We are glad you found us, but we're sorry for what brings you here.
Brief Encounters can help you feel you are not alone on your journey through grief. Here you can find resources to help as you work through the pain of losing your babies. You can connect with parents who know the hard work of picking up the pieces of shattered dreams. Please join us as we learn how to be patient and kind to ourselves as the rest of the world tries to rush us through our grief. Here we have learned that making the journey
with others is not nearly as lonely.
Brief Encounters Holiday Remembrance Ceremonies
Adults: Monday, December 12, 2016, 7 PM
Join others in the Brief Encounters community for the annual Holiday Remembrance Ceremony for parents and adult family members/friends. Held at the Peace House, the ceremony will include readings, songs, and poems to honor our children who have died.
Children: Saturday, December 10, 2016, 10 am-12 noon
Join other families at the Peace House for this holiday gathering to celebrate and remember siblings who have died. Children can decorate cookies, makes crafts, sing and listen to stories.
For both ceremonies, Brief Encounters will be decorating a special tree with hand-crafted ceramic shooting star ornaments which include your child’s name and birth and death dates. All proceeds benefit Brief Encounters and our continued outreach to bereaved families. The ornaments in memory of our children are our primary fundraising activity; we really appreciate your support. Suggested donation: $15. Ornaments will be available after the Holiday Remembrance Ceremony or can be shipped for a small handling charge. Use this form to place or ornament order.
We Need Volunteers!
Are you interested in reaching out to other bereaved parents? We are looking for volunteers for the roles listed below. Time commitments and training requirements vary, depending on the position.
- Newsletter Mailing: once a month, preparing newsletters for mailing. Times to be posted on our Facebook group. Families welcome!
- Website Maintenance: updating website information as needed
- **Telephone Facilitator: retrieve messages from our message line once a week, return calls or pass along messages as needed
- **Backup Meeting Facilitator: facilitate meetings when the regular facilitator cannot attend
- **Hospital/Birthing Center Liaisons: visit your hospital/center once a quarter to refurbish BE materials and ideally to maintain a relationship with one or more contact person there.
- **Liaison Coordinator: Someone to train liaisons, keep track of all the hospitals and who is visiting them, and make sure liaisons and hospitals are getting the supplies and support they need.
- Noah’s Quest: be involved in planning and help as needed at the event (manning a booth, bringing supplies, directing runners, etc.)
- Holiday Remembrance Ceremonies: perform a song or reading, be a greeter, provide snacks, help set up and clean up
- Cards: send cards to bereaved families on anniversaries
**INDICATES TRAINING REQUIRED. WE ASK THAT YOU BE AT LEAST ONE YEAR OUT FROM YOUR OWN LOSS BEFORE TAKING ON THESE ROLES.
Our next facilitator training will be held Saturday, February 18th from 9-3 at the Peace House. If you are interested in attending or for more information, please email Rachel (email@example.com) or Meagan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a message at 503-699-8006
by Monica Welty
This poem was written by a bereaved parent from Brief Encounters; we share it with her permission and our gratitude.
I would like to come and sit next to your pain
and you to mine.
Let’s cradle it, here together
on this soft couch in this big house with this lady with kind eyes
She knows our grief without telling hers
sitting here, in a room full of our stories Her short sentences telling us there is somewhere to get to from here.
Let’s whisper it, here to each other
Between sobs, choked in the center of the throat, through the blank stare of shock
So that only we and God can hear. Give Him a moment’s rest from our pleading.
And us, too.
Sit here with me, together
Let’s look at each other, stare and marvel with wide eyes
the million broken shards, some blunt some sharp some splintered
one human to the other: “What has become of you, stranger?”
Let’s paste each other back together. You do some, I do some.
It’s not going to be perfect but
It’s going to be.
Let’s sit here together next to our pain.
Let’s cradle it in the ache of a mother’s arms.
Let’s whisper it so only we and God can hear.