The Power of Precious Wings

The Power of Precious Wings

How do you improve your life when it feels overwhelming?
How do you emerge from under the covers when you can hardly see through swollen eyes from crying?
How do you make it through the day when you barely made it through the night?

I am often asked how I came to be where I am today after having experienced the devastating loss of my son Ben. The answer is complex but can be broken down into these two points – Gratitude and Finding a Purpose.

I was taught many years ago that our purpose is ultimately never about us and always about others. More recently I was reminded of this at the most unexpected time in the most unexpected of places – I happened to be sitting alone, in the wild, in the middle of the night.

With this being my first post for December I want to direct it around the concept of giving and specifically to the work done by Precious Wings. I hope by the end of it you can see the correlation between giving – gratitude – and finding purpose and you will TAKE ACTION.

In honour of my gorgeous Ben who has been featured on billboards all over Brisbane this week, here are 15 things you probably didn’t know, and that I hope you will consider.  

1. Precious Wings was born from the devastating loss of Toby.
In 2011 a beautiful family in Brisbane faced the devastating loss of their son and baby brother. Their lives were changed forever. This is Toby’s legacy.

2. It started with a single hospital in 2014.
Today Precious Wings supports over:
💙  42 hospitals, early pregnancy units, and emergency departments
💙  12 major funeral homes and
💙  Multiple hospices
with an overwhelming number of requests flooding in every day.

3. Precious Wings supports families who lose a child at ANY age from ANY cause.
Up until this year, Precious Wings was run out of lounge rooms, a small hall and 2 tiny storage units with minimal lighting and no air conditioning. The Precious Wings vision is vast and the WHY is strong and built on lived experience.

The mission – To ensure (as far as geographically possible) that no family feels alone on their journey of grief and that each one receives the essential support provided by this charity.

4. Precious Wings provides holistic bereavement support by:
💙 gifting memory boxes and miscarriage memory bags to families facing the loss of a child
💙 educating health professionals on how to best support bereaved families and utilise resources
💙 holding monthly support groups for families to connect, share, and continue their child’s legacy

5. Each memory box is donated in honour of another child who has died.
The first thing a family sees when they open the lid of a Precious wings memory box is another child’s name. This immediately provides a sense of ‘I am not alone’. If another family got through this nightmare, then maybe I can too.

6. The contents of each box are carefully and deliberately chosen.
Every item in a memory box or miscarriage memory bag has a specific purpose. And each item has been chosen with love and intent. They provide a way to reinforce an ongoing connection between a family and their child, despite them no longer being here physically.  

7. When you lose a child, your instinct is to protect their memory.
The contents of a memory box provide a tangible way to create final memories of your child. The box itself has been deliberately designed and represents the loss and honouring of another child. It becomes a beautiful and special place to store precious memories and priceless keepsakes.

8. Losing a child is LESS than 6 degrees of separation.
You currently know someone or have a person close to you who knows someone, who has already lost a child.

9. You don’t know what the future holds.
On Tuesday 26th September 2017 at 2.45, I dropped Ben off for a haircut, a work shift and a gym session.
5 hours later I was told, ‘there’s been a serious accident, they are working on him at the moment’.
4 days later I was offered a memory box.
On the 5th day, I left the hospital without my son, carrying the shattered remains of my life with no clue how to put it back together again… and a Precious Wings memory box.

10. The statistics are staggering:
💙 4702 children die in Australia each year
💙 1805 children aged 0 – 19,
💙 2897 perinatal deaths (deaths before birth or within 28 days of life)
💙 100,000 (estimated) miscarriages each year in Australia

11. In just the last twelve months Precious Wings has gifted:
💙 over 700 memory boxes and
💙 over 800 miscarriage bags
That’s approximately 2 families losing a child per day. Demand is continually increasing with daily emails from hospitals around the country (and overseas) asking and pleading for these resources and services.

12. There is NO ONE else out there doing what Precious Wings does.
This charity is absolutely unique in providing a holistic approach to grief. They offer an ongoing connection and relationship with a child after they have died. They provide a way to continue that child’s legacy and a powerful way to lovingly honour their memory while making a significant impact on another family.

13. Precious Wings is volunteer-based and receives NO designated funding.
This needs to change! It is not okay that the majority of funds come from bereaved families wanting to give back. It’s not okay that this service is a fundamental part of bereavement support and is totally reliant on the generosity of families, ad hoc successful grant applications and volunteers.

14. The reality is, when you lose a child, you don’t move on, forget or have closure
“Instead, we remember, honour, and incorporate our children into our lives in a whole new way. They shape us and remain present in everything we do.”

15. THIS WEEK ONLY you have a rare opportunity to make TWICE the difference.
Every $ donated before 7 December this week will be DOUBLED.
Every single memory box will equate to TWO memory boxes.
Every family supported translates to TWO FAMILIES supported.

So now you know. And you can’t un-know.

Will you include Precious Wings on your list of gifts?
You won’t give another gift, perhaps ever, that will make a difference like this one, and I can guarantee you it won’t be returned on December the 26th.

In loving memory of Ben, Toby, George & Catherine, and all the other children passed whose parents I have been privileged to connect with. You are remembered forever.

Much Love
Dalya xx 💙

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