“One here and one in heaven,” is how Joy Freeman, one of our assistant chaplains, often responds to the question, “How many children do you have?” For the past five years, she carefully protected the story of her youngest daughter’s death in July 2010 when Joy was 14 weeks pregnant. “We named our child Hope for the hopes and dreams we had for our little one,” Joy says. “Hope existed and has meaning for our family.”
Now, in a book titled “Still a Mother… Journeys Through Perinatal Bereavement,” Joy openly shares her experience with infant loss. “I decided I could no longer keep silent,” Joy says. “I knew there were other people who could benefit from my experience.”
Joy co-authored the book with Rev. Tabatha Johnson, a former NKCH assistant chaplain who suffered two miscarriages. The book also includes similar stories from five other clergy women. Each woman shares her most intimate thoughts about experiencing the various stages of perinatal loss. “We wrote our own stories in a very vulnerable, open and honest way and shared how our faith helped us cope,” Joy says. “It helped me heal in a much deeper and whole way.”
The book isn’t just for women impacted by child loss. It benefits fathers and offers a resource section for clergy. While writing the book helped Joy discover her passion for writing, she feels the most connected by her work with the hospital’s Mother/Baby Unit and bereavement team where she helps families. Joy is now in a place of healing thanks to the support of her family, coworkers and her writing.
Look for the book in February 2016.
Join us for our October Walk to Remember
October is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month, and each year our Maternity Care Infant Loss and Bereavement team hosts a short walk on our campus to celebrate and remember infants lost to miscarriage, fetal death and infant death.
At the end of the walk, you are invited to place flowers in the Garden of Life honoring your baby and attend a reception with other families who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss.
Location: Meet in the hospital’s circle drive courtyard (Main Entrance)
Date & Time: Oct. 11, 2015; 2 p.m.
RSVP: By Sept. 28 to 816.691.1798