t know her. I also find that because I do talk about her, it is important for my special friends to see and hear her on tape. Fortunately, a friend of hers, a videographer, put together for me a 15 minute tape of her life as he knew her in her adult years. She radiates throughout the tape as a fun-loving, beautiful soul. There is never a dry eye in the room of people watching it.

Along the same lines, I happened to have saved all Marcy’s school photos and took a large frame, dividing it into 16 wallet size spaces and placed a picture from birth to 16 years in it. Not only is it a wonderful conversation piece when I am showing people around my home, but it is also a wonderful representation of how much a child changes in 16 years!

When I speak at national bereavement conferences, I can tell Marcy stories and feel comfortable knowing I am in a safe environment where parents want to hear other’s stories because only ‘they’ truly understand. I speak at university grief classes held during the year (more about that later in another blog), at local bereavement groups, and at organizations that want to know more about how to relate to bereaved parents.

When I have to give a birthday or anniversary gift to a friend (particularly one who has everything imaginable) or I go to a luncheon and need a gift, I donate money to my favorite charity, the endowment fund I recently set up in Marcy’s memory! In that way, people learn about the fund and about Marcy. I have given them something worthwhile to think about donating to, since it is for students who need monetary help to pursue their careers in communications or theater. This fund will be around long after I am gone, and I hope others will continue to support it.

In each case I come away with a good feeling that on any particular day I am able to share my Marcy with the world.

Sandy is the author of “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye,” where bereaved parents tell their stories of hope and survival. Her web site is www.sandyfoxauthor.com .

Tags: ,
Avatar

Sandy Fox

Sandy Fox has won four finalist awards for her recent book "Creating a New Normal...After the Death of a Child" with over 80 coping articles and a huge resource section. One award is from USA Book News in the Health/Death and Dying Category for 2010. The second award is from ForeWord Reviews in the Health Category for 2010. The third is from Royal Dragonfly Book Awards. The most recent finalist award is for the self-help category of the 2011 Indie Book Awards. She is also the author of another grief book, "I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye." “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye” tells the stories of 25 sets of parents and how they moved on with their lives after the death of their child, offering hope and survival techniques. Sandy has headed two national bereavement conferences for childless parents and spoken for many years at Compassionate Friends National conferences, POMC and across the U.S. to a variety of bereavement groups. She also writes articles for the Open to Hope site, EZ articles, and Journey through grief newsletter in addition to her own weekly blog: www.survivinggrief.blogspot.com. Sandy can be contacted at sfoxaz@hotmail.com to set up any speaking engagements or to ask any questions related to surviving the death of a child. Sandy was a guest on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart“ discussing: “I have no intention of Saying Good-Bye: Coping Techniques for the Now Childless.” To hear Sandy being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley010407.mp3

More Articles Written by Sandy