4 Ways a Grieving Parent Can Give Back to the Community

4 Ways a Grieving Parent Can Give Back to the Community

Soon after losing my son, 9 months ago, I felt a huge emptiness and loneliness in my heart that I knew needed to be filled- and fast! After crying so many endless days and nights, and not being able to think about anything but him, and our time together, I soon realized that I needed to occupy myself and my mind with ways that I could feel that somehow the loss of my son had not been in vain and that somehow, I could covert such pain into a meaningful purpose.

I knew my son did not want to see me suffering forever, so after making the ‘choice’ to not let my son’s beautiful life pass by in vain, and making the ‘choice’ to use his precious life to make me a better person rather than simply dwelling in the pain, anger, and confusion; my view on my experience has become different. This choice has not only helped me in my own personal healing process, but it has proven to be a truly amazing gift to be able to share my story with others and offer hope, peace, and encouragement while at the same time being a reminder that they are not alone in their pain.

Some of the ways that I have slowly become involved with sharing my son’s testimony and life legacy include speaking at various Pro-Life events, church gatherings, hospital meetings, through blogs, through social media sites among others. Incredibly, I have also found the courage to design and develop a new project called Tribute Code that allows families to create free online memorial pages for their departed loved ones and store their photos, videos, biography, audio and much more.

Overall, once you make the decision to begin healing and using your experience to help others, the opportunities are endless. One of the most special ways that I have been blessed with is the opportunity to work with the doctors and staff at the hospital where my son was born to assist other families who are also carrying their baby to term though they too received a fatal diagnosis early on in their pregnancy. I have had the opportunity to meet with other families, share my experience, and give them not only practical advice on how to prepare for their impending loss, but also on how to be able to cope with such fear and emotional pain.

I am truly so grateful that these opportunities have been given to me and I look forward to continuing my new path. With this in mind, I truly encourage you all to slowly find the inner peace to begin sharing your experience and finding ways that you can somehow help others. Here is a list of some ways that you too can hold on to those treasured memories of your loved one while giving back a little to the community through your experience:

1. Begin blogging!

This is an excellent way to reach out to others in specific ‘communities’ such as grief, child loss, parenting, and religious sites among so many others. You won’t believe how many people are actually desperately seeking to connect with others, or to read about specific topics through blogs so this is an incredible way to reach out to others and share your experience.

2. Offer to speak at meetings, seminars and gatherings!

Try reaching out to local organizations and non-profits that are involved with the topic or theme you wish to speak about. For example if you are a single parent and have lost a child, only you and others who have directly experienced the same loss can associate with such immense pain and there are many others out there desperately wanting to hear from you and to learn that they are not alone. You may want to begin by making list of the different ‘themes’ or ‘subject areas’ you wish to tap into and then begin searching for local organizations that are involved with the same. For me it happened by mere coincidence when I shared my story with the company that was creating the headstone for my baby and little did we know that the lady’s nephew worked at a Pro-Life organization and they were desperately looking for a guest speaker to speak at their upcoming annual fund raiser- they reached out to us and a few months later we were speaking in front of hundreds sharing our story about our baby. Very emotional and very encouraging for them who work tirelessly to save babies lives! What a perfect blessing!

3. Join a group.

Losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences in our lives and many times we need to surround ourselves with others that have also experienced such pain. There are many community groups that focus on supporting and healing each other through sharing your stories. Do not suffer alone. I truly encourage you to at least look into these groups and consider at least meeting up once to share and speak about your loved one. You will not only feel  comforted but will offer comfort to others too.

4. Think outside the box!

With life offering us so many versatile ways to communicate, and associate with others, think outside the box and do something that is special to you and will help bring that inner peace and healing. Consider writing a book, beginning your own project, volunteering at hospitals, hospices, or any place that is special to you.

The options are endless. Just go with your instinct and with a little bit of research and determination, you will be on your way to a new path in life.

Photo credit: adapted from jk+too | Flickr

What are some ways you have been able to use your grief in a positive way?

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Ana Rodriguez

Ana Rodriguez is a proud mother to three amazing boys... one who was awarded his tiny angel wings 3 days after birth. Raised in London, England, and now living in Miami, FL Ana has a broad and positive view on life. She has overcome countless obstacles and challenges and now strives daily to heal and help others through her faith and experience. Ana has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and degrees in Psychology. She resides with her husband and two of her sons. To connect with Ana visit her site at: TributeCode.com or on Facebook.

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