Trigger warning: This blog includes topics such as mental health and suicide loss.
If you google suicide statistics the first thing that comes up from SAVE, states “Almost 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year (one death nearly every 40 seconds)”. And “depression is the leading cause of disability each year”. If you or anyone you know has gone through a loss of this magnitude you know how earth shattering it can be. In 2014 when my younger brother took his own life I lost my deepest confidant. We were (and especially him) the only two that faced the wrath of my mother’s abuse which became even more clear when my mother took her own life in February of 2020.
Suicide can make or break a family and it’s done both to mine. It’s such a deep quake in the foundation of each of its members that creates cracks that can never be repaired. As an empath, both of these losses changed me and my outlook on life tremendously. I’ve learned so much about myself and the people around me. In 2018 when I came across “Suck It Suicide” at a convention I was vending at, I knew this could be how myself and my small business could give back to those that have suffered similar losses.
Suck it Suicide is dedicated to making sure “People from diverse backgrounds have access to the resources and tools they need to live peacefully and support their family and peers around issues of mental health”. They also “educate, train, and equip individuals with helpful and relevant resources, to encourage awareness, understanding, and conversation about suicide”. Not only having a community of individuals that can relate to your situation, but offering support to families in need makes this cause a must to donate to for A-Cute Design. You can read more about their efforts and organization in their about section below.
This story does feel like it’s come full circle in a way. After my brother passed I couldn’t do my job anymore, despite earning a Master’s Degree completely on my own to work at a job like the one I was at. I just knew it wasn’t for me and I needed to express my creativity and work on my own terms. This led me to starting my own business in 2015. Now doing my crochet, design and laser business full time, I truly look forward to giving back to this community as one of the causes I support.
As I progressed through my shows each year with my business I kept designing new hats to offer variety to my customers. I just added these two tone beanies (our sheila beanie pattern) in 2019 and after I saw how the colors of the black and grey ones matched the patch I wear from Suck It Suicide I knew incorporating these hats was how I could give back to the non profit. A-Cute Design will be donating 15% of all of our two tone sheila beanie sales to the cause quarterly. You can select any of the color combinations and custom color options for this style are welcome too.
Releasing this charity on my brother’s death date 6 years later, I hope I did him proud. I am looking at this as a way to honor those I have lost and give hope to others and my future family. If you feel so inclined I hope you take a look at this organization, especially if you are local or have been affected by suicide and and mental illness, we have linked them again below. I hope to go outside my comfort zone and volunteer once the world is right again.
Wishing you and your family safety and love during this difficult times. Thank you for reading.
This blog post includes affiliate links of which if you purchase I will receive a small commission, but are at no cost to you.
Warning: This content may be triggering if you are currently suffering a pregnancy or infant loss. It took me longer than usual to write.
In the first part of our “Giving Back” series, I will be sharing with you our newest cause: SHARE. This will be a three part series spanning over several months where we touch upon the causes we like to give back to and have designated a section of our website to as well. Without further ado I’d like to tell you what SHARE is, my story and how you can help. Thank you for being here.
About The Cause
“Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support is a community for anyone who experiences the tragic death of a baby. We serve parents, grandparents, siblings, and others in the family unit, as well as the professionals who care for grieving families. Share is a national organization with over 75 chapters in 29 states. Our services include bed-side companions, phone support, face-to-face support group meetings, resource packets, private online communities, memorial events, training for caregivers, and so much more. Should you need them, we hope you can also benefit from at least one of these many resources”
I attend the Metro Detroit chapter of “SHARE”, and even though there is a pandemic happening at the moment, it’s been a great comfort knowing there is a community of families that have experienced the same type of loss. Our chapter meets once a month to discuss anything we would like related to our losses and its therapeutic qualities are endless. The purpose of this blog post and A-Cute Design’s involvement is to let you know you are not alone if you have suffered a similar loss and to offer a platform to help comfort those that many need it.
This is a topic not often talked about in our society. Pregnancy loss and infertility are both issues that are kept behind closed doors and this blog post and adding the cause to our website can hopefully help to change that. I’m so grateful causes like it exist because these experiences can be so alienating. Now I’d like to tell you about my story
On February 6th 2020, at 15 weeks pregnant, I gave birth to our baby boy Charlie after my membranes ruptured early the day before. There were no risk factors that I knew of previously making this a complete surprise when it happened. The devastation has slowly sunk into mine and my husbands lives and kind of melded with the loss of our chemical pregnancy from the previous summer. Our first baby will never be forgotten and it has reminded us more than ever how much we would like to raise a family together.
Almost immediately after my loss I was determined to not let this grief run my life. I saw the opportunity in how I could improve my outlook on life and started researching miscarriage straight away. Part of taking control of my life where Thursday rituals to honor Charlie. I journal and write to him and then after going to a meeting I had the opportunity to make blankets, which I will now open up to you at the end of this and our next blog post.
One of the blankets I've Made to donate to SHARE
One thing I learned through this experience is the lack of research and preventative measures taken for miscarriages. So many people accept that this is part of life when medical intervention can be performed by simply asking your Doctor. My most valuable recourse so far has been the book “After Miscarriage, Medical Facts and Emotional Support for Pregnancy Loss“ that I happened to pick up from my local bookstore. Like the description says it is a layout of medical knowledge and also support to help you through your loss. I learned from this book I can ask for testing after two pregnancy losses (rather than 3 like most Doctor’s say) and you look for a Doctor until you find one that agrees. Luckily my Dr. did agree and I have all the testing planned for when they are available after the pandemic. With this knowledge I not only felt confident asking my Dr. for proper care (which was agreed upon but not offered until I asked) but I now have the information in my possession so I can study and review it. The book also offers real life stories from other parents as well which I found comforting. I've included an Amazon link below if you would like to take a look.
If you have a story you would like to share please feel free to message me or comment below, as they should not be forgotten. I was overwhelmed by stories and support when I shared my loss publicly and my hope is for everyone to feel as supported.
How To Give Back
Circling back to my share group. The first (and only) meeting I went to, the group members were discussing the keepsake boxes that are given to parents who leave the hospital. This is a huge gesture when you come into the building with a baby and leave with nothing, but this box was something. In these keepsake boxes are tons of resources and mementos of your baby. Among these was a hand knit blanket and knowing how much time these take and all of the thought and care went into this box truly helped my initial grieving process of leaving my baby behind.
If you choose to make a blanket from our next blog post this is where your blankets will go. You can contact me directly to donate to the Metro Detroit Chapter or look on the Share website to find a local chapter near you. Don’t knit or crochet? You can make monetary donations, run a fundraiser or even donate yarn to help others make these blankets.
A portion of every paid pattern sale for the Share blanket (released in May) will go to yarn for making blankets for families in need and shared with our local chapter. You can also send blankets to me if you wish, just drop me a note in the section on the website linked below and there is also the option.
We will be adding several other causes to this section of our website that have affected my life and can hopefully make a difference in the world. I thank you for reading my story and bringing to light pregnancy and infant loss as there is just not enough light shed on this topic in popular culture at this time. Hope you and your family are safe and healthy during this time of the pandemic.
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