Maribeth Wilder Doerr

Shades of Healing ~ Creating a Wholehearted Life

Can You Help Me Bring Yoga to Women Pregnant After Pregnancy/Infant Loss?

In 2014, I had a successful GoFundMe campaign to complete Baby Loss Doula Training.  Thank you all so much for helping me achieve that dream.  In 2015, I completed the requirements and am a certified baby loss doula.  I help women and families in my community as well as across the country (and even one in Australia!).  I do this work as a volunteer, and as a woman who went through labor knowing my baby would be born dead (and knowing after delivery that my second son would die as well), I understand the need for women to have someone help them make plans for their birth when they know their baby will not survive.  This work is truly a labor of love.  These babies are wanted and cherished and these few moments (or days) after birth is the only chance their parents have to parent them.  I help them decide how they want to do exactly that.  You helped me achieve a dream come true!  Thank you thank you thank you!

On that first GoFundMe campaign, I had a wish list that included Prenatal Yoga Teacher training.  I am a registered yoga teacher (RYT) and now it’s time for me to take the next step in helping women who experience pregnancy/infant loss and to full fill that first campaign.  Pregnancy after loss is an incredibly emotional roller coaster.  Yoga helps with anxiety and stress; yoga for women who are pregnant again after pregnancy loss not only helps with grief but also with the fear that goes with another pregnancy.  It also helps with bonding with the new little one while holding space for the love for the baby that died.

I want to bring yoga to these women and I pray and hope you’ll help me.  My goals are to teach locally, to offer private lessons both locally and via skype which includes grief coaching and to make yoga videos for women who are not local or wish to learn over the internet.  I have yet to find anyone who is serving families in this way.  It’s needed – and badly!

I need your help to fund my training.  And good news!  Since my first GoFundMe where I thought I’d have to travel to San Francisco, there is now a prenatal yoga teacher training in my area (where I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training) beginning in January 2017, provided there are enough signups at the training studio.  I need $1370 by January 1, 2017.  The additional amount to $1500 is for the fees that GoFundMe and WePay charge for this fundraiser (7.9% plus .30 per donation).  Can you help?

My wish list items include:  hoping to be certified in chair yoga and gentle yoga so that I can teach seniors at my church.  I am a Registered and Certified Yoga Teacher.  It would be helpful to be certified in chair yoga ($695) and gentle yoga for seniors ($495).  I can teach these now; however I am not certified and in teaching seniors, certification is extremely helpful and valuable.

I am in the process of creating my own brand of Yoga for Grief and I hope to debut that in Summer 2017.  In the meantime, I humbly ask you to help me help women grieving a pregnancy loss and/or trying to conceive/are pregnant again after a loss(es).  Getting back in touch with your body after such a loss is so important and vital.  Yoga can do this; someone trained in pregnancy loss support AND yoga can help these women move forward with less anxiety which always is better for baby!  Help me be that person.

To donate, click here.  And thank you for sharing this information with your friends and family.

From my heart to yours,

maribethsig

 

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Shades of Healing – Holding Space for Myself

My Mom, Marie Wilder May 14, 1928 - July 30, 2011

My Mom, Marie Wilder
May 14, 1928 – July 30, 2011

This is my mom, Marie. Last Saturday, May 14, would have been her 88th birthday. May 14 is also my birthday.  Fifty-seven years ago, I got to be someone’s birthday present. After two boys who were 11 1/2 and 7 1/2, my mom didn’t think a baby girl was in the picture. Then I came along, on her birthday, a week late, and she hadn’t spoken to her husband, my dad, in two weeks. He went on a bowling tournament out of town when she was 39 weeks pregnant. I probably wouldn’t have spoken to him either! On the morning of her 31st birthday, my dad dropped mom off at the hospital and went to work. He stopped by the hospital on his way home from work to see if anything had happened. That’s when he found out from his sister, the head OB nurse, that he had a daughter (he was still getting the silent treatment).

Two days later, he walked into my mom’s hospital room on his way home from work and asked my mother if I’d been circumcised yet. Reportedly, my aunt said, “Brother dear, you do know babies come in different styles, don’t you?” That’s when my mother took pity on him and started talking to him again, probably by first laughing her head off.  Such was my beginning into the world 😀

Because I had these two older wilder (yes that’s a pun on my maiden name) brothers, my mom was afraid I would turn out terribly spoiled. She asked my pediatrician about it and he told her, “Mrs. Wilder, she’s not spoiled; she’s just well loved.” And that was what my mother did best – she loved well. She was critical and judgmental but she loved well. It took someone who didn’t have her mother’s love to point this out to me. Life is amazing like that.  Six weeks before she died, my mother threw her arms around me and said, “you are the love of my life!”  She’d never said anything like that to me before.  Looking back, I’m sure she knew she was dying.  A lot of old hurts healed in that one spectacular moment, and I can still feel that hug and her breath on my neck as she said those words, as if it happened a second ago.

I miss her everyday, but especially every May 14. Out of the 52 years we had, we spent 50 birthdays together. My parents worked hard to make that happen! I tend to not quite know to do with myself on my birthday these days but it’s not a sad day either; it’s just very different. I’ll figure it out eventually!  In the meantime, I hold space for my own healing (see previous post on holding space – yes, we can hold space for ourselves too!).

bartoloThis year, I’d planned to visit my hospice patient who was just two weeks older than my mom.  I actually first met this woman at my mother’s funeral, and it just felt right to spend a few hours with her on my birthday.  She died five days before so I really felt lost which seems to bring out some ADHD in me.  Do you fellow grievers ever feel like grief gives you squirrel brain?  From the time I woke up on my birthday, I cried, I tried to read, I did some shopping – nothing was settling me down.  I tried quilting and my sewing machine was acting up so I wanted to google some help.  As I walked into my office, the picture to the right was sitting in front of my monitor.  It’s a picture of Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon.  I started to laugh immediately and I knew this was my birthday gift from one of my sons.  Bartolo pitched for the Oakland Athletics (my fave team) when I was terribly sick in 2012 & 13.  He’s a character, and watching him pitch when I was so sick was one of the few bright spots of that summer and fall.  He was traded to the Mets in 2014 and is still with them (BOOOOOOOOOO!).  A few weeks ago, Bartolo hit his first major league home run playing against the Padres in San Diego.  It was a hoot watching this 285+ lb 42-year-old pitcher lumbering around the bases; it’s just not something you see everyday and he may have set the record for slowest run around the bases.  We probably watched the clip 5 times!  (I know, we’re a bunch of boring baseball nerds.)  As goofy as this whole story sounds, it was a moodshifter for my birthday.  I laughed and laughed and will chuckle every time I see this picture.  My son got me a goofy gift that he knew I’d get a kick out of and I with that one simple thing, I let go of all the angst that was making my shoulders rise up over my ears.  I could breathe again.  And what do you know, when I got back to my sewing machine, it stopped acting up!

If there are any takeaways to this story, it’s healing is always available, even in the most unlikely of ways and even when we think we don’t need any more healing.  Being open to it and being willing to be surprised by it is one way of holding space for ourselves.   It’s hard to quiet down the squirrel chatter of a grieving mind to listen and hold that space, but when we can open our hearts enough to let in a little light (like laughing at a silly picture), healing happens.  It just does!

If you want to see that 285 lb, 42-year-old first major league home run by Bartolo Colon, check it out here:

 

 

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Friday Faves – What it means to “hold space” for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well

For the last year, I’ve been a hospice volunteer.  One of these days I’ll write about what it means to me to do this work, but right now, my heart is a bit too tender to do that.  My most recent patient died this past Monday night.  She was a character, and I can only hope that my visits helped her a tiny fraction of what I felt from spending these precious last weeks of her life with her.

It’s with this hard joyful work in my heart that I introduce you to an extraordinary woman named Heather Plett.  I was taking an online mandala class with her when her mother died.  A year ago, Heather wrote an amazing article, What it means to “hold space” for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well, that was birthed out her experiences with her mother.  It seems ironic that this post is going viral now, 14 months later, but I’m so glad it is.  As a hospice volunteer, “holding space” is what we do.  But truthfully, this is a gift we can give ANYONE, not just the dying and the bereaved.  Anyone who needs someone to listen will benefit from a kind soul holding space for them . . . and Heather explains how to do just that.

Please give it a read and while you’re there, learn more about Heather and her work.

And um, hold space for me tomorrow, May 14, and I remember my mom on what would have been her 88th birthday, which also happens to be my birthday.  Thank you!

God’s blessings to all of you . . .

 

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Things Rise from the Ashes in the Most Unexpected Ways

It was 4 years ago tonight that I sat with my dad as he took his last breath, just 4 months and 2 days after my mom died. Tonight we attended the Advent Soup & Worship at church and it just seemed so appropriate to do so on this anniversary. We had taken a long sabbatical from church but when my mom died, my dad insisted on going to church without her even though he couldn’t figure out how to get there from my house after he moved in with us.

Having a parent move in with you is a huge upheaval.  We tried to take care of him and we tried to take care of ourselves.  Big G and I reluctantly got up early to take Dad to church (and by early, sometimes it was 4am when Dad would get up to shave so we could be to church by 7:30am – eegads!!). We hadn’t planned on discovering what a church family/community can mean but when Dad died, we were adopted by some incredible people who let us know we did the best we could. I never imagined how much my life would change.

Four years later, I work there full time and my son works there part time (neither of us ever expected that!).  I work with such amazing people, sharing my gifts, and I learn something new everyday. I like to think that my mom made all this happen. She’d get the biggest kick out of it all. So no sadness today; just joy at how things rise from the ashes in the most unexpected ways.  Life is remarkable.

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WriteGrief for the Holidays 2014

write grief

What happened to 2014? If you’re like me, you’ve been muddling around in grief and all concept of time has slipped from the ol’ brain. I don’t want to be caught unawares on Thanksgiving Day and on into December so I plan to participate in WriteGrief for the Holidays 2014. Who’s with me?

Writing brings me such clarity, even when it’s stream of consciousness pouring out that seemingly doesn’t make any sense. It somehow soothes the neural pathways and voila! The light comes in and I find some peace. WriteGrief for the Holidays will not only help you find some clarity in your muddy grief but help you plan how you want to get through the holidays (and that may seem unthinkable right now but trust me, it’s doable!).

The details for the program are here but in a nutshell, 8 weeks of prompts, starting November 10 through January 11, 2015, $35 bucks. It’s worth it – and so are you!  You can join anytime before December 22 and still get all 8 prompts.

A sample non-holiday-related prompt is here.  Check it out.

The holidays can seem horrifying in the face of grief.  I know dearheart, I really know.  A little advance planning can really help.  We can do this!

 

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