Her name is Zoe. A little girl whose parents were only 16 weeks pregnant to imagine their new family life in her company.
After the birth, around 2 a.m. and following the nurse’s suggestion, the mother and father welcomed Lucie. She explains to them that she is a volunteer with the J’allume une étoiles Foundation and that it has a partnership with the CHUL-Center Mère-Enfant Soleil and the Saint-François d’Assise Hospital in Quebec.
There are several organizations that help families affected by perinatal bereavement. They often offer free support to parents.
When they left the hospital, it took several weeks for them to get back on their feet. Today, they are better, but will never forget the experience they had.
Today, it is for children like Zoe and her parents that we are celebrating World Perinatal Bereavement Awareness Day. A moment that resonates in the minds of many families, but which we do not talk about often enough.
Experiencing perinatal bereavement is not the kind of thing we post on social media.
Rather, it is a reflection on what has been and could have been.
- Listen to Harold Fortin’s column at Pierre Nantel’s microphone on QUB radio:
NPOs in times of pandemic
This is Mme Guylaine Renaud who started this service five years ago. Usually, an army of volunteers intervenes each year with an average of 125 families in the Quebec region.
We rarely talk about the impacts of COVID-19 on nonprofits. For an organization like the J’allume une étoiles Foundation, the pandemic has reduced donations, its number of volunteers and complicated its ability to intervene in the hospital network.
This situation is experienced almost everywhere in Quebec. This is why our collective solidarity must also be expressed through our support for these services which are essential for a growing number of people.
We are often touched by a situation because we have been confronted with it directly or indirectly. I decided that in this period when you need to feel useful for the advancement of society, I would find certain causes that are close to my heart and contribute to them.
The tipping point
Close friends went through this ordeal. I thought I understood them, felt and shared their pain, but it was not.
On April 27, 2019, I finally understood it to my dismay. This date is a constant reminder of the events we went through as a family and from which we come out even more united.
This is the moment when we made the decision to always speak of our daughter as a full member of our family.
Her name is Zoe and she is our daughter.
To those who have experienced this situation, no matter what the circumstances, know that you are not alone.