Every month I send out dozens of letters and cards to participants of our Pen-Pal Program. Most of them are sent electronically, but sometimes I get the luxury of busting out my favorite pen and hand writing cards (and shaking off hand cramps because who hand writes notes anymore?)
The cards are nothing fancy, but a little piece of my heart finds its way into every envelope. I always want to do more for these families. And so, I thought we could work together as a community — all in the name of milestones.
From the second loss enters our lives, we are learning to heal, however, milestones such as due dates, birthdays and BFN’s can send us right back into the darkness of grief.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about milestones in the past 2.5 years:
â That the days leading up to the milestones are far worse than the actual day.
â That the babyloss community is strong and loving and comforting and will do anything for each other.
â That preparing and planning takes strength, but is well worth the hard work.
â That even though your heart is heavy, your love will shine through.
â That it’s okay to ask for help, even a little bit of encouragement to get through it.
Here is what I’m proposing with the Monthly Milestone Exchange Program:
â To remember those who aren’t with us physically with something tangible.
â To encourage hope and happiness.
â To draw upon the power of creativity and community to celebrate our milestones.
â To focus on giving (and keep in mind we will be getting too).
â To have fun and make new friends.
â To run to the mailbox each day to see if our lovely package has arrived!
These exchanges will be month specific. This month: JUNE!
Here is how the Monthly Milestone Exchange will work (for now):
âÂ If you are interested in participating please fill out this form. PLEASE only sign up if your milestone falls inside the month of JUNE (we will be posting new forms for each month). Please utilize the “Special Instructions/Free Space” area for information regarding your specific milestone.
â Serious participants only! This is a get a gift, give a gift exchange.
â Cut off date for this exchange: June 27th. (We will be tweaking the dates in the following months).
â You will be randomly partnered and contacted by the e-mail address you supply. You are responsible for getting in touch with your partner and mailing their gift. Please contact your partner if there will be a delay in shipping. It is better to say something, then nothing at all. Have your package postmarked 5-7 days BEFORE the milestone.
â We highly encourage this to be a handmade card/gift exchange. The more personalized the gift, the better. Create a keepsake for life. Please keep gifts/supplies between $5-20.
â Have fun and be creative! This shouldn’t be a stressful project. If the thought of creating something is stressful, . . .
(Special note: this is our first exchange of this kind. We apologize in advance for any bumps in the road we might encounter together. If you have any questions, concerns or helpful suggestions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
We hope this project will help you reach those seemingly scary milestones a little easier. Thank you for your participation and willingness to help others who need it.
Sending love and light,