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This is an article written by Sandi Howlett PHD, a grief counseler with Hansen's Mortuary in Phoenix, Arizona who gives counseling to grieving families.

Every little stitch…..

How long does it take to make a memory? A moment? A lifetime? Sometimes the moment IS the lifetime and that
becomes the memory to grasp.

The young mother sat in the rocking chair holding her precious daughter in her arms. The tiny infant was wrapped in a soft, pale pink blanket with a shell stitch. As the mother rocked her child, she sang the song that mothers have sung for generations…”Lullaby and goodnight…” At the same time, she traced the tiny features on baby Danielle’s face and hands -- perfect fingers, tiny button nose, rosy mouth that looked like she had been kissed by an angel. Eyes closed, motionless, silent. Tears rolled down the mother’s cheeks as she sang and rocked and looked at her newborn daughter - the daughter
she had anticipated and loved before she was even conceived.

She expected to be rocking her baby in her newly decorated nursery, not a funeral home. She expected to be welcoming
family and friends to meet little Danielle, not greeting them at her wake. She expected to be choosing between onesies
and a full layette of pink outfits perfect for a petite newborn princess. None of this was to be.

Instead, she held her daughter whose dreams would not be fulfilled. Her daughter whose life ended before it even began.
Her daughter would never wear those frilly dresses and bonnets. Her daughter was swaddled in a blanket hand made by another mother…perhaps a mother who knew the heartbreak of loss. She noticed a small blue and white tag sewn inside
the blanket – Project Linus. How kind that someone she had never met would take the time to make such a beautiful
blanket, the only one Danielle would ever know.

When it was time to say the final goodbye to Danielle, the mother chose to keep the blanket– the only thing her daughter
had ever touched. It would become one of her most cherished possessions, the only thing she would have left besides her memory.

Thanks to the generosity of Project Linus volunteers, Hansen Mortuary in Phoenix, Arizona provides bereavement blankets
for families whose dreams have been shattered with the death of their child. The families who received these blankets are moved beyond words to have one thing, one precious thing, to keep that once held their baby.

To the volunteers who make these special blankets, you have your own story as to why you choose this particular mission. Many of you have losses of your own or are close to someone who has experienced this unique grief. For some of you,
this is your way of paying it forward. Thank you for the humble healing mission you have chosen. You will never know the depth and breadth of your gift.

 
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