Learning to live with the loss of a child The goal of The Center for Infant & Child Loss is to assist families as they learn to live with the sudden and unexpected loss of their child.
All sudden, unexpected infant or child deaths in the State of Maryland are attended by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Resources are often not immediately available or recognizable to families who experience this type of traumatic loss. The primary focus of Center services is to parents. Additionally, services may also be provided to grandparents, siblings, daycare providers, teenagers, co-workers, schools, and other significant persons as indicated.
Parent to Parent Healing Connections
- Peer support system Center parents are available to talk with newly bereaved families
- Insights newsletter is sent to all families and other interested community members
- Memorial Services to commemorate the lives of the children
- Fundraising and “fun-raising” events encourage participation and contact with other bereaved families
When Cody and Paul lost their beautiful son Casey on July 5, 2013, they were looking for direction and compassion from someone who knew exactly what they were going through. The Center for Infant and Child Loss connected them with Stephanie and Terry who lost their lovely daughter, Kaitlyn, on May 6, 2009. The level of commitment from one family to another was extraordinary. They have found a way to bond through their grief and are always looking for ways to give back and help others. In their own tragedies, they have found a way to celebrate the lives of Kaitlyn and Casey by hosting fundraisers that provide them healing, while benefiting CICL. Out of their fundraising effort, comes Kaitlyn and Casey’s Friendship Bracelets. These beautiful pink and blue bracelets will be included in the grief packets that are sent to families across the State that have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of their infant or child. The bond of friendship is powerful and it is what links people together to create triumph out of tragedy.
Breelyn Elizabeth Burke – February 19, 2016 – June 17, 2016
Breelyn’s Blanket Brigade was started by Summer Porter after her daughter died. The blanket Breelyn was wrapped in symbolized love and care, and it was made by strangers. Seeing that blanket let us know that other didn’t see her as just a number or a chart, she was a baby and she mattered.
The handmade blankets are delivered to emergency departments and labor and delivery units across the state for babies and small children that have died to be wrapped in and presented to their parents. To date hundreds of blankets have been delivered to many hospitals across the State of Maryland. Breelyn’s parents wanted other parents to receive their children in love and care the way they received Breelyn after she died. Thank you, Summer, for the beautiful tribute in loving memory of your daughter.
Make a blanket or make a square – let’s show others that we care. Join Breelyn’s Blanket Brigade today! Send your blankets to the Center for Infant & Child Loss or visit www.breelynsblanketbrigade.com for more information.
CICL is currently offering a state-wide initiative which targets bereaved families struggling with the immediate impact of their loss. The Empty Arms Project provides a packet to newly bereaved parents upon leaving the emergency room. The packet contains a cuddly bear with the CICL’s number, and a card giving suggestions for coping in the next few hours and days following their child’s death. These bears have been provided to hospital emergency rooms across Maryland.
By adopting a bear for $20, you will be providing comfort to a grieving family. In return, you will receive CICL’s sincere thanks and a receipt for your donation.
Christine McComas, a champion for teens and the mother of Grace, has been working with CICL to spread the word on Maryland’s Anti-Bullying Law. After losing her daughter Grace McComas in April 2012 because of relentless bullying, Chris has made it her mission to honor her daughter’s memory by having people rethink senseless acts. She and her husband fought tirelessly to make bullying a crime in the State of Maryland, punishable by imprisonment of up to a year and a fine of up to $500.00 or both.
Together, with this family, CICL has developed an amazing ruler to fit in your average school 3 ring binder. This ruler highlights Grace’s Law and gives students sound advice on what to do if they are being bullied or know someone else who is. Our mission is to place this ruler into the hands of every student in the State of Maryland