Letters From The MISS Mailbox...

Letters From The MISS Mailbox...
Dear MISS Foundation,
...I am profoundly grateful for the MISS
Foundation. My daughter Luciana was
born still Nov. 11. We found out that
we lost her at routine prenatal
visit - my last one actually. I
was just 3 days from being
induced. An umbilical cord
accident claimed her life.
Many of my neighbors and
friends saw you on TV, just before
National Children’s Remembrance Day,
and told me that you started a support
group in Arizona that I should look into. I
attended a mass offered for Luciana a
few days later and the gentleman that ran
the story on you was there. Unfortunately,
I didn’t get a chance to speak with him. I
felt that I needed to explore a support
group and I found the MISS Foundation
website just before Christmas, and made
the connection right away. It seemed like
fate, like some higher power had helped
lead me to MISS; I like to think that it
was my precious angel Luciana. MISS
has been my greatest source of comfort
ever since, and your book “Dear
Cheyenne” has been the most helpful,
insightful, and comforting of all of those
that I have read thus far..and (I have)
reaped the benefit of the legislation you
were instrumental in affecting.
Luciana would have been 9 weeks old
yesterday, and had she lived, we would
have baptized her this past Saturday.
While its so difficult for me to imagine a
day where I can’t miss her without an
uncontrollable stream of tears...
You have both given me
hope, and inspiration. I wish
that I had known about
MISS when I was in the
hospital, and I had a copy of
“Dear Cheyenne” in the
hospital and the days
following. I will be ordering a bunch of
copies of the book and pamphlets about
MISS to provide to my doctor’s office,
the hospitals where he delivers...and the
cemetery where Luciana is buried... I
Volume 8, Issue 3
always get particularly sad when I visit
Luciana and notice all the children
around her, especially those that have
recently arrived. I was
fortunate in that the
hospital provided many of
the services you
recommended in your
book, but it breaks my
heart to read the stories on
NetPals and other sites of
parents that weren’t so
fortunate. I’m hopeful that your book,
provided to them immediately, might help
future parents suffering this horrible
tragedy to cope in those first, awful days
and find guidance to help them build
memories of their precious child.
Patrice Hedman and I have been
emailing each other, and I feel
so fortunate to have the
opportunity to send her an
email when I need to
vent...She has been such
a help as I’ve had to
transition back to work.
I’ve found that having to
put on a brave face during
the day has caused me to have a lot of
difficulty in the evenings. All the
repressed emotions seem to creep up on
me...I just want to express my heartfelt
thanks for the gift you have given other
bereaved parents, the gift of you and
your love and devotion...
All my love, and appreciation,
Carla Lopez-Hodoyan
Dear MISS Foundation,
My daughter was born stillborn at
23 weeks. We already had 2 sons,
and were desperately looking
forward to having our little girl. She
died on April 7th, 2004. I started
searching the internet for different
support groups and mostly answers
on why this happened... I met one
woman in particular whose some
Spencer was stillborn as well. She sent
me the book (Dear Cheyenne) and even
though I have only
read the first 20
pages or so, I feel like I am reading
my own words. I just wanted to let
you know that the kindness of this
woman and your book has helped me
with some of the grief I am dealing
with losing my little angel Piper. I just
wanted to say Thank you for writing
this book...
Another Mother of an Angel
Joni Sampel
Dear MISS,
My son Nicholas was still born on
September 29, 1998. To this day I
have yet to recieve a copy of his
death let a lone his birth. Since
Michigan has passed the MISSing
Angels Bill, is it to late to recieve a
certificate of his birth and
death? If I can where
would I go? Thank you for
your help!
Cindy VandenBosch
To all parents of stillborn
We express our deepest empathy
and journey this grief road with
you. For more information on the
MISSing Angels Bill, please visit our
missfoundation.org or
missingangelsbill.org or email our
National Legislative Liasion, John
Nevels, at
[email protected]
We are working to understand the
effects of stillbirth and the clinical
aspects of this modern day mystery.
The MISS Foundation Board of
continued from page 11
In Memory of Charles
hospital the entire day, so I had to listen
to other babies cry.
My Mom and I didn’t say much to each
other that day. She wasn’t mad at me or
anything like that...we were simply
speechless over what had occurred. I’m
thankful that she was there for me. Just
having her at my side was more than
words could ever express.
I was told that I could check myself out
of the hospital after 10pm that night or I
could stay until morning. I opted to leave
that night. Before I left the hospital, my
nurse, who was a great help to me all
day, gave me some literature on grief
along with some keepsakes. I was given
a little handmade angel along with a small
memory box with a beaded bracelet with
my son’s name on it. I was also given a
beautiful small handmade quilt. The
nurse gave me her number and told me
to call anytime. She also called me a few
times at home that first week after losing
my son.
The hospital chaplain, has also been a
wonderful supportive friend since the
day I lost my baby. She helped me with
the funeral arrangements and baptized
Charles Christopher the day of his
funeral and cremation.
The first time I was truly able to hold
my son and view him was at his funeral.
It was a very private and intimate
ceremony with just my Mom and I. After
the funeral at the church, we took him
back to the funeral home. I sat and held
him for a few hours before his cremation.
Leaving him there and seeing his body
for the last time was the most difficult
thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. All I
really wanted to do was wake up from
this nightmare and take my beautiful baby
boy home. I wanted him to be alive...not
dead! I hated myself for not knowing
about my pregnancy and I’ve blamed
myself for his death for many months. A
MISSing Angels Newsletter
by Katie D. Irby, IN MISS Co-facilitator
part of me still does blame myself.
The autopsy report concluded that my
car accident caused a placental
abruption which induced labor and lead
to his immediate death before birth. The
death certificate listed the cause of
death as meconium aspiration, which
was wrong. There was no meconium
found in Charles.
Due to the errors on the death
certificate and my unwavering
persistence, I was able to get a true
certified birth certificate from my
county health department one month
after Charles’ stillbirth. The MISSing
Angels Bill had not been passed in
Indiana at this point. The personnel at
the health department reluctantly gave
me a certificate, when they knew I was
not going to back down or leave until I
received it. I kept telling them that you
can’t have a death without a birth, so
where is his birth certificate. My Son
deserved that recognition of his
A week after Charles’ funeral, I went
through the phone list of bereavement
support given to me by the funeral
director. I was feeling really bad and was
desperate to talk to someone that would
understand. I was able to get support
from a local organization. Without this
organization and others such as the MISS
Foundation, I do not feel that I could have
survived the loss of my precious Son,
I have been able to keep my Son’s spirit
alive in my heart by doing things in his
memory. By supporting other families
that have experienced the tragedy of
losing a child at any age, I have been
able to help others survive such
heartbreak. Neofight Incorporated, Kota
Press, and The MISS Foundation have
been there for me since losing Charles.
I plan to help these amazing and much
needed organizations as long as possible.
Without such compassionate
organizations, bereaved parents like
myself would not be able to find a safe
haven for support.
To the families of these children,
our sympathies for your recent loss...
Jordan Ridge
Matthew Beatty
Gilberto Jose Villalobos Jr
Xander Aiden Mora
Nickolas Karl Koons
Christian Tyler Nicholson
JulieAnna Bakken
Adam Christopher Hansen
A message from Joanne, the MISS Founder, to all our mothers—
”Motherhood is an eternal place within your heart...a sacred place that
belongs to you. Deep within your very essence of existence, you are all
mothers, whether you have living children or not— you are all beautiful
and good mothers. And while you may not be able to care for your child/
children on earth, that sacred place of motherhood remains within you.
Remember always that the love of a mother is stronger than any other
force in the universe. The love of a mother transcends death.”
May/June 2004
Remembering Tyler
It has been almost three years……
On the morning of May 21, 2001 I woke
to a new day. We had just moved into a
new home….a home built for our
growing family. So many memories are
wrapped around those moments – so
many dreams. I remember the first light
of the day coming through the window
and recalling that the bed would
definitely need to be moved because the
sun woke me up too early on a sleeping
in day! I remember patting my growing
belly, feeling so full of love and
excitement. I remember taking a deep
sigh, getting up from bed and beginning
my morning routine.
As usual things began, as they did each
and every day before. I had class that
morning and realized that I hadn’t yet
completed my paper, but passing by
Tyler’s beautiful room diverted my
attention, called to my very spirit, and
beckoned me in. I sat in the chair,
looking at the walls and all the things
which made this wonderful space. The
only thing missing was my precious boy.
I remember thinking of the day when I
would awaken to realize it was the day
that you were going to arrive, safe and
happy…. filling our home with such joy
and life.
I had no idea that day would be so soon.
I had no idea that it would be anything
but a safe and happy arrival.
Within a few hours I was thinking
something was wrong, but it was all
going to be o.k…. right? Nothing could
happen now… we had come too far for
this. Almost 6 months. These are normal
weird feelings… this is normal
concern…this is normal……this is not
Within hours we were in the emergency
department, faces of strangers coming
Volume 8, Issue 3
in and out. Faces of “don’t worry”
turning to solemn quiet. When they
spoke, I saw moving mouths but heard
no voices. Slow motion…. unbelievable
cruelty. Not me. Not us. Not our son.
There was nothing that could be done…
heartbreak. Sent home, waiting for the
cruel beginnings of labor to bring our
precious boy into the world. Then
comes May 23, 2001…. The emergence
of a new life into this world. A world
with tears of sorrow instead of tears of
joy. A world of silence instead of one
filled with the sound of the first screams
of a new life.
by Melissa Delgado
remembrance and some sighs of healing.
I never thought I’d write those words. I
never thought that I’d feel that presence.
The times of tears alternate with my new
found ability to talk about my precious
little one without crying uncontrollably.
The periods of intense heartbreak have
been replaced with periods of pain mixed
with the joy of knowing that I have been
touched by an angel and that I will never
been the same. I have been changed.
It has been almost three years….
A reflection of the past seconds..
making up the minutes, hours, days,
weeks, months and… can it be? … the
years since Tyler death and birth. Just
writing that statement alone.. the pain
behind that statement… death then
birth??? That is not how it is supposed
to be. That is the reality.
I am a mother. I am a mother without a
child on earth, but this has given me a
new challenge. Instead of being
overcome by the overwhelming loss
which has dictated my life for so long
now, Tyler has given me yet another in a
long line of gifts. He has given me the
gift of honor. Because of him, I am a
parent who is able to truly honor one of
the most precious souls to grace the face
of the earth. Tyler – I will honor you
It has been almost three years….
It has been almost three years…
As I approach my precious boy’s
birthday, I am filled with such mixed
feelings. Such longing to see my little
one running about the house, getting into
everything… a longing to hear his sweet
voice say “mommy.. kiss my owie”.
Hearing him say his sweet prayers at
night. How does that go? Now I lay
me, down to sleep. I pray the lord my
soul to keep…. Oh. Yet another problem
on this journey. How could God take
my little one, so sweet and innocent??
That, I fear to say, has not been
answered in my soul.
Tears, death, sadness, pain, heartache,
love, honor, life, renewal….
It has been almost three years…..
It has been almost three years…
Happy Birthday precious little Tyler.
Happy Birthday my beautiful big boy.
Mommy loves you so much and will
honor you with every breath that I take.
It has been almost three years…..
There have been so many deep sighs
these past months. Deep sighs of
MISS Foundation Chapters & Global Peer Contacts
California, Arcadia
3rd Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.
Church of the Good Shepherd, Lounge
400 W. Duarte Rd. (Holly & Duarte)
626-963-9120 Kristin Jared
[email protected]
California, Huntington Beach
1st Thursday of each month, 6:30p.m.
8161 Taylor Drive, Huntington Beach
Facilitator, Katie Hodge 714-585-3614
[email protected]
California, Merced
1st Tuesday of every month, 7:00p.m.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 350 W.
Yosemite Ave. Facilitator: Kim Lotz 209-7259241, [email protected]
California, San Diego
For information on this group contact Keny
Marie Leepier at [email protected]
California, West Hills
Contact Heather Lipari for location and
details at 818-999-5888
[email protected]
Connecticut Group Coming soon!
[email protected]
Colorado, Denver
1st Tuesday of each month, 6:30p.m.
Stonegate Community Center, Parker
Leslie Clemenson 303-841-4152
[email protected]
Florida, Trenton
2nd Tuesday of each month at the Trenton
Public Library, on U.S. 129. 7:00 p.m.
Valerie 352-463-3986
[email protected]
Florida, Palm Beach
2nd Thursday of the month, St. Lukes
Methodist Church in Worth (exit 93 off
Florida Turnpik) 7:00 p.m. Rusti 561-6426464 or email [email protected]
Idaho, Boise
1st Monday of month, 6:30p.m. (except for
January & July) at New Heights Christian
Church, 9950 W. Ustick Road. Contact
Nancy & Peter Grayson to confirm dates at:
208-861-2407 [email protected]
MISSing Angels Newsletter
Illinois, Roselle
1st Monday of each month. St. Walter
Parish House Basement, 130 W. Pine
Street, Roselle, IL. Contact Mary at 630582-0874. [email protected]
Minnesota, Alexandria
2nd Tuesday of each month 6:30-8:30 p.m.
First Congregational UCC Church
221 7th Ave., West in Alexandria
Heidi Ciepielinski 320-859-5660
Illinois, Sandwich
Email Angie Farley for more information
at: [email protected]
New Jersey, Somers Point
Call Kathy Evans for more information at
609-601-0563 or [email protected]
Illinois, Wheaton
3rd Monday of each month, Central
DuPage Hospital, Danada Convenient
Care Center, 7 Blanchard Circle, Wheaton,
IL. Contact Mary at 630-852-0874 or
[email protected]
3rd Wed. of each month, 7:00p.m.
IU Campus, Ruth Lily Medical Research
Library, 4th Floor Atrium. Contact Crissy
Tohm & Katie Irby
[email protected] or
[email protected]
Kansas, Wichita *NEW*
3rd Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
1101 N. River Blvd., Wichtia, KS 67203
Contact Alan & Karen Wondra at 316-7218284 or [email protected]
1st Thursday of each month, 6:30p.m.
Heartland Worship Center
4777 Alben Barkley Drive, Pacucah
Kelly Nicholls 270-395-7668
[email protected]
Maryland, Westminster
1st Monday of month, 7:00p.m.
Church of the Bretheren in Westminster
Lisa 443-677-5904 or 410-833-2592
[email protected]
Massachusetts, West Medford *NEW*
1st Thursday of the month
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (if meeting falls on a
holiday or there is inclement weather,
please call for alternative meeting date.)
Congregational Church of West Medford,
400 High Street, West Medford, MA (Use
entrance on Allston Street, next to the
office.) Facilitator - Lynne Barberian
781-488-3546 [email protected]
New York, Yonkers
Call or email for times/dates
[email protected]
Ohio, Liverpool
1st Thursday of the month, 7:00 p.m.,
16195 State Rt. 170, East Liverpool, OH.
Contact Kym Smith 330-385-8774 or
[email protected]
For more information contact Jessica
Finnegan at: [email protected]
Tennessee, Memphis *NEW*
2nd Thursday of the month, 6:30 p.m.,
1st meeting November 11th, 2003 at
Highland Street Church of Christ, Room
National Peer Contacts:
Heather Farrier 203-895-2138
Lisa D'Argenio 410-833-2592
Crissy Tohm 317-826-7913
Katie Irby 317-878-4937
Kim Lotz 209-725-9241
Kristen Jared 626-963-9120
Keny Leepier 619-801-1726
Katie Hodge 714-585-3614 or
714-442-3669 (Experience with
Accidental Toddler Death)
Kim St.Laurent 714 965-8883
Heidi Ciepielinski 320-859-5660
Trina Charles 320-763-6317
Gregg Carder 816-690-6273
May/June 2004
128, 443 S. Highland Street, Memphis, TN.
Contact Rex & Laura Butts 901-523-7549 or
[email protected] or
[email protected]
Virginia, D.C. & Maryland Metro Area
1st Wednesday of the month, 7:30 9:00p.m. Fairfax County Government
Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway
Conference Room 8. Fairfax, Virginia
Co-Facilitators: Tara Pitts
[email protected] (703) 583-1503
& Dionna Williams
[email protected]
(301) 797-9155
Virginia, Gordonsville
Coming Soon! For more info contact:
[email protected]
Virginia, Richmond
3rd Monday. St. Matthew’s Episcopal
Church, Forest and Patterson Avenues.
7-8:30 p.m. For more information contact
Twyla Powell at [email protected]
Washington, West Seattle *NEW*
Delridge Library Meeting Room
5423 Delridge Way, S.W., 1:00to 2:30 pm
Contact Kara Jones for dates at 206-2516706 or [email protected]
Washington, Vashon Island
3rd Monday of each month, 7:30 p.m.,
Library meeting room or Member
Household, call Kara Jones for more info at
206-251-6706 or [email protected]
International Contacts:
Mexico City
Group, 2nd Tuesday of each month,
9:30a.m. Contact Carla at
(5255)5579 1327 for location
[email protected]
Sinead Williamson
email [email protected]
London England
2nd Sunday of each month, 1:30 p.m.
Room 4, Northfields Community Centre
71A Northcroft Road, London W13
Phone: 07932 812931
Contact: Cathie Shipton 07932 812931
[email protected]
more to come...
Volume 8, Issue 3
Arizona MISS Foundation Chapters
Phoenix Monthly Meetings
3rd Thursday of each month,
Community Church of Joy
21000 N. 75th Avenue
Portable 6 behind the chapel
6:30 p.m. 623-979-1000 (24 hours)
Peoria - MISS - Inner Peace Support
Group - Interfaith based
2nd Thursday of the month, at Peace
Lutheran Church, in the church library
18265 N. 89th Ave., Peoria, AZ
6:30p.m. Contact: Deborah Brooks
[email protected]
(623) 487-4275
Tempe - East Valley Support Group
1st Monday of the month, DaySpring
United Methodist Church, 1365 E. Elliot
Rd, Room #201, Tempe, AA
6:30 p.m. Contact: Lee Ann Morlan
[email protected]
Child Drowning Support Group
1st Thursday of each month, 7:00 p.m.
St. Francis Xavier Church
Parish Office Building, 4715 N. Central
Ave., Phoenix, AZ, Contact: Asena 602367-4626 [email protected]
Arizona Peer Contacts:
If you need one-on-one support and
friendship contact one of your
Peer Contacts.
Angela Iverson
Lee Ann Morlan
Debra Brooks
Linda Schmidt
Ed & Robin Kennedy (Kids)
Anne Rumps (Tucson)
Heidi & Doug Cass
Mindy Runyan (Kingman)
Joanne Cacciatore
Tempe - East Valley
Subsequent Pregnancy Support Group
First Saturday of each month, 2:00 p.m.
DaySpring United Methodist Church
1365 E. Elliot Rd, , Room #201
(on Elliot, between McClintock and
Rural), Tempe, AZ. Contact: Patrice
Hedman, 480-857-9792.
Babies are welcome!
Phoenix - KISS—Kids In Sympathy &
Support For Kids in Grief - Northwest
Valley. Please email us for time/dates
Community Church of Joy, 21000 N. 75th
Avenue, Peoria, AZ. Portable 6 behind
the chapel. Contact: Robin and Ed
Kennedy at 602-547-1244 or email
[email protected]
Spanish-Speaking Support Group
Contact [email protected]
Phoenix - Central Valley Support Group
1st Thursday of each month,
Saint Francis Xavier Church
4715 N. Central, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Will meet in the Parish office which is
two story building next to main church.
Facilitators: Angela Iverson and Asena
Nicolosi. Email:
[email protected]
or 623-572-0334 for more information.
Contact Karin Atkinson for more info at
[email protected]
1st Thursday of each month, 5:30 p.m.
Prescott Public Library, 3rd Floor
Meeting Room, 215 E. Goodwin St. (At
the intersection of Goodwin & Marina
Streets) Contact: Heidi and Douglas
Cass. Email: [email protected]
(928) 778-2528
Subsequent Pregnancy
& Family Planning:
Anna Kennedy
Patrice Hedman
Gennie Contreras
Asena Nicolosi
Gift of time by Jane Clifford
My husband asks me this week: "Honey, what do you want
for Mother's Day?" Hmmm. I think a week on a sailboat in
the Caribbean would be appropriate, a nice reward for mediating endless sibling rivalries, delivering forgotten lunches and
homework assignments, washing a load of clothes at midnight after finding the uniform skirt balled up in the backpack.
Breakfast in bed, a bouquet of flowers, dinner out, diamonds,
all those things the ads suggest as appropriate gifts, would be
welcome acknowledgments, as mothers all over the country
enjoy being queen for a day, right? Yet, as it draws closer, I
think of all the mothers who would answer, simply, "I want
my child back." Mothers of soldiers, mothers of brokers and
chefs and clerks and firefighters and police officers caught in
the World Trade Center, mothers of passengers on doomed
plane flights, mothers of missing children, mothers of children
found dead. I've watched a friend struggle for many long
months following the loss of her son in a tragic accident. He
was 25, father of two. Another friend finds this day a bittersweet reminder of several failed attempts to have a child.
Another is fighting cancer, determined to be around for many
more Mother's Days but never really sure. We all know mothers
whose situations are fragile. And it makes the rest of us feel
oddly guilty that things are going the way they should. So we
avoid these women's reality. When they join our conversation, we stop talking about our children. We make happy talk
M.i.s.s. Foundation
P.O. Box 5333
Peoria, Arizona 85385
Phone: 623-979-1000
Fax: 623-979-1001
Email: [email protected]
♥ Because all the Children Matter ♥
ving Mo
by Thais F. Henry
She clings to the hand of God, to keep from
going wild. And in His presence comes to
know His other hand . . . Holds Her Child
with them because to face their loss scares us. For some
reason, we pretend that if we don't dwell on what happened
to them, we'll be safe from similar tragedy. And in the process, we lose an opportunity to do what mothers do best: give
a hug, wipe a tear, offer encouragement, help the pain go
away, if only for a moment. It's said that the worst thing for a
parent to do is bury a child. So maybe the best thing we can
do for those mothers is to be there for them this Mother's
Day. Mothers who have lost their children are themselves
sometimes lost...lost in remembering, in trying to get through
the day, especially this day. So, sometime between now and
the end of tomorrow, maybe we can write that note and get it
in the mail, call and have that awkward conversation, make a
date for that long-overdue brunch or lunch and a promise to
just listen. After all, we know better than anyone about the
joy – and pain – of mother love. It's what makes the job bearable during a toddler's tantrum, after a lousy report card comes
home, when a grown child lands in trouble. Mother love doesn't
die with a child. It lingers, forever. Just as it stays tucked
away in the hearts of women who wanted to be mothers, but
aren't. When I recall my husband's question, the sailboat, the
diamonds, the dinner out seem far too extravagant and far
from the point. What do I want for Mother's Day? To reflect
on the gifts I already have. To sit and hold my children, even
though all four are way too big for my lap. To cherish the
moments I have with them since it's become painfully clear
how quickly we can lose them.
Non Profit Org
U.S. Postage
Phoenix, AZ
Permit 4081