By: Debbie Cochran
Isn’t it amazing how fast time flies? Here we are at the beginning of another New Year. I have heard it said, almost as if it were fact, that the older you get the faster time seems to go by. And as I get older, I increasingly believe that to be true.
At the same time, for those who are suffering the broken heartedness of grief and loss, time may seem to stop altogether. The world around us may seem as frigid, cold and lifeless as the landscape of winter outside our window. As with the winter, our hope for you is that it be but a season. Not that the pain of losing a precious baby will ever be gone from our lives, but from that season, new sprouts of hope will eventually grow in our hearts and rays of sunshine will once again peak through the darkness.
As the calendar pages turn, we at the National Share office focus on ways we can continually improve and expand the ways we serve our mission. As Share families, you are always at the center of that focus. In this, our forty-first year, we strive to honor the legacy of our foundress, Sister Jane Marie Lamb, who set the precedent of “listening to the voices of parents” as the foundation directing our actions. So with that in mind, there is an open invitation for you to reach out to us, let us know what has helped you, how we can improve and your thoughts on ways we can reach newly bereaved families who may be suffering through their great loss without help and support.
We will be addressing a few ways we can reach new families in this new year of 2018. One of which is by further developing and transitioning our support groups to include more online access. We will continue to grow our Share Español: Esperanza program to serve our Spanish-speaking population and explore other translation needs and resources. Another avenue is through our Share Chapters across the nation. These chapters will continue to strengthen via improved resources and access to communication with each other. We will also address the needs of underserved populations by working with partner organizations in new and creative ways.
Another more indirect way we care for families is in the training of and care for those who provide direct support to them in their grief. Our commitment to providing training for caregivers continues as we constantly update our curriculum and make it available to a variety of providers. We will reach out to First Responders, who often act as the “front line” in providing care. As with all of our training, addressing the care for the caregiver is an important component to assure help is available when needed.
In all of these and other efforts not mentioned here, our hope continues to be that no one suffers through this tragic loss alone. As a part of our Share family, whether you are a bereaved parent, a caregiver or an interested reader, we invite you to partner with us in serving this important challenging, life – changing mission. We are privileged to walk this journey with you in whatever way we can be helpful.
In this new year may you find peace, purpose and healing!
Debbie Cochran, RN