The loss of a baby is an overwhelming, sad and life changing experience. It is not unusual for a mother to be unable to process her loss during her stay in the hospital. Some mothers may initially be resistant or afraid to bond with her baby upon hearing the news that their little one has passed. Family members, friends and other support resources may also be impacted by the loss, not knowing what to do.
Unfortunately for many, this hospital stay represents one of the only opportunities to create memories with a baby that is loved. The ability to memorialize a baby during this stay is highly dependent on the hospital staff guiding families and explaining what should be done and how significant this short time is for the family. Many hospitals do provide standard bereavement resources, including limited Memory Boxes. It is the goal of the Still Remembered Project to ensure that such resources are available to all bereaved parents to memorialize their babies and that the hospital team has these resources ready when needed.
Although the Still Remembered Project is a newly formed nonprofit, several of the Board and project members have been creating Memory Boxes for many years. Our boxes are made by bereaved mothers and supportive volunteers and are donated to a variety of hospitals in Greater Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. The boxed items are funded from the nonprofit and created or decorated at either designated craft meetings or periodic craft events. The boxes are distributed to hospital staff contacts based on their needs.
Memory Boxes contain important items that bereaved parents considered to have personal significance, as well as items that were wished for at the time of losing a baby. Each item has meaning and importance and can help the family remember and honor their child. Our Memory Boxes include: a letter to the mother, a hand painted picture frame, a sea shell ornament/keepsake, a bracelet set (one for the baby and one for the mother), a hair cutting kit, a journal, small teddy bear and a snowflake ornament.
Small White or Ivory Organza Bags are typically used for our Mother and Baby bracelet sets.
Pale pink and pale blue ribbon in all sizes is one of our most versatile items. We use ribbon to make mini Pregnancy Loss Ribbons, tie ribbon around Memory Boxes and tie ribbon around all wrapped gifts.
Bereaved Families receive an Iridescent Sparkling Snowflake Ornament in their Memory Box in remembrance of their baby for Christmas. The ornaments received are typically 3 1/2″ in diameter.
White tissue paper is used to line Memory Boxes when crocheted blankets are not available. We also use tissue paper to wrap journals, picture frames and delicate items.
The Still Remembered Project places Teddy Bears in both the Memory Boxes as well as the Sibling Bags. Due to the size of our packaging material, we limited the bear size height to:
6″ – 8″ for Memory Box Bears
10″-12″ for Sibling Bag Bears.
We CANNOT accept used stuffed teddy bears, due to infection control and allergies in the hospitals.