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Birth, Death, and Doula Love - Continued


Updated: December 10, 2006

Meghan's Hope - Raising Awareness to Prevent Furniture Tipovers

The article on Birth, Death, and Doula Love by Certified Birth Doula, Kimberly Packard-Beck continues in which she describes how she coped with being a bereaved parent and concludes by looking at how she coped with the sudden death of her daughter by founding Meghan's Hope.

Meghan's Hope is the organization founded in loving memory of Meghan Agnes Beck, who at the age of 3 was tragically killed when her dresser fell on her in the early morning hours while the family slept, unaware of her fate. Their mission is to raise awareness about the importance of preventing furniture tipovers and resultant injury and death to children.

Coping Two Months Later with Doulas Support
Friends, family, neighbors, and doulas did surround us and support us, and of course it was Christmas time, so there were many people around, but now, 2 months later, it is just a few select friends and family and the doulas who seem to remember our sweet Meggie is gone and we are still deeply grieving. They still call, email, visit, and bring food. They remember the anniversary days and acknowledge them. They ask how I am doing and they really want to know and don't mind hearing me tell them. They don't mind if I cry, if I yell, if I tell the same story they've already heard over and over. They never judge, they simply listen. They offer their support 24/7 and really mean it when they say you can call in the middle of the night. Doulas, you are such special people!

Last year, about this time, I wrote an article and a resource list for doulas on Loss and Grieving because our local doula group felt the need to learn more to be able to support our clients should they experience a loss. How ironic that now I am writing about my own devastating loss.

Grieving Parents Need Love
It is important to realize that everyone grieves differently and there is no timetable. But what every grieving parent needs is unconditional and non-judgmental support and love. Simply being available, checking in, and offering to be there to listen, to love, to do whatever needs to be done, not only in the days and weeks following the loss, but long after and especially on anniversary days.

Meghan's Hope
Meghan died because her dresser fell on her sometime between 6 and 8 am. We didn't hear it fall, she could not or did not cry. She died in minutes and by the time my husband found her she was already in Heaven. Sadly, her death was preventable. If we had secured her dresser to the wall, it wouldn't have fallen on her and she'd be with us today.

We've since learned that 8-10,000 children are injured each year by furniture tip-overs and an average of 6 die. We've begun an awareness campaign called Meghan's Hope aimed at increasing the public's awareness of the dangers of furniture tip-overs and what can be done to prevent it. We've published a Web site www.meghanshope.org and our mission is not only to increase awareness, but to hopefully be successful in passing legislation requiring warning labels on furniture and that furniture be sold with appropriate devices for securing the piece to the wall.

Please share this information with your family, friends, co-workers and loved ones so that no other family need know our pain. Thank you.

© 2005 Kimberly Packard-Beck PT, CD (DONA), ICCE. Reprinted with Permission.
Certified second degree Reiki Practitioner
President, Meghan's Hope
Save a child's life, visit www.meghanshope.org today

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