By: Amy Lied
As we all know, October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It’s a month that many of us didn’t know about until we joined this club, that no one wants to be a member of.
It’s an important month for us to bring awareness to our losses, our children, and to let others know that it can happen to anyone. It’s something that affects many, even if people don’t always talk about it. We are not alone in our losses, and this is our time to really share that with others.
It’s also a wonderful time for others to show their support for grieving parents by participating in simple events, like the Wave of Light and the Pink and Blue Awareness Project. Both of these are very easy things others can do that speak volumes to those of us who are living life after the loss of a child.
Cooper’s mother, Jen Chappell, started the Pink and Blue Awareness Project back in 2017. That year she made bracelets for her friends and family to wear during the month of October as a way to honor her son and all babies gone too soon. Those few bracelets turned into 400!
Since then, the project has just continued to grow with over 24,400 bracelets shipped out in 2020. This year even more are projected to be sent out!
This project has grown into a collaborative effort amongst many loss parents who donate their time and effort to the cause. Loss parents from all over make the bracelets and send them into The Cooper Project. People sign up for bracelets over the course of several weeks. The bracelets and associated items are packaged up into large boxes, which are then sent to shipping coordinators, other loss parents, who assemble and ship out 500 orders. Each envelope includes a large card with the names of all the children being remembered by parents who have donated their time to the project.
Participating in the Pink and Blue Awareness project is one way in which I help bring awareness during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. For the last two years, I’ve been a shipping coordinator for the project. I love packaging up each envelope and seeing the addresses to people all across the country. I love seeing the names of loss mamas that I’ve personally connected with on the address labels. I love seeing my son’s name and the names of so many other children whose parents I’ve connected with on the remembrance card each year. I love taking time out of my life to do something in my son’s and so many other children’s memories. It truly brings me joy.
However, you don’t need to be directly involved in the creation and shipping of the bracelets to play a role in the project. Simply sharing the posts that bracelets are available to order is an easy way to help spread awareness and get the word out that this project even exists. It’s also a great way to subtly let others know a simple way to support you and your grief.
This project is an amazing example of how impactful loss parents can be. Through the work of many, this project has exponentially grown in 4 years. I know it will only continue to grow bigger and bigger each year because of the wonderful, grieving parents working behind it.
About Amy Lied
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother. Her son, Asher, was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. After losing Asher and struggling to conceive again, she went back to treatment where she became pregnant with her twin daughters; Harper and Scarlett.
She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project, an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. Sharing her journey has helped her cope and she hopes it also helps others who are walking on this road of life after loss.