Friday, 21 July 2017

A Time of Reflection by Therese

As I read the blogs from others who have suffered a miscarriage, I often wonder: “Am I really like these other parents?”  The answer of course is ‘yes’ because we have all suffered a major trauma, a major loss. How we cope with it is what makes us different and yet again the same.

I am so envious of those who have the support of this wonderful group and are able to speak out to help other mothers. Had I been the same and had this support 36 years ago, I wonder if I would have handled my grief better/differently to the way I did. I think it so brave that parents are able to speak about loss at a time when they are vulnerable and still living in a society that is not prepared to speak of death, at least not the deaths of these little ones. Death is expected at old age but not when we carry our little ones – I think this is part of the reason it is traumatic i.e. unexpected and sudden, the event itself needing to be dealt with before the grief process can begin, as it is a grief that endures.

Losing a baby through miscarriage is a heartbreaking situation, never to be forgotten even when other children come along, our rainbow babies, i.e. Being able to go on and have other children; after all I planned to have four children living.  I can't begin to imagine what it would be like for parents who could never have a successful outcome, to hold that precious bundle in their arms.

Why do I keep reflecting on this so many years later you may ask, it is because others I love have endured both miscarriage and still birth, from family to friends and could do very little to help at the time except be there! People deal with things differently from not talking about it or pretending it had no impact, or like me just wanted to talk to anyone who would listen, except when my miscarriage occurred there was no-one who would listen except one friend and that was because she had been through it too. My husband at the time emotionally shut off, so I was unable to share this grief with him, a grief that not only affected me emotionally but also physically because of the pain it caused.

Thank you again for reading this blog, my reflection and hope you find comfort in the following words I wrote last year.

We wonder what might have been.
These little Angels of ours.
Never to have held them or watch them grow Never to know them the hardest part.
They tell us that all will be okay
As we continue our journey this day.
They will be forever with us, A special place in our hearts.
Our little Angels above Take with you our love,
As we honour your memory On the wings of the dove.
Never to be forgotten.
(Taken from Little Angels by Therese 260716)

Therese Murphy 140717

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 

Sands on 13 000 72637

About Therese 

Therese has worked in the field of counselling and community development for over 20 years. She has worked predominantly in the health and welfare field. She has worked in the primary school sector counselling children through a range of loss and grief and traumatic experiences.

Therese has also delivered a number of conference papers on the theme of children’s loss and grief and articles on stress management too. She also worked as a Sessional teacher in the TAFE system and the Private Sector in the Community Services area, including Mental Health Welfare for over 20 years. She is also an experienced Supervisor.

Therese has as a small business conducting Reiki, Inner Child Therapy, Meditation and similar therapies. She is also works as a Group Facilitator and teaches stress management and relaxation techniques within the local community as well as running workshops in the areas of trauma and loss and grief and related areas.

Therese is a published poet and has three children and four delightful grandsons. She enjoys nothing more than a good cup of coffee and the occasional glass of wine or bubbly. She is passionate about climate change and the environment, wanting a clean world for her grandchildren to grow up in and one where any type of violence is not tolerated.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Things I Wish People Understood - Part Two by Suzanna

This is the second installment of an article I wrote. It discusses the things I have learnt – and wish others understood – about losing a child.

It is written in loving memory of our baby, Ella Rose Argyle (stillborn on 21 January 2017).

Death changes your relationships with the living
With every major loss I have endured, some relationships have developed or flourished, while others have perished.

In the weeks immediately following Ella’s death, I met a wise and compassionate mother who told me about losing her baby to SIDS. She spoke frankly of her experiences saying: People will surprise you, in both directions. You’ll experience amazing kindness, but you can also expect to lose some people from your life.

She was right. Despite the haze of my grief, some things have come sharply into focus. Grief strengthens and affirms some bonds. It destroys others. Sometimes, the parting of company has evoked fierce anger and bitter disappointment. At other times, it’s involved a gentle resignation and letting go.

You can’t humour people out of grief
It’s often said that ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Even in our darkest hour, it’s important to laugh – if only briefly and at the most absurd things. In saying that, you can’t humour people out of their grief. Several well-meaning friends have cracked jokes and offered cheerful, vapid remarks. They miss the mark – by a mile. They trivialise our loss, compound our suffering and demean our child. Sitting with us in our grief is the most powerful and generous thing you can do. Honour this moment; it is real and cannot be hurried.

It hurts to be excluded (when you have no living children)
A friend once observed that the hardest thing about being gay was the fact that he was excluded from the world’s largest club – the Married-With-Kids Club. While I can’t speak to being a persecuted minority, I certainly know about the pain which comes from loss and exclusion. Whenever my husband and I encounter a happy family, he says that ‘it feels like the whole world is having a party that we are not invited to.’

I haven’t forgotten
Sometimes, people avoid talking about children who have died because they don’t want to remind the parents. Let me tell you this: I forget all kinds of things, from where I left my keys to whether I’ve taken my vitamins. At my lowest, I shuffle from room to room, forgetting what I’m supposed to be doing. But I don’t ever forget my child. I think about Ella all the time – when I’m scanning my groceries, brushing my teeth, making small talk with the neighbours. Most parents love talking about their children because their children are the most special and amazing part of their lives. Bereaved parents are equally passionate about their kids. We want the chance to talk about them, albeit in an appropriate and supportive environment. 

It’s better to be awkward than absent
My husband and I feel sorry for people who encounter us. In fact, we often remark that ‘we wouldn’t know what to say to us’. Our culture offers no clear template for dealing with grief, or helping people through it. But here’s the thing: you don’t have to say anything amazingly profound or insightful. You just have to say you’re sorry for our loss and, if the relationship warrants it, offer your support. If there were ‘right words’ to offer the grieving, our poets and scholars and philosophers and clergymen would have found them by now. To my knowledge, they haven’t. For the record, I wrote the book on being socially awkward. I understand that there are few situations more uncomfortable than addressing a grieving parent. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. 

I recently saw an acquaintance who declared that she’d thought of me and prayed for me almost every day. All I could think was ‘that’s nice, but it doesn’t help me in any way’. If you don’t express your care, it does nothing for the person who’s suffering.  Sorrow tests our patience, but a bereaved parent will ultimately forgive a clumsy, awkward, ill-timed remark. They are less likely to forgive someone who is entirely absent in their darkest hour. 

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 

Sands on 13 000 72637

Suzi Maxwell-Wright

My name is Suzi. My husband, Ted, and I are trying to heal after losing our baby Ella Rose Argyle (21 January 2017). Ella was stillborn at 34 weeks, after what appeared to be a healthy pregnancy. As we declared on her headstone, Ella is ‘beautiful, longed for and eternally loved’. She is, and always will be, a part of us. My hope is that this blog will honour her precious life and help other bereaved parents feel less alone as they navigate their grief.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Things I Wish People Understood - Part One by Suzanna

At 36, I’ve lost a parent, a friend and a child. There is nothing on Earth more harrowing than burying a child, even if you never had the privilege of knowing them. My husband, Ted, and I lost our beautiful baby Ella in January of this year. She was stillborn at 34 weeks. She was, and always will be, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t bring myself to talk about the magic, and joy and horror of our experience. I can’t bring myself to share the details which are personal, and raw and sacred.

What I can do, is tell you about our grief and the things I’ve learnt.

There is abundant kindness in the world
It’s important to savour the great kindness that is apparent in times of despair. Since losing Ella, we have been touched by people’s tenderness and humanity. We have been shown support through flowers, plants, cards, texts, gifts, keepsakes, meals, phone calls, long distance visits and all manner of thoughtful gestures. Often, this kindness has come from the most unexpected places. We are grateful beyond words.

We are tortured by things which ought to bring us joy
Babies are a source of collective joy, especially among women. But for my husband and me, they are a form of torture – an excruciating reminder of our loss. I can’t see a pram or a pregnant woman without wincing. Sadly, babies seem to evoke in me a kind of emotional anaphylaxis – fear, paralysis, constricted breathing.  But babies are not like peanuts; they can’t be easily avoided. There isn’t a supermarket, shopping centre or cafĂ© on the planet which is baby-free.

Leaving the house is Hell
Any journey beyond the sanctuary of my home involves walking the gauntlet of prams and mothers’ groups. Given that I live in a small community, it also involves visiting places which evoke memories of being pregnant, excited and full of hope. Finally, there is the horror of bumping into a myriad of acquaintances who, upon noticing that I’m no longer pregnant, gleefully ask how motherhood is treating me. 

Greif has no end point
At Easter time, I had a chance encounter with a bereaved mother whose son had been dead for 15 years. She knelt at her child’s grave, literally howling in despair. It shook me to my core. It made me realise this: time does not heal all wounds. We never stop mourning the loss of our children, and there will frequently be ‘triggers’ that reignite or intensify our suffering. Typically, the things which bring joy to others are our greatest sources of pain – Christmases, birthdays, Mother’s Day. This seems particularly cruel. Unfortunately, bereaved parents mourn more than the loss of their children. They mourn every milestone that ought to have been enjoyed.

Children are not replaceable
Let’s be very clear: children are not disposable. They are not replaceable. In the wake of Ella’s death, the most hurtful remark I endured came from a man – with three adult children, no less - who laughed and replied ‘oh well, you can always make another one’. Comments of this nature show a disgusting and disturbing lack of humanity. A baby is no less loved than a toddler or a teenager or an adult child. Next time you think that my child’s life doesn’t matter, consider which of your children you’d willingly trade or discard. A brief life is still a special one.

The conversation gets awkward
Bereaved parents – especially those of us who are still adjusting to our circumstances – often don’t know what answers to offer people. Inquiries as to whether or not we have children are painful to navigate. I can’t bear to tell people that I don’t have any children. Denying Ella’s existence dishonours her and causes me great pain. In saying that, I don’t want to tell strangers that my baby has died. I’d like to declare that I have a child, without any obligation to flesh-out the miserable details. But it’s deceptive and probably unhealthy to mislead people into thinking that you are parenting a living child when you’re not.   


If you require support after reading this blog please contact 

Sands on 13 000 72637

Suzi Maxwell-Wright
My name is Suzi. My husband, Ted, and I are trying to heal after losing our baby Ella Rose Argyle (21 January 2017). Ella was stillborn at 34 weeks, after what appeared to be a healthy pregnancy. As we declared on her headstone, Ella is ‘beautiful, longed for and eternally loved’. She is, and always will be, a part of us. My hope is that this blog will honour her precious life and help other bereaved parents feel less alone as they navigate their grief. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Things I Wish I'd Known - Ally

Never did we expect the outcome of our blissful pregnancy to end with the beautiful and short life of our only daughter. After a devastating six weeks of scans and tests, solemn news and flowing tears, at 24 weeks, you graced us at 1:08am on January 12 2017. It was surreal, the sound of an empty room after the midwife informed me that I was about to meet my daughter. I would never be prepared for what came next, the smallest, most fragile and precious baby that I would ever lay my eyes on. 

After an emotionally draining and exhausting 16 hour labour, you were wheeled away for more tests while I briefly slept, only to return wrapped in your angel gown, resting peacefully with your head on your hands, as if you were merely sleeping. 

Of course, was born asleep, and would stay that way, no crying, no feeding, no laughter. The hardest moment of all would be leaving her, walking away from that hospital room, a mother and father leaving the hospital, without the baby they came with. I still will never know how I put one foot in front of the other and was able to walk away from her. The hardest thing I'll ever do.
It was, but then I would never know that the grief of losing a baby never really leaves you. You just find ways of coping. But you'll never forget that you left the hospital, with an empty heart, that of a mother without a child. 

Looking back, my favourite pastime was listening to her speedy little heartbeat every morning and evening. I had hired a heartbeat monitor for peace of mind. I kept thinking while her heart was strong, surely she could overcome anything else. I would send positive thoughts, my steely determination pushing her to survive. But it wasn't enough, and she couldn't fight it. Knowing how sick she was now, I know she was incredibly strong to have survived that long.

I had to stop listening to the recordings to try to distance myself from those happy memories. I thought if I could busy myself, throwing myself into my work, I could get some distance from the pain. Distance from the hurt, from the emptiness. I would never know how it feels to be alone in this world, until the one person I had the closest possible human connection with, is gone. Only one person knows what my heartbeat sounds like from inside the womb. I frequently heard hers but she lived only ever hearing mine. 
What I would never know is that there is no distancing oneself. From the moment I could feel her, the moment that I knew of her existence, there would be no way of distancing myself. Especially after she's gone. Instead, I am left only with these regrets. 


I regret not listening to your little heartbeat until the very moment that your little heart stopped beating.

I regret not lying there absorbing your every movement so that I could look back and remember it as some of the best moments of my life. 

I regret not taking photos of myself, through every happy and terrifying moment of my pregnancy, proud of my pregnant belly and the gorgeous baby inside me.

I regret not filming myself while you twisted and turned, so that I could look back and try to recall that feeling.

I regret that I don't have a smell that reminds me of you. No new baby smell, no talcum powder or baby wipes. New mums would take this for granted I'm sure, all I want, is to hear you cry just once and smell a gorgeous newborn baby smell.

I regret that I don't have a song, which makes me happy, thinking of the joy you brought to our lives. 

I regret that I can't recall your warm body when you joined this world. My brief time with you, the one time I held you, I no longer remember. 

I regret that pain medication I took to try to make your birth easier, instead robbed me of my memories and time with you as I slept, exhausted from the morphine I had asked for.

Instead I can only recall my last moments with you, touching your cold skin as I said my last goodbye to your tiny, fragile body. It breaks my heart how small you were, only 320 grams at 5 months pregnant.

I regret that I was so tired after such a long day that my only memories are fading and it hurts my heart that I may only be left with photos of you, photos that do not do your beauty justice. Photos that cannot describe the honour I have of being your mummy.

There are fleeting memories and photos, sad songs and no smells. All that we are left with now is a tiny box of ashes, which fail to acknowledge to the world that she was born, and was a child of ours. 

We will love you endlessly, Edie Grace. You were and will be loved beyond measure. 
- -

Ally Downing, mother to Edie Grace Downing

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 

Sands on 13 000 72637

Ally Downing

Ally is a first time mother whose daughter Edie Grace was stillborn on January 12, 2017. Three months on, Ally and her husband Greg still have no medical diagnosis for Edie's death as they await genetic testing to shed some light on her illness.

As a publicist, she felt it was beneficial to share her story for other grieving mothers, to raise awareness about loss in pregnancy, particularly for first time parents. As the joys of motherhood still await Ally, in the meantime Ally and Greg are supporting each other, frequently speaking of their beautiful daughter they were so blessed to meet, to honor her memory

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Mother’s Day: Without My Baby And Without My Mum - Courtney

My mum passed away in 2004, from a rare condition called MSA. I was 18 years old. I thought that would be the hardest thing I would ever have to go through in my lifetime. But unfortunately it wasn’t.

At the end of 2014, my partner and I found out that we were expecting, we were so happy.

My pregnancy was straight forward, a bit of morning sickness early on but nothing serious. Our 13 week scan was great, as was our 20 week scan. We also had a number of blood tests that came back fine. We found out we were expecting a baby boy. Because I was relatively young, and everything seemed to be going well, our doctors didn’t see the need for any further scans or tests after 20 weeks. I made sure I was super healthy during my pregnancy. I did everything by the book. No alcohol, no coffee etc.

We gave birth, at 39 weeks, on July 14, 2015, a day before my birthday.
Cooper was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen.
And even straight after birth we were told he was fine.

Things took a turn for the worst later that day. Cooper was breathing heavily, and one of the nurses noticed, and took him to the nursery to be checked.

And so began the worst few days of our lives.

That night we were told there might be something wrong with Cooper’s heart, he would need to be transferred for further tests. He nearly didn’t survive the trip from the Gold Coast to Brisbane.

The following day, on my birthday, we were told that it wasn’t his heart. He had a rare condition, called Vein of Galen (genetic, but completely unrelated to what my mum passed away from). A rare condition, which affects approximately 1 in 3 million babies and is rarely detected during pregnancy unless you have a scan after 30 weeks. Some cases can be operated on but Cooper’s was too severe. He was immediately put on life support.

The next five days were a blur, we asked ourselves so many questions, how could this be happening? Why was this happening? Was it my fault? Would we be able to have another baby?

Cooper survived another night with us by his side. And passed away on the morning of July 19.  Our first born baby, the love of our lives, was gone. And there was nothing we could do.

For the next 6 months, everything hurt. The pain was emotional and physical.
As if the grief wasn’t hard enough, your body is also telling you that you should be looking after a baby. My milk came in and I had to take tablets to make it stop. My post baby body was a constant reminder that I had given birth, but had no baby. We had to pack up a beautiful nursery that we’d spent months setting up. We had to visit the funeral home. And of course we had to make sure all our friends and family knew what had happened.

It was a time when a girl really needed her mother, and I didn’t have her either.

I returned to work a few months later and everyday someone new asked me how my baby was going. I had to explain over and over, usually through tears. In saying that, going back to work was the best thing I could have done. I had somewhere to be everyday and my colleagues were unbelievably supportive.

But the main reason I kept going was thanks to my amazing husband and our families, for them I will be forever grateful.
And of course the thought that one day, we would hopefully have another baby.

We started trying again around 6 months after losing Cooper. The first few months that we didn’t fall pregnant were extremely hard. I wondered if I was ever going to get pregnant again. There were a lot of tears. But finally it happened.

Our second pregnancy was a lot more stressful than our first. We had extra scans and tests, and constantly worried that it was all going to happen again.

It was a long 9 months. But we made it.
On February 17, 2017 we welcomed our beautiful baby girl Zara, the light of our lives.

For a long time I wondered if we would truly ever be happy ever again. But I can now say we are getting there. It’s been tough, but one thing I’ve learnt is the road to motherhood is not easy for so many people. And sometimes it’s just not fair.

Last year Mother’s Day was terrible. How do you celebrate a day, when you don’t have your mum or your baby? I just cried and cried.

This year will be different though. This year I will celebrate Mother’s Day with my beautiful baby girl, and we will remember her amazing brother and my mum, who were both taken from us far too soon.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 
Sands on 13 000 72637

Courtney Zagel

Gold Coast Journalist.30 years old Wife to Leon. Mother of two, Cooper (passed away in 2015 at 5 days old) and Zara (now 10 weeks old)

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Our Angel Twins - Fiona

So excited we discovered via ultrasound we were expecting twins,  this would help explain the intensity of  the symptoms I had been having, morning sickness, sore breast, brain fog, mood swings, heightened smell, aversion to certain foods and craving for others, dry ginger beer and peppermint essential oil aiding the morning sickness.  Reveling in the happiness of expecting twins a gift from god, and the beginning of making adjustments to our lives.  

The next morning there was spotting and a small patch of blood only lasting a day, my GP had said that it wasn't good but just to monitor and if worsens go to ED.  As the days followed I felt a gush of fluid, followed by spotting on and off.  Monday was a visit to the Midwife who explained this can happen but again if became worse present to ED.  

D Day The last 2 days have been intermittent spotting, my partner worked late Tuesday night so as he could have Wednesday as a day off, how well timed was this...  Tuesday night the spotting became more frequent with change in color my fears were becoming a reality sadness and shock filled my heart, the lower back pain increased throughout the evening but subsided when we went to bed, my usual toilet run at 4am presented some increased blood lighter in color and a clot/tissue, and a return of the lower back pain.  At 6am being increasingly uncomfortable but wanting my partner to get as much sleep as he could as I knew a drive to the hospital that day was eminent.  Leaning over to reach for clothes to wear I felt something larger had passed a knowing that it was them, I asked my partner for his help to the bathroom there they were, a clump of white tissue along with some placenta.  Organising ourselves we made the trek to hospital, a long wait as only one sonographer  was available, pain relief did aid the physical pain, the emotional pain and realisation was yet to set in.   Our fears confirmed those two precious heartbeats we had only seen a week before were now in heaven. 

Days followed with clots and placenta passing each day, codeine becoming my best friend.  The email service I had subscribed to with weekly updates of babies progress no longer applied to me.  The last two days have been hard, it feeling more real but at the same time numb, had this just happened to us.  I wanted them back!  Feeling sad uncontrollable crying in the car on the way home with my daughter from a shopping trip who is expecting her first bundle of joy, I prayed they would never have to experience this pain. 

Finding myself reaching for the anti depressants to ease the depression that followed.   All the questions you ask yourself had I done things differently, had I not had the internal scan would they still be here?? Even though experts have told me this isn't the case that chromosomes could have played a big part and miscarriage is very common. Having had 2 live healthy children with no issues it dawned on me how blessed I was, never thinking this would happen to me.   

Just over a week since the loss of our precious twins at 7 weeks the grieving process continues and the healing begins. 

A HUGE THANKYOU to my partner my rock and tower of strength, our parents who have helped were ever they could, friends sending their condolences.  Friday after the loss, I wanted to do something special for them, I had previously read on a blog of another parent suffering loss, they had placed there precious bundle in a box placing them in a big pot and planted a lovely plant in remembrance, I thought what a beautiful idea.  My angel babies reside in heaven and in our hearts, there reminders buried with a beautiful Rosemary bush and a lovely angel wind chime my favourite store helped me pick out, the chimes court by movement or wind a comforting reassuring reminder of them.  I am so blessed I have found the site via my own research as I was asked if I was ok but nothing else offered to me.   Writing this blog is healing in its own right.  Finding people willing to listen, keeping SANDS number handy in case of emergencies, keeping busy but DONT over do it as tiredness not a good thing, positive music in the background fills the room so I don't feel so alone.   As a lover of essential oils I find various scents uplifting and soothing to the soul.  As this journey continues, we are planning for the future and awaiting the blessing of a rainbow baby.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 

Sands on 13 000 72637

About Fiona

Fiona has experienced the joys of giving birth to 2 living children and the sorrows of losing angels taken too soon.   She worked in Aged Care as a PCA since 2006 then went on to practise as a nurse since 2010 working predominately in Mental Health.  Being no stranger to death within her personal and professional life, she has started perusing her passion in educating and making support services for grief and Health known to the public.  As she is a lover of technology and the great outdoors she spends time photographing our beautiful landscape.  She also finds peace in spending time with her beloved horses she calls her sanctuary.    

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Importance of Time - Tennille

The “old” me was a person who liked to keep track of time. I was busy, working full time, playing sport and had a busy social life. I loved cramming as much into every day that I could. The control freak in me loved wearing a watch, I hated being late. Our son Oscar was stillborn at 33 weeks and since the day I heard the words ‘I’m sorry there is no heartbeat’ I have rarely worn a watch. I definitely never wore a watch for at least 3 years as the simple act of putting on my watch reminded me of how much I had lost and how time stood still. When your baby dies you have absolutely no control yet the irony is you have so much to organise but cannot arrange anything at the same time.

I wished I could go back in time. In the early days I so desperately wanted to be able to relive the final few days with my baby growing inside me. I was sure I could pinpoint the exact moment something may have gone wrong. I could replay the last time I actively felt him kick, I could rest more, or visit the doctor earlier. Time felt so precious and I felt I had flitted it away, while my son died.

My sense of time suddenly became very warped. In the days between finding out and delivering my baby, I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t comprehend what was going to happen to me, what our son would look like or what I would need to arrange in the coming days. Time was long and short at the same time. Time also didn't have the same importance.

Once he was born and the time I was able to hold him, bath him and introduce him to our families seemed long. We gave him a lifetime of kisses, said hellos and goodbyes in just two short days.

Once leaving hospital, I have never felt time move more slowly. My brain and body were so disconnected and the days seem to crawl. I remember feeling panicked when there felt like there was so much of the day to go. Yet as each day passed, the time since I had held Oscar quickly moved on. The four months it took to fall pregnant with another baby were excruciating. I was so driven to fall pregnant again and this waiting game was tedious. Looking back, four months seemed to go so quickly now.

I was sceptical of the phrase “time heals everything” and “give yourself time”. I was convinced that I would always feel so lost and empty and I couldn’t possibly understand how people were able to move forward from their current position with grief. Yet, five years down the track I am able to talk about Oscar, often without crying. I remember my son with a smile on my face and live a fulfilling life.

If you require support after reading this blog please contact 

Sands on 13 000 72637

Tennille Welsh

Tennille Welsh is a mother to three beautiful boys. Mark (her husband) and Tennille experienced the stillbirth of their first son Oscar, at 33 weeks gestation in 2011, cause unknown. Tennille is passionate about raising awareness of the high incidence of stillbirth in Australia and shares Oscar's story in the hope that it may help other grieving families.