Empty Arms' Miscarriage & Early Loss Support Group
WHEN: The second Wednesday of each month, from 7-9 PM. Please double check the calendar to make sure something hasn’t come up.
WHERE: Florence Arts and Business Building, 140 Pine Street, Room 2B (basement level), in Florence, MA. (There is plenty of free parking behind the building.)
WHAT: This group is free & open to all families who have experienced loss of a baby by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or termination for medical reasons early in pregnancy.
ABOUT THE FACILITATORS:
Jolene Phillips experienced a miscarriage before the birth of her two living children and found the experience profoundly life changing and far more devastating than she ever could have imagined. As a mental health practitioner she brings a wonderful perspective as a group facilitator, helping others to find space to speak about an experience that needs attention, love and care.
Charlotte Campogna Amias found herself at Empty Arms during a year that brought two miscarriages in the midst of a struggle with infertility. The companionship she found at Empty Arms brought relief and light to a dark and lonely journey, and she is honored to hold space with others now as a facilitator of the Miscarriage Support Group.
Brandi Gillen Hing suffered 2 second trimester miscarriages, one in 2009 and one in 2010, and felt very lost and alone. She found herself gravitating to people who had similar experiences, and looking into a future career for mental health support. She learned that sharing her experience with others helped lift some of the heaviness.
Brandi says, “I met Carol in 2016 shortly after the birth of my second living child, and was instantly elated to find out that Empty Arms existed! There was a place, other than chance meetings with other bereaved parents (some of whom became my closest friends), where the truths I lived with every day as a bereaved parent could be talked about. I immediately wanted to be involved, and so set out on a path of becoming a facilitator for Empty Arms. So here I am a year later hoping to make safe the discussions that are hard, and hoping to be a supportive listener to anyone in need.”
Below, you will read the principles for the Empty Arms Miscarriage Support Group meetings. Our principles are the best way to communicate the shared values that are upheld at group meetings, as well as to give you a sense of what to expect from participants during the course of a given evening. Strict confidentiality is expected from all group members, and participation in the discussion is optional.
Miscarriage Support Group Principles
At Empty Arms, we know that miscarriage is an isolating and devastating experience. We here support those who’ve suffered this loss by naming the incredible challenges we’re experiencing, knowing that this group is one of the few places where we can speak the truth about the depth of our emotions and the details of our experience. For some of us here tonight, this may be the only place in our lives where we can talk honestly: one place no one will tell us we’re feeling too much, not enough, we should be over it, etc. Whatever you’re feeling is true for you, and we will hear and validate you for that feeling, no matter how deep or difficult it is.
Healing comes through speaking the truth about our journey in order to understand what we’ve been through and what may lie ahead. By sharing our experiences of miscarriage, they become a part of who we are--and that allows us to move forward.
We encourage you to identify with each other’s feelings, rather than compare details. Each person’s journey has been uniquely challenging, but we have all lost a baby—or babies—we imagined would be with us through our lifetime. We all have the right to grieve, and the ability to support one another as we do so.
Grief takes many forms. Deep sadness, anger, rage, confusion, longing, and even a sense of peace all can be normal parts of grieving. You may wish to share a little or a lot. However you’re feeling, whatever’s real for you tonight, whatever the specifics of your story, you are welcome here. Each of us has the strength, the wisdom and the courage to heal from our loss.