Rape-Related Pregnancy and Pregnancy Loss

Loving Gifts from Friends

I know I’m very lucky to be loved by such great people.  Not everyone has that, at different times in their life, or ever.  I hope that, whatever your own situation, you’ll find something here that helps you find a way to mourn that “fits”.  May you find a step towards peace and comfort for yourself or for someone you love.

The first Mother’s Day after I told my mum about some of my pregnancies she gave me a white chrysanthemum, and she’s given me one every year since.  Thanks very much, Mum.  It means a lot to me to have that quiet recognition that my experiences and my children matter and do "count".

The chrysanthemums my mum gave me.

 

This year's chrysanthemums from my mum (what a gorgeous colour!).  A mix of red from mum's garden (I gave them to her some years back) and white from mine.

 

I grew brave enough to tell some close friends about my pregnancies and losses through email.  It was part of breaking the shame and secrecy I’d felt and making these children truly part of my life.  It was also part of making a special memorial gift that I’ll talk about later.  One of my friends went straight to her church with her own beautiful little boys and lit a candle for each of the little ones I’d lost.  I can’t find words for what that meant to me!  Another big thank you!

                     
 The candles lit for us

Another friend gathered words of encouragement from all her friends and sent them to me, along with their donations for the same gift.  Her mother also sent me a special necklace she’d purchased in Ghana, Africa.  Each patterned bead represents a slave freed by her in memory of my little ones.  What a precious gift to know people are now free because of my little ones.  I was so touched by that present.

 

The necklace I was given.

I'm not sure where the necklace came from but here are some organisations that support anti-slavery and international child protection programs:
Unicef's Anti-Slavery Work
World Vision Against Child Trafficking
Free the Slaves Organisation
One is Greater than None - a small group of young women in the US who sell necklaces and other items to give proceeds to the International Organisation for Migration (Against Child Trafficking)

Some sites supporting torture survivors that you might consider donating to on behalf of someone you care about, or in memory of your own lost little one:
Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma
REDRESS - UK Organisation Seeking Reparation for Torture Survivors

Survivors of Torture International
Centre for Justice and Accountability (Supporting Survivors of Torture)

For more gifts that may help you or someone else check the links page here, or try these links:
Miscarriage Gifts - a very helpful page from the US
Sympathy Gifts Australia

The Comfort Company - Gifts of Sympathy After Miscarriage - another US site
Lasting Tribute Online Store - Memorial Gifts - a UK store

There are many sites that offer sympathy gifts for people grieving miscarriages, still births and infant losses.  If you search the internet for "memorial gifts" or "sympathy gifts" you'll find a lot of these sites.

Sometimes people have a small grieving ceremony and release a balloon to symbolise the life that was lost.  Or they may want to plant a tree (see next page for more information).  By being part of these ceremonies you may help someone you care about.  You may want to gently suggest something like this, but don't push it - it's not for everyone.

Sample of sites discussing ceremonies:
Miscarriage Support Organisation NZ - Saying Goodbye
Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support South Australia
- International Pregnancy Loss and Awareness Day (9th September) candle lighting ceremonies in different places.  A Loving and Remembering Non-Denominational Memorial Service is held in Melbourne each year.  There are other services held in different places.  If you're interested it could be worth checking with your local cemetery or memorial gardens.

For a memorial symbol or memorial ceremony for you or someone else you might be interested in these pages:
The Art of Mourning: Symbolism - Animals, Inscriptions, Objects, Gemstones, Plants,
Typical Mourning Art Symbols

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