We are honoured to announce today that we are bringing Butterfly Boxes to Ottawa/Gatineau!
Thanks to a generous grant from JustChange Ottawa and a fantastic partnership with the organizers of Aaron’s Butterfly Run, we will be bringing Butterfly Boxes to Ottawa/Gatineau for bereaved families.
What is PAIL?
It’s estimated that one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
Pregnancy and infant loss (AKA PAIL) sucks. Unfortunately by the time you reach your thirties you can likely count on your polydactyl cat’s toes the number of losses suffered by your friends, family and maybe even yourself. Every one of these losses is deeply painful, but also often traumatic and life-altering.
To make matters worse...
Unfortunately there are countless other losses that you will never know about, because pregnancy and infant loss remains a deeply stigmatised and lonely experience. When I publicly shared news of my miscarriage earlier this year I received ‘me too’ messages from nearly every adult woman in my network. I was stunned. I had no idea that these amazing women in my life had experienced such profound grief. To be honest, it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone and I am so grateful for their courage to share.
When you’re experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or a child it is disorienting to say the least. The physical and emotional toll are oftentimes accompanied by feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from reality. One visit to a social worker or physician may not be enough to remember what resources and information could help you and your family after you head home with your heavy heart and empty womb.
What are we doing about it?
Thanks to the JustChange Ottawa grant the Butterfly Boxes of Ottawa/Gatineau will:
- Be the first-of-their-kind in our region
- Grow awareness and bust stigma surrounding pregnancy and infant loss in our community through a card-writing and storytelling project.
- Contain thoughtful items and local non faith-based resources to support grieving families, free of cost.
We want to create a lasting impact with Butterfly Box Ottawa/Gatineau in two ways:
- Ensure bereaved families in our community that they are acknowledged and supported
- Grow awareness and address stigma around PAIL through public engagement in card-writing and storytelling projects
It takes a community: We need your help
We would love the help of community to spread the word about these boxes so that families who are experiencing a loss will be able to access them. Thanks for telling others!
We are also looking for help from some key stakeholders to see this project through:
- Are you a member of the birthing community who could help distribute the Butterfly Boxes to families experiencing loss?
- Have you experienced a loss and could recommend a non faith-based book for our reading list?
- Do you have a community space where we could grow awareness and bust stigma around PAIL with our storytelling postcard display next fall?
Email Mom Friends and let us know how you can help!
In addition to our day-to-day operations at Mom Friends we are working hard to launch the Butterfly Box Ottawa/Gatineau sometime this fall. We’ll keep you posted on a formal launch date, and provide more details about the Boxes as they come together.
With love, Mom Friends