Baby Maverick

This blog was created to keep family and friends updated on what's going on with the pregnancy, birth, and surgical plan for Maverick. We'll also be able to keep everyone updated during his surgery and recovery and hopefully be able to show you some cute pictures of him, Maddie, Carter and Chloe along the way.

This was the original intent; however, when we started this blog we had no idea the twists and turns our lives would take. Our sweet baby Maverick was born September 12, 2008 with Transposition of the Great Arteries, ASD, and VSD. We expected to have a baby boy to bring home three to four weeks after his surgery. He had numerous complications after his arterial switch and fought through many that would have taken the life from an adult. He passed away February 24, 2009 - without ever coming home.

This blog is now a place I share my feelings, work through the grief, remember Maverick, and try to make sense out of our life without him. I hope in doing so I am giving a name and a face to babies everywhere born with congenital heart defects.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ideas to help those who have lost a child

Another heart mom from Texas asked me what the most thoughtful thing someone has done for us after Mav died. I thought that question deserved a good answer. We had so many thoughtful things, though, I'll have to make a list. I'm sure over time I'll think of others and have to come back and update it. I think this might help others have tangible ways to help those who have lost a child.

The day that Mav died, two friends sent beautiful flowers to the house.

Of course the wonderful food started pouring in; Greg and I couldn't eat, but my kids and family still needed to.

Our neighbors brought lots of paper products - paper plates, towels, toilet paper, napkins; as well as trash bags and plastic ware . I thought that was a great idea. I didn't feel like doing dishes and I certainly didn't want to go to the store to buy those things. We had lots of friends and family in and out and it was nice to have everything available.

Our sweet school secretary sent teddy bears to the kids.

Our school sent ice - the good kind of crushed ice - over in an ice chest.

There is a family-owned gas station here in town, and anytime we go they give the kids bubble gum. Their family brought over a huge tub of bubble gum and candy for the kids. If you're a mom, you know that anyone who does something sweet for your kids gets high marks.

I had two dear friends fly in from out-of-state. They were both at my disposal. They listened, cried with me, drove me around, watched the kids, helped me pick out a dress, etc., etc. Their presence meant the world to me. Another drove several hours to be with me right after Mav's death.

We received so many cards. The sentiments were so thoughtful. I loved getting letters that told me how Mav impacted their life. We received cards from people we've never met. One sweet person wrote a nice note and included stickers for the kids. An aunt sent us stamps. Some sent money, restaurant gift cards, and we even received a grocery store gift card. Everything was appreciated. Honestly, through all of this we never knew how we would financially make it. We didn't. It was God, working through all these amazing people that helped us make it through.

My girl friends arranged lunch for us the day of the funeral. Our church sent food for the evening.

A friend from church made the funeral handouts for me. I couldn't stand to see those depressing ones they usually have.

My gifted photographer friend and her husband came to my house and backed up all my photos - I was so afraid our computer would crash and we would lose them. They also did the slide show and took pics at the funeral and graveside service. I still need to post the one of the helicopters in formation over the graveside service. It is truly amazing.

The staff at the hospital made hand and foot prints in clay. Those are so precious to me.

Friends from work did so much for us. They donated PTO to me. That helped cover our insurance costs while I wasn't working. They bought Christmas gifts for the kiddos. I know these are before he died, but they were so appreciated. I'll probably make another list of How to Help Those with Children in the Hospital. They came to see us immediately after Mav's death and helped us pack up all of his belongings.

The funeral home director was a good friend. He brought their family's moses basket to the funeral home for us to use. I couldn't bear the thought of seeing him in that little casket.

I had another friend who showed up on my doorstep the Sunday after the funeral. Everyone had left. I was lonely. Her timing was perfect. If she would have called I may have discouraged her from coming. I'm glad she came unannounced. For me, having company and people to be around has been very helpful.

Greg has a friend that lives an hour away - he had bar-b-que delivered to our house.

A few weeks after Mav died, we had a friend bring sundae stuff and ice cream over. The kids loved it.

An aunt gave us a framed picture of Mav's hand that she had taken. I love it.

I loved the potted hydrangea we received from one of Mav's nurses. The card was so touching. It said that the blue flowers reminded her of Mav's big blue eyes.

The friends and acquaintances that shared their stories of loss and listened to us - and continue to - are priceless.

Going out to the cemetery and seeing fresh flowers left on his grave was so touching.

One friend brought over several canvases. She knows I love to paint.

One sneaky friend paid for a couple of my hair appointments.

One family sent money for the purchase of Gideon Bibles in Mav's memory.

Some brought over books on loss - for us and the kids.

We had one friend who knew she couldn't go to the funeral because she has lost babies herself. She volunteered to substitute in Carter's class so his teacher could go.

I think any personalized gift would be appreciated by someone who has lost a child - like a necklace or Christmas ornament with the child's photo. Gifts of some one's time or money to a cause that would benefit other children in similar circumstances are wonderful.

I recently received an email that a home school coop had a moment of remembrance for Mav. That was very touching.

Our church organized a blood drive in Mav's memory. Seventy-two amazing people showed up to donate and sixty-two of those were eligible to donate that day. Isn't that amazing? The people who worked the drive said they usually only have about 20 or so show up at a church sponsored blood drive.

I know I'm missing so many. I'll add to this as I think of more. I may try to put a link to this on the side or at the top at some point. It's getting late now and I need to get some sleep. Love you all, jc

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! You have such an amazing community beside you! Thank you for taking the time to answer, this will help me and so many others.