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Why I’m Thankful for My Facebook Support Group This Thanksgiving

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I remember sitting there debating if I should hit the “join” button. After all, I didn’t really need a support group. I had things figured out (or so I thought). I had done my research and found information about my unborn baby’s diagnosis. I had support from family and friends to help me through my pregnancy and what would come after delivery.

Was a support group really necessary? All I was looking for was a little extra information, insight and deeper understanding from those who had received the same diagnosis and who had walked this road before me. Could joining a Facebook group really help?

Three and a half years later, I’ve come to realize that clicking “join” was one of the best choices I could have made. I had no idea this simple Facebook group would become like a second family to me. Not only would they provide me with extra information, they would shower me with love and give me a type of support I never realized I would need. As we approach Thanksgiving and this season of gratitude, I would like to take a moment to express my thankfulness for an amazing group that has meant more to me than I could have ever imagined.

Dear Group,

Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I don’t have the words to express how much help I have received from each of you. Although most of us have never met in person and probably never will, we have been united by our babies, and we have a bond that runs deep into the heart. We have laughed together and cried together. We have shared some of our most treasured and heartbreaking moments with each other. Together, we have celebrated the brief lives of our babies and mourned their passing. It doesn’t matter that we’re scattered all over the world; we are truly together.

Once again, thank you! You have helped me celebrate every bittersweet anniversary and walked with me through both the dark days and the days of joy. I’m thankful to have a place where I can be honest and open about my fears, sorrows and heartache, as well as my joys, excitement and triumphs. 

You have welcomed each emotion and experience with open arms, love and support. You have answered my questions, shared the stories of your babies and your personal experiences and provided me with comfort as I faced the unknown. 

You never judged me for the choices I made during my pregnancy or after journey. Instead, you extended arms of compassion and understanding. You have provided me with a safe and welcoming place to share openly about my sweet son, his life, his death and his legacy.

As the years have gone on, you have also provided a place for me to give back. You have allowed me to share my experiences and the things I’ve learned through this ongoing journey. You have allowed me to walk alongside each of you. You have allowed me take my turn to encourage, support and uplift others. I’m thankful that not only have I received so much from this amazing group, but that I have also been able to reciprocate.

Although we were brought together by circumstances beyond our control (circumstances we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy, because none of us would wish others to experience the loss of a child), I’m so thankful we have all found each other. Our bond is one that most will never be able to fully understand. Thank you for passing along not only wisdom and insight but also genuine love and friendship and for allowing me to do the same.

I’m happy to know each of you and the stories of your sweet babies and how they left an impact on this world. I never expected our group to mean so much to me, but you have truly become like second family and hold a special place in my heart.

With deep gratitude and love,

Bethany (your sister in this ongoing journey)

I encourage each of you to take a moment and thank the groups that you have provided you support and encouragement during your journey. It can be easy to take a support group for granted or forget just how much they’ve done to help shape your journey. This Thanksgiving, let us remember to thank those we’re connected to on a special level through the unique circumstances in our lives.

If you are on the fence about joining a group or never thought about how a support group could possibly help you during your experience, I encourage you to take a chance. Join a group. Connect with others who are experiencing similar things as you. Not every group will become “family,” but walking a hard road is always better with the support of others.

I’m so glad I decided to hit the “join” button all those years ago!

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or illness during the holiday season, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 25, 2015
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