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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eight Months of Empty Cradles

Akul would be 8 months old today.

After we lost our son, we got a memory box to take home with us from the hospital. This was created by a support group called "Empty Cradles." We lost Akul on Feb 16 and the first wednesday in March we went for our first "Empty Cradles" meeting. I still remember that was one meeting for which no one had showed up when we reached there. The coordinator was there and she had a candle buring in one corner, a coffee pot with freshly brewed coffee, a few stuffed brown baby bears sitting on one table and some literature about this organisation. She also provided the group with a box of tissues. Sunil and I went there but we were unable to tell our story. The group leader or coordinator talked to us about her own loss and then a few more people walked in and started sharing the stories of their losses. I just sat there and cried. I was so numb and my husband was so angry. By the end of the evening we were able to tell the few people who were there our story. It was a disjointed jumbled version of what happened and I knew that many did not even understand what we were saying. But they all sat patiently listening and shedding tears. This was our only outing during the first few months of our loss. The one place we could go and vent. So we did. We went month after month till everyone heard Akul's story and they all started talking about "Akul" and not "your baby."

This month our meeting was very special. October meetings are memorial meetings. The Empty cradles website reads,
"This is one of the most important and moving meetings of the year…a time to remember, reflect and connect with your beloved baby(ies). We’d like to invite you to share with others at the meeting the various ways that you have memorialized your baby(ies). Perhaps you have a memory album, pictures, a poem, a quilt, a box, special mementos or some other cherished items that helps you to remember and keep your baby’s spirit alive. Please bring any memorial items that you would like to share to the October meeting and join us for our candle lighting memorial."

We went and sat in a circle. We had the option of reading poems from a book they provided us, or reading something we wrote ourselves for our babies. I read something I had written for Akul. It was really hard to read it but I was honoring my son. I had to do it. I also took Akul's baby boy album and a little diary I write which is entitled "Letters to My Son." We were given cards and we had to write messages for our babies which were read as we lit candles for them. After lighting a candle we were asked to pick up a rose from the bunch of roses arranged in a vase and return to the table with our rose. I chose a white rose because I associate Akul with white roses. We had a little break from teh ceremonies and during this time we were able to share our babies pictures and items we had brought with us.

This month I also decided to start volunteering and went for the "Empty Cradles" volunteer meeting. I think about Akul every day, almost all the time. However my time at my support group meeting is always special and it is something for me to look forward to. We smile, talk and reach out for the box of tissues that occupies a very important place in our monthly meeting. If you can spare a minute, visit their website. The section on internet resources has helped me in the past.



  1. What a wonderful support sysytem this sound like. I think the way you honored Akul is just perfect. Wishing he was here in your arms. xx

  2. I am so happy you have such a wonderful support system and group on place to share about Akul. I wish we had something like that here, but we don't. I'm glad you are able to share Akul's memory and share just how special he was with so many people.

    I wish you had 8 months of memories to share about Akul today instead of this post about a support group.


  3. Thinking of you and remembering sweet baby Akul with much love.

  4. It is so lovely of you to volunteer to help. I know that you will be such a support to so many other grieving parents and that you will understand them. It is a wonderful way to honour Akul's memory.
    The memorial meeting sounds beautiful. But how I wish that your little rosebud was with you and that you weren't aware of this organisation at all. That you were too busy looking after a busy little eight month old. Sigh. xo

  5. I am always thinking about you and praying for you. I think that it is a wonderful idea for you to volunteer with your support group, helping others will help you. Take care and God Bless.

  6. Think about you often, so glad to hear your offering your services through volunteer work.I love the idea of the diary. :) hugs always

    - Steph

  7. It was a nice meeting wasn't it? Are you going to post the poems your wrote?

  8. How I wish we had something like that here. Shane and I tried the Compassionate Friends Society after Calvin died. Month after month we were the only ones there except for the man who holds the meetings. It became unbearable for me to go and just sit there and listen to him talk about his son and how losing him ruined his marriage. I quit going. I would love to have something wonderful where I felt like I could connect with other parents in real life and volunteering your time must be so healing. I didn't realize that you lost your Akul three months after we lost Calvin. It's been a difficult year, hasn't it? Sending you love and hugs...

  9. What a lovely group. I'm so glad you and Sunil have found that place to share your journey as you grieve the loss of your precious boy Akul. And thank you for posting the website link. Thinking of you and your baby boy. You will be such a comfort to other parents as a volunteer. (((Hugs)))

  10. That sounds like a beautiful ceremony and a great support system. Rembering Akul tonight with you. *Hugs*

  11. That sounds like the group I would like to be in. I am glad you have this place.