Saturday, August 17, 2013

Inspirational Bereaved Parent - An Interview with Franchesca Cox Founder of Still Standing Magazine

Today I am excited to welcome Franchesca Cox! Creator of Still Standing Magazine, author of Small Birds Studio, founder of Sisterhood of Loss and Support, and compassionate soul that creates safe spaces for the bereaved parents in this world.

Lindsey: Welcome Fran! I am so honored that you accepted an Interview as an Inspirational
Bereaved Parent for Still Breathing. We all know you from Still Standing Magazine and the
wonderful work you do at creating a safe, warm, and welcoming community for bereaved
parents who have experienced child loss. I know that I was so nervous to e-mail you inquiring
about being a contributor to the magazine at first, but you just have a way of making
everyone feel so welcomed, loved, and safe. I felt right at home in the community you
created at Still Standing and it is all because of you and the work you do in creating welcoming
places in the child loss community.

Fran: Thank you so much Lindsey!!! That means an awful lot. And it is an absolute honor to
have you a part of Still Standing. It is exciting to watch the work that you are creating for this
community unfold.

Lindsey: The story of how you loved and lost your daughter Jenna is touching and tearful.
Could you please tell us about your Jenna and her warrior spirit?

Fran: Well in a few words she is my hero. From day one she fought so hard to stay with us. She
spent 13 beautiful days in the NICU and they are 13 days that shaped me more than I realized
at the time, for the rest of my life. As much as it turned my world upside down to say
goodbye, I cannot help but see that she has left behind such a beautiful mess. She has helped
me to see life with a new perspective, and appreciate the things and even people I used to
take for granted.

Lindsey: You write that some of your healing started out on your personal blog you created as
a place to express your pain. But then other things happened, like the creation of TheSisterhood of Loss and Support. These were the early “gifts” as you refer to them, from your

When did you know you were ready to give these gifts of healing to others?

Fran: To be totally honest a lot of the things that came since her loss served a twofold
purpose. Sometimes in grief I became so overwhelmed with her death, with sadness and
even depression and anger at times. It helped to redirect my pain, and for the lack of a better
word, distract my heart from her loss to the world out there that is also going through this
incredible loss, and in some cases more than one loss. I suppose I knew it was the right time
to start giving back when my heart felt strong enough to think about reaching out, and when I
felt so incredibly lost in this pain that I realized I could not do this alone. Reaching out was
the only option. I would say that it did take about six months before I felt ‘ready’.

Lindsey: Now, that leads me to the question I think most others want to know. As the
founder of the most popular online child loss and infertility magazine, how did Still Standing
come to be?

Fran: The idea stemmed when I fell pregnant with our second ‘rainbow’ baby. I became
frustrated at a few things. One being, that there are no mainstream magazines that highlight
pregnancy after loss on a regular basis. Reading ‘normal’ pregnancy magazines made me
crazy, because a lot of the things they often talked about made me feel even more like I was
on this island, when really that is when I think a bereaved mother needs so much extra love
and care. This frustration began to grow into a deeper ‘what if’. I knew of so many amazing,
amazing writers and pockets of communities and blogs since losing Jenna. I thought that it
was such a shame that all these places and writers could not gather in one place and find
every last resource there is out there.

Lindsey: What do you think was the most important method of healing that helped you on
your journey of grief?

Fran: Writing, hands down.Writing has helped me to process this life after Jenn. And a gift
that I could have never imagined at the time, was getting the chance to connect with a
community that understood my loss and pain.

Lindsey: Since the loss of Jenna you have had two beautiful children, and I know you have
written the book, Celebrating Pregnancy…Again. Which I plan on reading when the time is
right for me. So, I am wondering if you can share a bit of your advice from the book about
how to celebrate pregnancy again after loss.

Fran: Oh boy, that is a hard one. I could go on and on but I would tell a mother expecting her
rainbow baby to know and believe that you deserve to be happy again. Grief will always be
there, and the truth is you will have the rest of your life to grieve the child that you cannot
hold in your arms, but these nine or so months can never be relived. So silence the guilt, and
celebrate this beautiful new life, with reckless abandonment.

Lindsey: Fran, thank you so much for taking time to share with us today about your healing
process and transforming your grief into something that helps others heal, and really, THANK
YOU for all that you do! I know many bereaved parents benefit from the community you
have created. Personally, being welcomed into the Still Standing Community has really
helped my grieving process.

You can find Fran in many creative places inside and outside of the child loss community,
from her personal blog Small Bird Studios and her creative art studio highlighting her artwork,
to her writings, and to the online community and magazine that she started Still StandingMagazine.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Great questions, Lindsey!! And, I really admire Franchesca, too. Between your site and hers, I really find comfort and positive energy to make it through each day. <3


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