At What Cost?
People in the bereaved community should not charge money.
Dear fellow bereaved mother and father,
Really? Did you just read that opening statement and nod in agreement? Because…
…there are such good people in the baby and child loss community who are creating resources for others, mostly from their own blood, sweat and especially tears. I find it unbelievably sad that this negative and limiting belief creates havoc in the comment streams of people offering services and resources. These services and resources are often offered for a minimal fee to simply help cover costs, and the ugliness that results in some questioning whether they should be paid services can, in some cases, even result in the bereaved parent throwing in the towel and stopping what they are doing altogether.
I have seen this happen time and time again. One seemingly well-meaning (but in true essence, mostly negative or passive-aggressive) comment starts a shit-storm, diminishing someone’s effort and ruining the positive energy of support created for the others.
Because, really – would you expect the NICU nurse that cared for your sick baby before it passed away not to get paid, because you suffered a loss? Would you refuse to pay the doctor and staff treating your child for cancer, because your child is likely to need more and more chemotherapy, and there is no guarantee that it will even cure your child?
The statements like, “She makes money from our pain,” and, “How dare you to benefit from people’s loss?” or, “Why do you charge money when there are people offering this for free (for example, support groups)?” are really just sad attempts at projecting anger and they are not doing anyone a favour, neither to the projector, nor to the person or the cause at which they are projected.
Where does this belief stem from, that people, like for example the contributors here on Still Standing Magazine*, who offer many amazing things to support the bereaved, should not charge for their offerings?
Whether it is for a retreat, an online course, a membership site or a book – where do you think they get the funds for their work and who pays for their time to create such things? (*For reference: The contributors of Still Standing Magazine are not monetarily compensated for the work they do and articles they share.)
Yes, there are free support offers like community counselling, support groups run by the hospital or the Compassionate Friends and many more things not mentioned here. The fact is, though, that all those people, even those working for non-for-profit organisations or charities, need to pay for their living too.
Many *free* services are created using tax money or are funded by donations. Still, people will never be able to feed themselves working for what they are passionate about without having somewhere or someone supporting them by paying their salary or at least a share.
In many cases, the cost and effort which goes into creating resources and services such as course preparation, seminar creation or book authoring is substantial, involving weeks or even months of work and often involving significant additional and unexpected costs. In most cases, the people creating these services for the community will never even recover their costs from the small fees they charge, let alone make any kind of profits. And these same people are also often seen writing articles or doing other kinds of unpaid volunteer activities to support the community.
If by reading this you feel you have something to comment, think about whether your comment is really as kind and supportive as the heart of those supporting others, mostly above and beyond what their salary pays them to do. At least that has been my experience so far with the support services, courses, workshops and books from which I’ve received help.
Thank you for all you do, those who support bereaved parents near and far. I know it’s important and valuable.
Yours truly, another bereaved mother.