Coping with grief during the holidays

The holiday season is a time for gathering and celebrating, but it can also be a difficult time for those who have lost an infant. It doesn’t matter if it was recent or not; even if parents and families have resumed their daily lives, the grief of losing an infant never goes away, whether it’s […]

Hope for the days ahead

We thank Lauren McDaniel, a community member in our bereavement support group, for allowing us to repost her blog post. FEBRUARY 2, 2021 BY LAUREN MCDANIEL The day after Maddie died, I remember specifically asking “Will we ever be OK again?” In those first hours, and days, and even weeks, there were so many moments when I […]

Message to grieving parents – It gets better..somewhat

16 years ago my son died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  He was 3 mos. and 24 days old.  That day, I wasn’t sure how, or even if, I wanted to survive.  I hardly remember anything from the days leading up to his memorial service and even less of the service itself and the sea […]

The best way to move beyond grief? Do something.

As the CEO of First Candle I speak with hundreds of families who have lost a baby due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation and stillbirth.  Their grief is beyond description.  It is all-encompassing and they can’t imagine surviving.  I know – I was one of those parents 22 years ago when my […]

Matthew Ellerbrock, a SIDS dad and our NYC Marathon runner

On Sunday, November 3rd, our team of runners will test their endurance running in the New York City Marathon. Each one of them has their own reason for running and we’d like to introduce you to them because they are truly inspirational. It has been 10 years since William Thomas Ellerbrock, age nine-and-a-half weeks, was […]

Bereavement support for a SIDS loss is critical

The death of a baby is the most devastating events a parent will ever experience.  The death touches more than just the parents however.  Grandparents, other family members, friends and even community members are impacted.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age […]

When a baby dies, dads are often forgotten

At First Candle we offer bereavement support services to families who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), other sleep-related infant deaths, still birth and miscarriage.  We have a 24-hour grief line, bereavement materials, volunteer peer-support providers and, most importantly our online support groups.  While our online groups are large and active, […]

What Every Parent Whose Baby Has Died Wants You to Know

At First Candle one of the cornerstones of our work is providing bereavement support to families who have lost a baby to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths as well as stillbirth.  We have a 24-hour grief-line, peer support counselors, online support groups and bereavement books and articles.  We often have […]

Mother’s Day Jewelry for Bereaved Moms Who Are #alwaysamom

Once again, Natalie Kroft with Keep Collective has generously teamed up with First Candle and created some very special Mother’s Day jewelry.  Various pieces are available that can be inscribed with “Always A Mom.” “For many moms in our community whose baby has died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or other sleep-related infant death or […]

Parental Bereavement Leave Act – Please Show Your Support

The loss of a child is devastating and leaves parents incapable of functioning for many weeks.  They need time to grieve and to begin healing.  First Candle is proud to support the Parental Bereavement Leave Act, prompted by The Farley-Kluger Initiative—a movement which began in 2011 to amend FMLA to allow up to 12 weeks […]

Help for a Grieving Parent at the Holidays

For those of us who have lost a child the holidays are always a difficult time.  Sure, we put on a good act for our other kids and even our family because, to be honest, they couldn’t handle our grief year after year.  After several years, we appear “normal” (whatever that means) but the grief […]

Infant safe sleep – what I wish everyone knew

Last week I was at a meeting of my book club – my bookclub is like everyone else’s – we get together so that we talk about everything BUT that book we all didn’t read. Our club is made up of a group of women who are connected kind of peripherally, with some knowing each […]

Father’s Day – Avoiding the Gleeful Masses

Father’s Day is often a lonely day for me.  I feel isolated, like I don’t belong, but for me that’s been the case for the last 14 years.  Honestly, I do not know how to recognize the day, but I try my best. I make it a point to reach out to my dad on […]

Dad’s Grieve Too – Stephan’s Story

My wife and I had been planning to have a child for some time, before we decided when was the right moment to start building a family. The day Barbara called me at work to tell me she was pregnant, I already had a feeling what the call was about. I suddenly felt a surge […]

Five Tips for Managing Mother’s Day When Your Baby’s in Heaven

For moms who have lost a baby to due Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, stillbirth or miscarriage holidays are never easy. Probably one of the most difficult is Mother’s Day. My son was born in April of 1997 and died from SIDS August of the same year. For one year I had my baby with me […]

Study Identifies Unique Long-Term Grief Experienced by SIDS Moms

Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is common, distressing and persistent in mothers whose infants have died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and have lasting implications for their health and well-being.  This comes from a study released today in Pediatrics that was conducted by Dr. Rick Goldstein, Program Director, Robert’s Program on Sudden Unexpected Death in […]

Calm & Comfort Retreat – Guidance for Life After Baby Loss

  Join First Candle for a virtual mini-retreat to help guide you through life after infant loss.  You are free to just quietly listen in or join in the Q & A.  You can attend this free event from anywhere with wifi. Grab a cup of tea and a notebook and learn what works to: […]

Why We Put #GivingFirst: “When you lose a baby you feel very alone at first”

Although these holidays with my family bring a lot of joy for me.  I also have that little feeling of grief that sits deep in my heart.  Every time there is a fun day to celebrate with my children I wish I could also be celebrating with my little one who lives in heaven.  She […]

Why We Put #GivingFirst: “She’s not replaceable”

It was November 17, 2008, when I received the phone call at work that my baby was in the hospital and I needed to come to the emergency room. I asked the nurse on the phone if she was breathing and she would not answer. I already knew at that moment that she was gone. […]

Therapy Within Reach, Apply Now

Miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss can be one of the most devastating and isolating experiences a parent can face. Thanks to a generous donor, we have started a lottery program to waive the lifetime membership fee to Open Path Collective. Your lifetime membership will allow you to receive psychotherapy sessions that range from $30 to $50 a […]

A Message From A Grieving Father…

There are so many friends of First Candle who give in various ways. Kelly Farley is a dad who lost not one but two babies. He has channeled his grief into helping other fathers who come to him through our grief line and other organizations. We are so grateful to have him as a resource. The following is his […]

We Want Every Mom To Hear The Words “Happy Mother’s Day”

  For many women, May 14th, Mother’s Day, is an incredibly special time. Unfortunately, for some moms it’s a painful reminder of what might have been. Every year, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Stillbirth claim the lives of 27,000 babies. Together, we can change this. Show the mom, sister, friend in […]

A father is running a marathon to raise money and awareness for SIDS after losing his daughter

Five-month-old Kaiya passed away in 2010 ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) – Karl Purvis wakes up everyday at 5 a.m. ready to hit the pavement. “I started doing 5k’s and all of the sudden one of my wife’s co-workers was like, I’m going to run a half marathon, would you train with me? And I was like […]