Grieving mom heading to Ottawa
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.