Jason Versus the Pennsylvania Department of Vital Records – Part 2
by Jason Kimble
by Jason Kimble
by Jason Kimble
When Hannah passed away, Heather and I were absolutely devastated. Having been given a fatal diagnosis, we knew the tragic day would come when we would face the this heartbreaking and difficult time. Knowing this did not make the time any easier, but it did allow us to consider some things about what was happening. That said, one thing that came up was the idea of a birth certificate. Initially this did not cross my mind. At this point, I can’t recall where I heard about it first. I think Heather told me she had seen something about it online. There was a birth certificate that our state would produce for families called the “Birth Resulting in a Stillbirth” certificate. It sounded like something that would be a great thing to have and would add just a little bit of peace in the recognition of our baby girl… or so we thought…
This was a way for families to have their baby recognized by the state as more than just a “medical issue.” It was a way for the family to mark this moment and remember the baby that was lost. It was something that a family can have as something to hold to and show that while their baby couldn’t come home with them, the life of their baby was no less important than anyone else. I didn’t NEED this certificate to allow me to know my daughter existed or mattered, because she did, but in my mind it was nice to have that simple piece of paper just like a “normal” family would.
When we lost our daughter in December of 2013, my wife and I knew that we wanted to do something to help others who were faced with the same difficult tragedy that we had just gone through. We wanted to be able to provide people with help and support. We wanted to be a place people could turn to when they felt that there was no one they could look to for help.
That is part of why we are doing it. The other part is the awareness piece. People do not realize that this sort of thing happens as often as it does. And when it does happen, they don’t know how to react. For some reason, they view the loss of a child as different then another type of loss. I am not sure why, but people seem to think that in the case of stillbirth, miscarriage, or fatal diagnosis, it is something different than any other loss or death people face in there lives.
This is generally one of the times of the year I would really enjoy. There’s fireworks, barbecues, street fairs, the weather is great and there is tons of great food to eat. However, this year as holidays come and go, they tend to be very bittersweet. What used to be a time of celebration has now become a reminder of what “should have been.” Today, I should be taking my daughter to Good Neighbor Day at Kerr Park. It should be her first 4th of July. She should be having her first experience with fireworks, which I am sure would be a little scary for a baby. But I don’t get this experience at all. Instead I get reminded that my daughter is gone.
by Heather Kimble
Once a person goes through all 5 stages of grief, that doesn’t mean these stages will not appear again in the future. Sometimes certain stages will take longer to work through. There’s no time limit. It’s important to go through each stage and not try to avoid them, no a matter how painful or uncomfortable they may be. I believe that grief and this sadness will never go away.