A chance to grieve

Using their own sad experience, a Rhinebeck couple have launched an online project designed to help women and men cope with the loss of a pregnancy or an infant.

Reconceiving Loss is entirely digital, incorporates writing, photography, and health/wellness activities. All activities are done online, and can be published privately, semi-privately, or publicly, depending upon the contributor. The goal, according to a news release from the organization, is to offer a platform for healing, and to provide people an opportunity to share their stories with others in an effort to support their growth and healing.

Reconceivingloss.com was developed by Tara Shafer and her husband, Gavin Curran. A former human rights and refugee advocate for numerous organizations, Shafer currently teaches Political Science at Marist College. Gavin Curran, with a career spent in financial services, currently is a high school social studies teacher.

“When I gave birth to a stillborn son eight years ago, Gavin and I searched in vain for something to help us make sense of our loss and come through it,” Shafer said in the news release. “Since then, we have connected with countless others who have experienced baby loss through miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of an infant, and we were struck by how alone people feel. It is a confusing, desolate experience – there was little available in the way of bereavement support.”

She added, “People face barriers in seeking help, ranging from financial constraints, to geography, to a sense of shame – we felt it was time to offer people like us the chance to grieve, and the chance to heal using the Internet as a way to reflect on and document their loss while sharing it in a supported community,”

Reconceiving Loss is a free and comprehensive resource center, and offers visitors writing projects, music sharing and photography activities, among other things. Its experts include Dr. Sharon Patrick, who was recognized by New York Magazine as one of the top doctors in maternal/fetal medicine, and award-winning novelist Edie Meidev, author of “Lola, California.” Meidav wrote a customized grief primer and offers a writing tutorial on documenting loss. Dr. Julie Bindeman offers articles about the psychological impact of baby loss. Internationally acclaimed photographer Wendy Ewald is also featured to guide users in memorial self-portraiture, and yogi Alex Auder, of West Village Yoga in New York City, leads restorative yoga poses and meditation.

For more information, visit reconceivingloss.com.

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