Empty Arms Bereavement

Meet Our Peer Companion: Katherine Schmeiser

My daughter Mabel was a medically complex beauty. When she was 7 months old, she died in my arms. While her birth had shattered my reality, her death further crushed my understanding of the world and left me alone, hurt, and unsure. I didn’t start attending Empty Arms meetings until about 6 months after her death, simply because I was in such a fog that I did not understand what Empty Arms could be to me. In Empty Arms, I found safety. I found friends, solidarity, a willingness to discuss the darkest days, laugh at the silliness of life, and speak Mabel’s and the others’ names.

Because of Empty Arms, I never feel alone anymore, not in my darkest or lightest moments, and I’ve met the most wonderful women who have become my friends and family. What I regret in the early days is not having found Empty Arms earlier. I never want another mother to feel as alone as I felt in those early days, and that has been my primary motivation to be a peer companion.

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