Project Nechama

Project Nechama engages in outreach, dissemination of resources and building awareness to ensure that individuals and families experiencing pregnancy loss, stillbirth or the death of a child are supported by the Beth El community. Nechama is Hebrew for "comfort."

Each fall, during the festival of Sukkot, Beth El holds a special Yizkor Memorial service in recognition of all the children whom we have lost. Our 2017 Project Nechama Yizkor service will be on Sunday, October 23, at 1:00 pm.  Anyone mourning a loss is welcome to attend; the service is appropriate to all ages. 

To donate to Congregation Beth El's Project Nechama, please follow the Donate link and choose "Project Nechama" from the list of funds. For questions or to recommend further resources, please contact nechama@bethelberkeley.org.

 



Resources for Pregnancy Loss, Grief and Trying Again

Funeral Homes/Cemeteries

  • Sinai Memorial Chapel (Tel Shalom Cemetery): all services and the plot are free when it is a child who dies. http://www.sinaichapel.org/lafayette.htm
  • Gan Yarok (Fernwood Cemetery): Green cemetery; reduced rates for plots for a child who has died. Sinai Memorial Chapel will still provide free funeral services for you. Orthodox, Conservative and Community sections in Jewish cemetery. Community section allows burial of ashes. http://www.foreverfernwood.com/


Bay Area Support Groups

SAND
Support After Neonatal Death (SAND), 1st and 3d Wednesdays, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
3030 Telegraph Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Support group for parents who have lost an infant due to miscarriage, stillbirth or shortly after delivery.
 
HAND of San Francisco
Helping After Neonatal Death Support Group
Duboce Avenue and Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
 (415) 282-7330
http://www.handsupport.org/
Meets 1st and 3rd Wednesday monthly, 6:30 pm–8:30 pm
HAND of San Francisco, Helping After Neonatal Death is for parents who experienced the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, interruption of a wanted pregnancy after prenatal or genetic diagnosis, or death during birth or in the first year of life. Meetings give parents, family, and friends a safe place to share experiences and feelings, and to support each other through the grieving process. Call facilitator Chris Lehr, LCSW, to attend a meeting, and for more information, meeting times and locations, languages spoken, neighborhoods, and directions. FREE
 
Beyond Choice
1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kaiser Oakland (call in advance for room location)
Jeanne Menary (510) 845-4656
Ann Bourguignon (510) 752-6755
Open to all, not just Kaiser members
Beyond Choice is a support group for women and their partners who have terminated their pregnancies because of a fetal abnormality. We come together to share stories, concerns, and feelings with others who are suffering the loss of their baby and the difficulty of their decision. FREE. http://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/Images/GEN_Beyond%20Choice%20support%20Group%20flyer_tcm63-19047.pdf
 
Life After Loss
(415) 600-2628
Life After Loss is for families who have interrupted a wanted pregnancy after prenatal diagnosis. The decision to end a wanted pregnancy is one of the most difficult decisions a parent can make. Meets by RSVP only, on 1st Wednesday, every month. Please contact facilitators Kerstin Spangner at (650) 652-8232 spangnk@sutterhealth.org or Summer Segal (415) 476-4674, summer.segal@ucsf.edu Held at California Campus of California Pacific Medical Center and UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. FREE
 
Grupo Amparo
(415) 764-0211
Grupo Amparo (en Español) is a Spanish-speaking support group for mothers, fathers, and families who have experienced pregnancy loss or death of their babies neonatally or in the first year of life.  Meets by appointment only on the 2nd and 4th Monday, every month, at two different times and locations. Call facilitator Julie Mitra to attend a meeting, and for more information, meeting times and locations, languages spoken, neighborhoods, and directions. FREE
Grupo Amparo es un grupo para madres, padres, y familiares que han perdido bebés a causa de embarazo ectópico (en los tubos), muerte antes ó después de nacer, ó muerte en la infancia. Grupo Amparo reunimos con cita solamente.  Es gratis. Para más información, llama a Julie Mitra. GRATIS
 
Bereavement Support Group
Wednesdays, 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Jewish Family and Children’s Services/East Bay Berkeley office
Contact: Helene Linker, 510-704-7480, ext. 745
For relatives and friends who have suffered the loss of a loved one. This group offers heartfelt support and guidance for feelings of loneliness, loss and isolation, coping with anger and other unexpected emotions, learning how to live with the grief process, and how to move forward with your life. We also cover contending with changing family dynamics, reestablishing connections with your community, facing changes to your financial status, as well as dealing with estate and other financial decisions. Registration required.
 
Pregnancy After Loss
(415) 600-2229
Meets 3rd Wednesday of every month, from 7:00 pm–9:00 pm
Pregnancy After Loss is for parents who are pregnant again after a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. They have unique emotional needs in grieving their lost child(ren) while preparing for the birth of a new baby. Partners are especially encouraged to attend. Parents who are considering a subsequent pregnancy are also welcome. Call facilitator Cherie Golant, LCSW, at CPMC’s Newborn Connections, to attend a meeting, and for more information, meeting times and locations, languages spoken, neighborhoods, and directions. FREE

 

Books

* Indicates that the book is available in the Beth El Library (books in the library are available for anyone to come and check out, regardless of membership)
 
Pregnancy Loss – Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death
  • Davis, Deborah. Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby. 1996*
  • Ilse, Sherokee. Empty Arms: Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death. 1990
  • Keating, Catherine Noblitt. There Was Supposed to Be a Baby: A Guide to Healing After Pregnancy Loss. 2013*
  • Kirk, Paul and Schwiebert, Pat. When Hello Means Goodbye. 2012* 
  • Kohn, Ingrid and Perry-Lynn Moffitt. A Silent Sorrow. Pregnancy Loss: Guidance and Support for You and Your Family. 2000*
  • Kohner, Nancy and Alix Henley. When a Baby Dies: The Experience of Late Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Neonatal Death. 1991
  • Lothrop, Hannah. Help, Comfort and Hope after Losing Your Baby in Pregnancy or the First Year. 1992
  • Schweibert, Pat and Paul Kirk. When Hello Means Goodbye: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Dies Before Birth, At Birth or Shortly After Birth. 2002
Pregnancy Loss – Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death – Memoir & Poetry
  • Atlas, Janel C., ed. They Were Still Born: Personal Stories About Stillbirth. 2010
  • Berger, Jessica, ed. About What Was Lost, 20 writers on Miscarriage, Healing and Hope. 2006*
  • Cole, Stephanie Paige and Catherine Bayly. to linger on hot coals: collected poetic works from grieving women writers. 2014*
  • Faison, Ann. Dancing With the Midwives. 2011
  • Fumia, Molly and Ann Dunnewold PhD. A Piece of My Heart: Living Through the Grief of Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death. 2000
  • Hanish, Sean and Brooke Warner. Three Minus One. 2014
  • LeMoine, Monica Murphy. Knocked Up, Knocked Down: Postcards of Miscarriage and Other Misadventures from the Brink of Parenthood. 2010
  • McCracken, Elizabeth. An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. 2010*
  • Wesolowska, Monica. Holding Silvan: A Brief Life. 2013*
Pregnancy Loss – Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death – Jewish
  • Cardin, Rabbi Nina Beth. Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope. A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss. 1999*
  • Levy, Rabbi Yamin. Confronting the Loss of a Baby: A Personal and Jewish Perspective. 1998
Pregnancy After Loss
  • Douglas, Ann and John Sussman. Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss. 2000
  • Ford, Melissa. Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options. 2009
  • Lanham, Carol. Pregnancy after Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy after a Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Death. 1999
Grief and Healing
  • Golden, Thomas R. Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing. 2010*
  • Grollman, Earl. Living When a Loved One Has Died. 1995
  • James, John and Russell Friedman. The Grief and Recovery Handbook. 2009
  • Kornfield, Jack. A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times. 2014
  • Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. 2001
  • Levine, Peter. In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness. 2010
  • Levy, Naomi. To Begin Again: The Journey Toward Comfort, Strength and Faith in Difficult Times. 1998* 
  • Martin, John D. I Can't Stop Crying: It’s So Hard When Someone You Love Dies. 2005
  • Staudacher, Carol. A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One. 1994
  • Wolfelt, Alan D. Healing Your Grieving Soul: 100 Spiritual Practices for Mourners. 2009
  • Wolpe, Rabbi David. Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times. 1999*
  • Zeitlin, Steve and Ilana Harlow. Giving a Voice to Sorrow. 2001

Websites

Blogs

Film

  • Return to Zero. Created by a filmmaker whose child was stillborn, starring Minnie Driver and Alfred Molina, 2014

For Family and Friends

17 Things to Say to Someone Who’s Lost a Child by Michael Lerner
http://www.kveller.com/17-things-to-say-to-someone-whos-lost-a-child/

How to Help a Friend Through Babyloss
http://www.glowinthewoods.com/how-to-help-a-friend/

How not to say the wrong thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/07/opinion/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407
 

Books for Kids

Babyloss Specific

  • Blanford, Cathy and Phyllis Childers. Something Happened: A book for children and parents who have experienced pregnancy loss. 2008
  • Gryte, Marilyn and Kristi McClendon. No New Baby: For Siblings Who Have a Brother or Sister Die Before Birth. 1988
General Grief
  • Brown, Laurie Krasny and Marc Brown. When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death. 1998
  • Goldman, Linda. Children Also Grieve: Talking about Death and Healing. 2005
  • Mellonie, Bryan. Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children. 1983
  • Stickney, Doris and Henderson Nordtrom, Robyn. Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children. 2010
  • Temes, Roberta. The Empty Place: A Child's Guide Through Grief. 1992

Memorial Events

Jizo Ceremony: A Ceremony for Children Who Have Died
Twice Annually at Green Gulch Zen Center, Muir Beach
http://www.sfzc.org/ggf/display.asp?catid=3,78,198&mode=c

Spirit Babies
Spirit Babies events are community gatherings for women and their loved ones to remember and honor their spirit babies—the unborn who were lost due to miscarriage, abortion, or stillbirth. Winter Solstice
spiritbabies.org/Welcome.html
 
Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day, 10/15. Various events throughout the country.
 
Grief and Growing:
A Healing Weekend for Bereaved Individuals and Families. Usually Late August (dates vary).
Designed to help individuals and families attend to their losses and identify tools to help them in their mourning. Held at Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA. Integrates Jewish programming, but both Jewish and non-Jewish participants are welcome. http://www.jewishhealingcenter.org/griefandgrowing.htm