This week already feels heavy.

On Wednesday, it will be exactly three months since we found out that Alexander’s heart had stopped beating. On Friday, there will be a brick laid for him at the Kettering Medical Center’s Garden of Hope & Remembrance. On Sunday, it will be exactly three months since we held our baby boy in our arms, and we will gather with family and friends at our church for Alexander’s Memorial Service.

Whew.

There’s a lot packed into this week. I’m sure there will be both tears and smiles, sadness and joy. We will be spending a lot of time with family and friends. And we will be doing an awful lot of remembering and thinking about our sweet boy Alexander.

One of the ways that we have chosen to honor Alexander this week and this month, in addition to memorial services and starting conversations about pregnancy and infant loss and stillbirth, is through setting up some really special memorial funds. Setting up these two funds is one of the ways we are inviting others to join us in honoring Alexander and in making some meaning out of his short life and the devastation of losing him.

In the midst of a situation that could have leveled us, Scott and I have been so incredibly grateful for the resources, support, and community that have carried us and continue to carry us in our grief. Because of this, we want part of Alexander’s legacy to be one of bringing hope and comfort to other grieving parents. Several people have already honored Alexander through donations to First Candle and Atrium Medical Center’s HEAL Program.

Here are two ways that we are inviting friends and family to join us in supporting this legacy this month:

Molly Bears. Molly Bears organization creates weighted teddy bears for families coping with any form of infant loss. We managed to get on the waiting list for our own Molly Bear at the end of July, and are currently anticipating a 6-8 month wait time before receiving our bear. We have set up a fundraising page in hopes of supporting the important work that Molly Bears does in bringing comfort to grieving families, with a goal of raising $900. By raising funds for the organization we will be able to sponsor not only our own bear, but also bears for 19 other grieving families.

Alexander Scott Haligowski Memorial Fund. In addition to our Molly Bears fundraiser, we have set up a memorial fund through Epiphany Lutheran Church designated to supporting grieving parents through our faith community. Any funds given to the church and designated for the Alexander Scott Haligowski memorial fund will be used to provide faith-based resources, comfort, and hope to grieving parents right here in our own community. These funds may be used for anything from service projects through local hospitals, to purchasing pastoral resources or starting support groups. What we do know is that others in our community are hurting and grieving, or will be in the future, and we want Alexander’s legacy to be one of supporting those who are walking a similar path to ours. Our church family has been and continues to be an irreplaceable source of support as we walk this journey of grief.

This week and this month, we are inviting our family and friends to help us honor Alexander’s legacy of healing and hope by supporting one or both of these causes. You are also invited to join us in honoring Alexander’s life as we gather together with family and friends for a very special memorial service on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 12:30pm at Epiphany Lutheran Church.

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