Navigating infant or pregnancy loss is confusing, heartbreaking, and can feel very lonely. So many things become difficult, including simple questions like “How many kids do you have?”
Since October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I wanted to invite a guest that would be able to help the many families out there who may be walking through life after the loss of a child.
I’m thrilled to introduce you to Joy Harris. Joy is a serial entrepreneur and motivational speaker who tragically lost her son, Darien, to stillbirth nearly 20 years ago. Since then, she has written a book (and companion journal) titled Missed Baby Steps: an extremely helpful resource for families that are missing all those firsts with the child they dreamed of.
Joy shares some excellent advice on navigating the different phases of the grieving journey, connecting with other parents going through similar journeys, and even supporting your other children through the grief.
She reminds us to validate our feelings: whether you’ve lost an infant or had an early miscarriage, your feelings of loss and grief are real and important to process. Most importantly, Joy reminds us that it is possible to find meaning and joy after experiencing loss.
Key Takeaways with Joy Harris
- Navigating life after loss of an infant during or after pregnancy.
- Joy’s advice for anyone that would like to support parents dealing with loss.
- The impact that can be made by connecting with other parents who experienced a similar loss to yours.
- The challenge of watching your other children manage grief after loss of a sibling.
- How moms deal with difficult questions like “How many children do you have?”
- The importance of honoring the memories and life of a lost child.
- Understanding that it is a family affair (everyone experiences the loss in one way or another).
- How Joy turned a tragic journey into one with meaning and purpose.
Joy Harris Tweetables
- “Loss doesn’t just happen to the Mom, it’s a family affair. It’s important to understand the experience and the journey that a family can go through with the loss of a baby.” – Joy Harris
- “Life is going to happen to us. No one has a perfect life, everyone suffers losses of some sort or another: it’s what we do with that that makes the difference.” – Joy Harris
- “God put us on this earth to live our best lives. And so many times we forget that there should be no guilt in living a good life no matter what happens to us.” – Joy Harris
- “I was able to find joy in this journey because I turned something that felt yucky into something that was heartfelt and positive for the rest of the world.” – Joy Harris
- Missed Baby Steps: Life Without Firsts by Joy Harris
- Follow Joy Harris on Facebook and LinkedIn
- YourJoyfulSolutions.com – Joy Harris’ Coaching Programs
- Resources for Infant & Pregnancy Loss:
- Loss & Grief (March of Dimes)
- Pregancy and Infant Loss (CDC)
- Why We Need To Talk About Losing a Baby (World Health Organization)
- How Family and Friends Can Help (Star Legacy Foundation)
- Loss & Grief In Pregnancy & Postpartum (Postpartum Support International)
- For Baby Lost Mothers & Fathers (Glow In The Woods)
- Emotional Healing After a Miscarriage: A Guide for Women, Partners, Family, and Friends (Georgetown University)
- Find A Support Group (with The Compassionate Friends)
- Support Community: Miscarriage for Men
- Support Community: Sisters In Loss
- Postpartum Hotline: 1-800-944-4773
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