Haven Midwest: Finding Support Through the Loss of a Child

child loss

I am a bereaved parent and I’m far from the only one; but in the beginning, you sort of feel that way.

Child loss can be extremely isolating and lonely. I am coming up on two years since losing my daughter unexpectedly at birth, but my first baby died over five years ago in early pregnancy (and another last December, also in early pregnancy).

Luckily, along with extremely supportive family, friends, and co-workers, I was introduced to a local non-profit who has provided a much-needed community for parents like myself.

Hopeful Heart

Haven Midwest has only been around a short time, but has already made a huge impact in our community. The founder, Jen Burgard, is a bereaved mother herself, and after her own personal experience with the loss of a child, she knew our community needed something more for parents like her. Her mission is that “no parent must walk this journey alone.” And she has been working hard to make this a reality.

As a non-profit dedicated to providing hope, healing and support to parents who have suffered the tremendous loss of a child,  they are working every day to raise funds and awareness across our community on the impacts of child loss.

Along with providing Healing Gifts to newly bereaved mothers (many times when they are still in the hospital), they offer a variety of services, events and resources for bereaved parents in our F-M community and beyond.

If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a child, simply visit the Haven website to request a Hope Gift or to find more information.

You Aren’t Alone

Here are other local and national resources that are here to support families after the loss of a child:

If you have experienced the loss of a child, my heart goes out to you. It doesn’t matter if it just happened, or it has been years, we carry that grief with us as parents for a lifetime. You are not alone, and your child(ren) will never be forgotten.

My daughter’s name is Marly Marie Hillman, and she is so loved and missed every day. If you would like to share your child’s name, and/or other organizations and resources you have found helpful in your grief journey, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

A poem by Netta Wilson, found on A Bed for my Heart:

I lost my child today.

People came to weep and cry, as I just sat and stared, dry eyed. They struggled to find words to say, to try and make the pain go away, I walked the floor in disbelief, I lost my child today.

I lost my child last month.

Most of the people went away, some still call and some still stay. I wait to wake up from this dream. This can’t be real. I want to scream. Yet everything is locked inside, God, help me, I want to die. I lost my child last month.

I lost my child last year.

Now people who had come, have gone. I sit and struggle all day long. To bear the pain so deep inside. And now my friends just question, Why? Why does this mother not move on? Just sits and sings the same old song. Good heavens, it has been so long. I lost my child last year.
Time has not moved on for me.
The numbness it has disappeared.
My eyes have now cried many tears.
I see the look upon your face,
“She must move on and leave this place.”
Yet I am trapped right here in time.
The song’s the same, as is the rhyme.

I lost my child… Today.

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Nikki Hillman
Nikki is a mom to five (two living, three angels), wife, educator, library media specialist, high-school coach, writer, church go-er, and beer drinker. Born and raised in western North Dakota (where the buffaloes literally roam), she now lives just outside of Horace, ND. Nikki will always be a small-town girl at heart, but loves experiencing Fargo area events; including sporting events, bars, breweries + wineries, restaurants, and shops.


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