As told to Brandi Lytle
Trigger Warning: Infant Loss
In November 2017, I donated my wedding dress to Kennedy’s Angel Gowns. (You can read that story here.) During that process, I spoke with Heather, who is truly an example of finding joy after struggle… Here is Heather’s Story in her own words…
What difficulty were you struggling with?
The death of my daughter, Kennedy. She passed away in utero at 35 weeks. We were told that Kennedy died from Placenta Abruption, but that diagnosis didn’t make it hurt any less. The pain was still there, and a part of me had died with my baby.
Why had you lost your joy?
The grieving process was really hard for me. I had never felt so alone. I truly didn’t think I’d ever survive this tragedy and feeling of emptiness.
What good thing (no matter how big or small) helped you to start focusing on the positive?
I started the non-profit, Kennedy’s Angel Gowns, in her honor. Kennedy’s Angel Gowns is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides hand crafted burial gowns made from donated wedding gowns to bereaved families who have suffered the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death. It has helped my grief process to help others during the most devastating time in their lives.
What would you like to say to others who are going through the same struggle that you have overcome (or are in the process of overcoming)?
I would truly stress to them to be patient with their grief. I would also encourage them to always remember their child and keep their memory alive.
Heather follows her own advice, keeping her daughter’s memory alive through Kennedy’s Angel Gowns. In her words…
“By dedicating myself to sewing these angel gowns and helping others in their time of grief, I’m keeping Kennedy’s memory alive.”
This non-profit organization not only donates burial gowns, but they also provide education and raise awareness to the silence that often surrounds infertility, miscarriage, early neo-natal loss, stillbirth, and infant loss. Additionally, Kennedy’s Angel Gowns hosts an Angel Ball to honor the memory of all the Angel Babies gone too soon. When I spoke with Heather, she told me that Kennedy’s Angel Gowns would like to use some of the monies raised from this year’s Angel Ball to purchase a cuddle cot for a local hospital.
Heather extends this invitation to you…
“Please join us at this exclusive All White Affair, honoring individuals nominated by the families we support and our team of Board Members. Mingle with influential executives and community leaders at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (717 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451) on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Festivities include a cocktail reception, silent auction, program with live entertainment from two singers from the television show, The Voice, and dancing. You don’t want to miss this year’s Angel Ball!”
Click here for more information about how to donate your wedding gown or to purchase tickets to the Second Annual Angel Ball
Featured Photo: Xochi Romero on StockSnap.io