Boxes of hope

One of the things that kept bugging me after Sahar died, is that there was nothing I could do for my little girl. She was gone, and the only thing I could do, is honor her. Honor her by creating a space for her here at home, by creating a scrapbook for her, by making this website to help me heal and maybe even help other mothers realize they are not alone… But I wanted to do more.

Googling for “pregnancy loss”, I came across Carly Marie’s beautiful website. There I came across the idea of a memory box, and that was it. I wanted to do this for other mothers going through this, in honor of my little girl. The concept of a memory box is unknown here in Belgium. In the hospital they gave me a blanket for my little girl (handmade by a group of volunteers), they made hand and footprints of her and they also took a few pictures just in case I was not able to do so myself. A memory box would be a beautiful addition to these beautiful gestures. I was convinced, straight away, that this would become one of the recurring activities in my life after losing Sahar.

My goal with these boxes is to offer comfort, help and maybe even a few tips on how to handle this difficult loss, but also to try to restore hope in lives where all dreams have been shattered. That’s why I like to call them Boxes of hope. I cannot deny that I partly do this for myself, as it’s very healing and comforting for me to do this. I can actively do something in memory of my girl, and it’s helping people at the same time… I can’t think of a greater blessing.

I follow Carly’s “recipe” on how to create these boxes, but I also add any other items that seem suitable from my point of view. Every box is unique, and so is it’s content, but some items are recurring:

  • a teddy bear for the baby
  • a pack of kleenex, for the ones that stay behind
  • a small photo album or a photo frame, in which you can include a picture or any other image
  • a candle holder with a scented candle
  • a small diary or a scrapbook to collect the baby’s memories, and write down your feelings
  • a special ornament, this could be anything, but it’s something to keep in memory of the baby
  • a small little organza bag to keep a lock of the baby’s hair if possible
  • some flower seeds to plant in honor of the baby gone too soon

I donate these boxes to a local hospital in Antwerp, Belgium, called Sint-Augustinus Ziekenhuis. It was the hospital where I had and lost my baby girl, but that’s not the only reason. This hospital specialises in maternity. Their maternity department is the most experienced and equipped one available here. Therefore, lots and lots of babies are born here daily. Unfortunately, many parents lose their babies here too.

I created the very first box of hope on Sahar’s first month angelversary. I will try to keep creating as many as I can, as often as I can, but what I can do all by myself is obviously limited. Not only financially, but also practically. I try to commit to donate at least one per month, but with your help, it could be many more.

It’s important to know, that since I only cooperate with one hospital at the moment, I create boxes according to their needs. I have a contact person there that calls me whenever they’re running low on their “stock”. That gives me the time to step in, create a new set of boxes and deliver them to the hospital so they always have a stock, without overwhelming them (or myself) with loads of boxes waiting to be donated.

This project needs your help. You can help in so many different ways, that I created a separate page dedicated to this topic. If you’re ready to step in and help, please contact me. The more people that can help, the more boxes we can create, the more parents we can provide with a box of hope in such a difficult time in their lives.

If you’d like to donate to enable me to keep creating these boxes, you can use the PayPal donate button in the sidebar. Whatever amount you can afford will be much appreciated, because every cent matters. And you can rest assured that every single cent donated will result in a box of hope for a bereaved parent. That is my promise and pledge to you and my little girl.