The Beautiful Scar Project’s first venture is called the White Folders of Hope program. Upon the death of an infant in the hospital due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death, many permanent decisions regarding eternal care are required to be made by the newly bereaved parents. In the midst of this trauma, feeling numb, shocked, and shattered to their very core, newly bereaved parents are asked to make hasty decisions regarding their wishes for their baby within a one to four day time period. Decisions that need to be made include whether or not an autopsy is wanted, how they wish to deliver their baby, do they prefer their baby to be buried or cremated, and which organization do they wish to handle the burial or cremation. The questions being asked and the decisions that are required to be made are incredibly daunting to the grief stricken parents and attempting to research the options available is the last thing on their minds. The White Folders of Hope program takes the burden of researching available options off of the parent’s shoulders by having already interviewed and researched various crematories, cemeteries and mortuaries throughout the Denver Metro Area. Providing this critical information to the families will ensure that they are able to make an informed decision regarding what is best for their family and their baby without the overwhelming task of wading through the research of available eternal care options in their area.
RESEARCH: White Folders of Hope includes information gathered by a team of volunteers who interviewed mortuaries, cemeteries and crematories in the Denver Metro Area. The volunteer team made contacts in numerous mortuaries, cemeteries and crematories and interviewed them based on a wide-ranging list of questions regarding infant specific services. The questions for the interview process were vetted by a long time member of the mortuary and crematory industry to ensure that they are thorough and appropriate. Our goal for the folder was to be concise and not overwhelming so we included three to five Service Providers in the North, South, East and West sections of the Denver Metro Area. A comprehensive list of Service Providers is available on the “Resources” tab on our website.
Folder Content: The folders are designed with two purposes in mind- To provide help as well as hope to newly bereaved families upon the death of their baby.
HELP: The left side of the folder is considered the “HELP” side- it includes information such as bereavement rights of the families, suggestions on how to create memories in the hospital, Service Provider information including questions to ask when reaching out to providers. The “HELP” side of the folder is intended to be presented to the families by the nursing staff of the hospital who have been trained by their Beautiful Scar Project representative called a Hospital Ambassador. Each section on the “HELP” side will be discussed with the families at a different time to not only provide them with ideas they may want to incorporate into their hospital stay but also to not overwhelm the family by giving them too much information at one time. The critical information provided in this side of the folder is intended to provide families with a starting point on how to navigate the initial stages of their grief journey and to help them feel more in control over how they wish to proceed in an impossible situation.
HOPE: The right side or “HOPE” side of the folder is meant to provide families with information on how to begin healing from the devastation and heartbreak after the loss of a baby. The “HOPE” side contains information on how to obtain a Certificate of Stillbirth or Death Certificate, information regarding local support groups, reproductive grief specific counseling services as well as information on memorial jewelry and a certificate for a couples massage that has been generously donated by our friends at Hands that Heal You massage. Our goal is to introduce parents to the larger infant loss community so that they know they are not alone and they can and will survive the loss of their baby. The folder also contains a QR code that, once scanned by a smartphone, will take the person scanning the folder to The Beautiful Scar Project’s website. Through our website the bereaved parent will then have the ability to connect with a member of The Beautiful Scar Project’s volunteer team to help them get plugged into the infant loss community and find the ongoing support resource that is right for them.
Folder Distribution: White Folders of Hope are distributed through bereavement nursing teams in metro Denver hospitals. Upon interest in the White Folders of Hope Program, a team of Beautiful Scar Project volunteers will provide a “lunch and learn” type of training program for nurses that assist with bereaved families. After training is complete, the hospital will then be assigned a Beautiful Scar Project Hospital Ambassador that will be their ongoing contact for material replenishment, additional research or resource information or any additional questions that may follow. The White Folders of Hope Program is at no cost to the hospital itself, but rather a donated resource to assist nursing teams with bereaved families by The Beautiful Scar Project.
WANT TO LEARN MORE? If your hospital is interested in learning more about the White Folders of Hope Program, please contact The Beautiful Scar Project at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will respond to you quickly.