Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Our Precious Maria

By: Laura Lumetta 

Maria Grace Lumetta was stillborn on December 19, 2011. The loss of our precious Maria was felt by not only my husband and I, but also by the eight siblings she left behind. Our children mourned in various ways. Some drew pictures, some wrote letters, and one daughter crocheted identical blankets. One of the blankets I held Maria in at the hospital and now keep in a special place, and the other blanket was wrapped around Maria before she was placed in the casket. 

The following is a poem that another daughter, Carolina (age 13 at the time), wrote for Maria. This poem was framed and displayed at the memorial service. 

You were a blessing, a joy, 
The first moment we heard of you. 
You were loved from the start 
By everyone around you. 

You were a sweet creation of God, 
And He gave you a family to live in. 
How anyone could love you more 
I just can't imagine. 

You were a light, an example, 
Changing your whole family. 
We saw you and thought, 
“She will live very happily.” 

You had brothers galore, 
Sisters and parents who loved you. 
You had uncles, aunts, and cousins, 
And grandparents, too. 

Yet, you were called to God. 
He wanted His sweet creation with Him. 
You are with Jesus now. 
You are in Heaven with Him. 

We all mourn you. 
We wanted you to stay. 
But if God wants you more, 
How could we keep you away? 

God, take care of her please, 
In Your warm embrace. 
We know she delights in you, 
Seeing Your wonderful face. 

Maria, we miss you dearly. 
We still love you in ev'ry way. 
We will see you again soon 
Up there in Heaven someday. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Expressions of Grief

This beautiful article was submitted to Share by Ginny Limer. 

She is my most sensitive of six children. My curly haired, nature- loving, brilliant, eldest daughter just entered the truck, and she is asking many questions without any words. At just 10, she is very keen at deducing that something is wrong, silently wondering why she has an early dismissal from school. Why is Aunt Jana in the car with us? She is staring at me in disbelief, eyes watering, mouth open, because the words, “Cullin has gone to Heaven” were just forced from my mouth and ripped from my heart. Her baby brother has gone to Heaven, taken from us by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). I’m thinking, “Yes, my son has just passed away. Yes, I am barely mobile, driving on sheer fear and trauma induced adrenaline, but Kili, and the other five sudden siblings of loss, are now grieving and in need of professional and parental guidance.” 

Our three sons, Ryan, Dalton, and Aren (ages 13, 10 and 8 at the time) are told about their little buddy, their baby brother’s passing. Silence, blank stares, and many tears follow those heartbreaking and unbelievably difficult conversations. The fifth little piggy, Kindil June (4 years old then) witnesses and experiences Cullin’s passing first hand at our beloved baby sitter, Mrs. Amy’s, house. My poor, sweet, innocent baby girl was there and, along with another four year old girl and a one year old boy, experienced a very traumatic situation. Death has a way of making children feel angry, guilty, fearful, lonely, depressed, which causes physical distress and a loss of innocence.

Ours is a blended family, a “his, mine, ours” family. Cullin was OURS, all of ours, each of ours. The pain of his absence is felt as a whole as well as individuals, and leaves us all wondering why. The loss of a child leaves a family wondering why. We wonder why, and we wonder what actions to take now. Searching for healthy ways to deal with Cullin’s death, we read many books about loss (such as “Dancing on the Moon,” and “We were Going to have a Baby but Had and Angel Instead”), and have had many open (and open- ended) discussions. We read for answers. We searched for understanding. There is a need for both understanding and being understood while grieving.

With broken hearts and idle hands, Cullin’s siblings wrote messages to their brother and sent them to the sky during a balloon release that was provided by thoughtful neighbors. These ladies also brought chalk, lots of chalk, for the kids to draw pictures and messages “to Cullin” on the driveway. Focused, creative activities encourage the children to channel their grief in a positive, healthy way. Ryan, the oldest son, began to write songs. The curly haired, sensitive big sister began drawing pictures on paper. Dalton began writing about memories and times shared with his baby brother. The oldest two created a newsletter, calling it Children with Difficulties and Loss (C.D.L. their baby brother’s initials) and include submissions from other siblings of loss that they have connected with through our non profit for families that have endured the loss of a child.

Scared Sidless was inspired by loving neighbors, created for families and siblings of loss, and helps others in honor of Cullin Darden Limer. We are here to help other families find creative ways to channel grief at home. If you would like to find out more about Scared Sidless, Camp

Cullin (our annual “get away” for siblings of grief), any of our initiatives for families of loss, or to have your children submit their expressions of grief for the children’s newsletter, please “Like” us at www.facebook.com/sidlessnow or visit www.scaredsidless.com . Scared Sidless, “Turning the helplessness into helpfulness.”

About the Author: Ginny Limer, Wife, Teacher, Photographer, CEO of www.scaredsidless.com
Mother of 5 on Earth, 1 in Heaven.
Our six month old son, and the light of all of our lives, passed away from SIDS on October 1, 2012. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Children & Grief: September/October

The September/October edition of Sharing provides stories from bereaved parents and professionals on children's grief, as they are often called the "forgotten grievers." When their baby sibling dies, children may experience a myriad of emotions and reactions to the death. This issue will share ways families have helped their child move through his/her grief, including the difficulties. Please take a moment to read this edition of our magazine or pass along to those who may benefit from its contents.