Moving forward with life after the loss of an infant is devastating, not only because you’re now missing a child, but also because most don’t know what to do or where to turn for support.
This month is Mental Health Awareness Month and I, Noelle Moore, Founder and Executive Director of The Finley Project, am sharing my story to bring awareness and light to a situation that many don’t want to think about, discuss or know how to deal with — the loss of an infant. My story is one of many. In fact, it’s estimated that one in four women worldwide have experienced infant loss, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth or death before the age of two.
That brings us to my story. My daughter, Finley Elizabeth, died in 2013 due to a medical accident at 23 days old. She was perfect in every way, every finger and every toe, with a dusting of beautiful brown hair. Finley never knew life outside the hospital as she suffered a severe brain injury due to lack of care.
The day Finley died is a day I will never forget. I had to step into the world without my child and I didn’t know how I would make it. In those moments following this tragic loss, I realized that women like myself had nowhere to go for assistance with coping and grieving, or anyone to turn to who could personally understand. It was this revelation that led me to founding The Finley Project to assist those moms who desperately needed help.
The Finley Project provides a lifeline for mothers in the minutes, hours and days after infant loss through a 7-Part Holistic Program that supports each mother physically, emotionally and spiritually at no financial cost to them. These mothers are overcome with grief and are experiencing severe emotional trauma that affects every aspect of their lives. But The Finley Project provides HOPE — whether it’s through aiding with funeral arrangements and the plans needed to honor a child, providing grocery gift cards to make nourishing a family easier, setting up a maid service to cleanse the home from unattended chaos, offering massage therapy sessions to help soothe and nurture the healing process, or providing a support system through groups placements with other grieving moms, to one-on-one counseling and being matched with a personal Volunteer Support Coordinator.
The Finley Project comprehensive support model mends the gap between the hospital and home, and exists so mothers can survive the unimaginable. If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of an infant, or if you would like to make a donation to assist with providing these moms with the support they need or volunteer with the organization, please go to our website, www.thefinleyproject.org, for more information.
Noelle Moore is Founder and Executive Director of The Finley Project.