Connections - Support Parents
We are sorry for your loss. Thank you for your desire to reach out to others who have experienced a similar loss. The role of a support parent is to help other newly bereaved parents know what to expect as they grieve in hopes that this knowledge, along with your empathy, will validate their thoughts and feelings and give them hope for their future.
Newly bereaved parents can be reassured that their emotions are valid and normal by understanding the grieving process. Furthermore, they may feel less isolated and better able to cope with their grief by knowing that others have mourned similarly.
Support parents participating in Heartstrings Connections are carefully chosen. We seek bereaved parents, both men and women, who have experienced a loss more than one year ago and who have the following characteristics.
(Adapted from Family Support Network of North Carolina)
- You have begun to move forward in life without the physical presence of your baby.
- The sharp, ever-present pain of grief has given way to a renewed sense of meaning and purpose.
- You have hope for continued life. You can make commitments to the future realizing that your baby will never be forgotten yet knowing that your life can and will move forward.
- You are willing to share your experiences.
- You are concerned about other bereaved parents.
- You are nonjudgmental.
- You view your role as a prospective support parent as a supporting role rather than a decision-making one.
- The relationships within your family are relatively stable.
- Your family is coping well with emotional issues.
- You are able to identify the needs and feelings of others.
- You are able to convey a sense of calm reassurance.
- You are able to become personally involved with others without being hurt or overwhelmed by their problems.
- You know what it means to be a good listener, and you practice good listening skills.
- You are able to communicate with people who are different from you.
- You are able to accept rejection without being personally offended.
- You work without a lot of praise or recognition.
- You are willing to give to others without the expectation of something in return.
- You handle confidential information without the need to discuss it.
- You have the time to call your referred parent, to write him or her notes, send emails or meet face-to-face.