about . . . Maribeth Doerr
woman who struggled with reproductive issues, Maribeth Doerr’s passion is helping women
achieve healthy pregnancies, babies and families. After working with bereaved
parents for several years, Maribeth started working on the internet in 1995 for
the Prodigy Classic service as the medical support board leader and author of
the Grief, Loss and Recovery web community. To balance her extensive grief
work, Maribeth started StorkNet.com in April 1996 to focus on the joys of pregnancy and was
hired to manage and author the Pregnancy & Pediatrics community on Prodigy
Internet until Prodigy closed their communities.
Preganncy Guide Online
StorkNet's Meaasge Boards
· George C. was responsible for getting his state legislature to change the drunk driving laws after a drunk driver killed his daughter.
· Linda J. says her son's life and death has given her the confidence and courage to go back to college to become a labor and delivery nurse. She never had the courage before.
· Debbie B. has made preemie gowns and hats for preemies in the NICU where her son died. Amy T. volunteers her time in the NICU to hold babies whose parents live too far away for frequent visits.
· Because of insensitive treatment at hospitals, funeral homes and/or cemeteries, many grieving people have used their experience to educate these caregivers on proper protocol for the bereaved. Unhappy with the treatment you received? Tell somebody so that the next person will receive better attention. What a special way to pay tribute to your loved one!
· Donna M. sends letters on to parole boards on behalf of parents whose children were murdered and the criminal is up for parole. Many murderers have remained behind bars rather than get an early release because of letters like Donna's.
· Julie Fritsch created beautiful sculptures of her feelings following the death of her baby son. She shared these with her support group as a way of saying thank you. Pictures of these sculptures have been made into a book called "The Anguish of Loss."
· Sherri D. went through the Twilight Brigade training so she could volunteer at her local Veterans Hospital after spending time there with her uncle as he died. Many veterans do not have someone to be with during their last days/hours. Many people volunteer for their local hospice organizations after benefiting from their services with loved ones.
There are many ways to reinvest in life. Some of these ideas may help you think of something meaningful for you to do. To find new meaning in life after tragedy, you must make a conscious effort to seek new positive activities in which to focus your energy. You didn't have a choice in losing your loved one, but you do have choices in how your loved one's life and death affects the rest of your life. It takes energy, but your choices can be positive, healthy ones.
Reinvesting in Life
"We know that the acute grief we feel after such a loss will come to an end, but we shall remain inconsolable, and never find a substitute. Everything that comes to take its place, even if it were to fill it completely, nevertheless remains something different. And this is as it should be. It is the only way of perpetuating the love which we do not wish to renounce." Sigmund Freud, written to a friend whose son had died.
"Reinvesting in life" - it sounds so difficult, perhaps cold and impossible. If you have recently (or perhaps not so recently) lost a loved one, finding the strength to move on or to create a "reinvestment" in your shattered life may require more energy than you can muster. Your goals and priorities have drastically changed, and the biggest challenge for you is just getting out of bed in the morning. For those of us who have already traversed that long road of grief, we know that you will find the strength to find new goals and new reasons to live. Discovering these new outlets is how you reinvest in life. With time, your pain will not be as raw, the bad days will become fewer, and you may begin to see joy in life. To help start moving towards the future in a positive way, here are some suggestions of how other parents have "reinvested in life." Some have channeled their energy into enormous projects while others do something simpler but just as meaningful. You need to do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
As many have discovered, writing is a powerful release of feelings. Many of the best books for the bereaved parents are written by the bereaved. For example, following the stillbirth of her son, Sherokee Ilse wrote and self-published several books as well as founding a national organization devoted to pregnancy loss support. Hope Edelman wrote Motherless Daughters after losing her mother when she was a teenager. Patti Digh wrote Life Is a Verb after losing her beloved step-father 37 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Susannah Conway wrote This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart after the man she loved died suddenly. T. J. Wray wrote Survivng the Death of a Sibling: Living Through Grief When An Adult Brother of Sister Dies after losing her brother.
Many have blogged about their loved ones and their grief journeys. Sharing blog posts can help so many who are going through a similar experience, and it can help yourself in so many ways as well.
On a smaller scale, keeping a journal or writing letters to your loved one can be very therapeutic. There’s no need to share these writings if you don’t want to. You also don’t have to be a Pulitzer prize winning author to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write. Seeing your jumbled thoughts in black and white, especially if you write stream of consciousness (just letting the words pour out without censoring), can help make sense of the chaos in your head.
Many bereaved people become involved in starting and/or facilitating support groups such as SHARE and The Compassionate Friends. Jean Kollantai started a group specializing in the loss of one or more babies in a multiple birth following the stillbirth of one of her twin sons - a much-needed resource. I used my grief energy to start Pen-Parents. Gina Burns helped to start the Group B Strep Association to distribute information and help promote research into the causes and cure of Group B Strep infection. Twinless Twins was started by Dr. Raymond Brandt after losing his identical twin brother.
Another way to reinvest is to start a scholarship fund or other charitable fund in memory of your loved one. Beth and Frank F. started a fund to assist parents with children requiring special medical care after nearly going bankrupt from medical expenses during the lifetime of their daughter. Kendall and Derron I. started a fund to purchase an emergency transport bed for ill newborns. Kay G. started a fund at a local summer camp to provide scholarships for needy children.
04 Second Chance.mp3
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