Genesis of RedBird
Life and death have walked with me since my son Levi was born without a heartbeat or breath. Emergency measures, the Neonatal ICU, a series of diagnoses—my plan for a healthy birth had shapeshifted into constant uncertainty about my son’s medical crises and future. We were a kaleidoscope of shattered dreams, grief, hope, and unexpected beauty, as we ran an in-home ICU for Levi. Our heart's desire was to give him a well loved and fulfilled life, no matter how long or short it would be.
At seven years old, Levi died in our arms as he ascended into the arms of Jesus. His fragile life and early death acquainted me with the most vulnerable spaces of the soul—through loss of a child, unending love for him, and having to navigate life without his physical presence.
Have you had such an experience, or has someone you love?
Years into our grief journey, my family continues to feel our love and loss, particularly on life’s missed milestones—birthdays, holidays, the first day of school, the changing seasons. This journey is different for each of us. We have different milestones that touch us deeply.
During my grief journey, I have also walked alongside family and friends who have lost Loved Ones, discovering the experiences we share.
When we grieve, we often:
- easily feel alone
- long to be cared for
- want to actively remember our Loved One—alone and with others
- struggle to find satisfying ways to honor our Loved One, particularly at life’s missed milestones
These themes are well-known to palliative care and hospice providers, who support families facing serious illness, end of life, death, and bereavement.
Since 2015, I have worked alongside medical providers as a Family Advocate. Currently I am serving in these places:
- Pediatric Palliative Care National Task Force
- Minnesota’s Palliative Care Advisory Council
- Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition of Minnesota
- Co-faculty for the Pediatric End of Life Care Skills Workgroup at the University of Minnesota
Witnessing the Longing
I have experienced and witnessed the longing of those who grieve to honor their Loved Ones on life’s missed milestones. Overwhelming heartache makes planning a burden, even for “organized” people. And so milestone moments slip away, leaving an added sense of loss.
Caring friends and family want to give meaningful support to their grieving friends, but they don’t know how best to help, and they fear causing more pain or misunderstanding what matters most in a unique grief journey. And again, milestone moments can silently pass us by.
- What if gifts for grieving people went beyond the current trend of consumables and trinkets?
- What if a gift could both honor the Loved One and provide some healing and hope to the grieving person?
- What if a gift could lighten the burden about what to do on the missed milestone days?
- What if a gift helped a grieving person discover what is meaningful to them in their grief journey?
- What if a gift inspired engagement on a pathway toward resiliency?
Wondering Becomes RedBird
I am so thrilled to have brought my wondering into action through the launching of RedBird. RedBird offers answers to these questions through offering our first gift get, GOLDEN Remembrance Time. This gift set provides convivence, structure and support to help a grieving person remember their Loved One in a meaningful way.
GOLDEN has been developed in partnership with our NestClub members, who are all grieving people, with a variety of relationships to their Loved Ones, and whose losses took place from weeks ago to years ago. Learn more about our NestClub on the About Us page.