Griev­ing mom head­ing to Ot­tawa

The Daily Courier - - CANADA -

HAL­I­FAX — A Nova Sco­tia woman who re­cently lost two chil­dren will be head­ing to Ot­tawa this month to urge the fed­eral govern­ment to give more sup­port to par­ents deal­ing with the loss of a child or preg­nancy.

Paula Har­mon of Dart­mouth, N.S., said there’s lit­tle ac­cess to spe­cific groups to cope with los­ing a preg­nancy or baby, and those par­ents may feel may feel out of place in stan­dard sup­port groups.

“There are be­reave­ment groups, but a par­ent who has lost a child at 17 weeks, or 20 weeks, or even a year feels very out of step with a par­ent who has had a child for 30 years,” she said in a phone in­ter­view Satur­day. “So they’re sit­ting there with peo­ple who have ac­tu­ally had a life­time of mem­o­ries and they can’t re­late.”

Har­mon’s preg­nancy with fra­ter­nal twins in 2013 came as an “un­ex­pected sur­prise,” but at 17 weeks ges­ta­tion, one of them died and the other was given a five per cent chance of sur­vival.

Grace was born pre­ma­turely, and after some hur­dles in her first few months, she had few health prob­lems be­fore her un­ex­pected death from a bowel con­di­tion in De­cem­ber 2016.

Har­mon re­mem­bered her daugh­ter as a bright girl with a pen­chant for books and mu­sic, dur­ing her short life.

Last year, she founded Gar­dens of Grace, an ad­vo­cacy and sup­port group to help griev­ing par­ents un­der­stand they’re not alone and push for pol­icy changes to make their griev­ing process a lit­tle eas­ier.

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