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Michal Frazee has been one of Three Little Birds Perinatal’s biggest cheerleaders since its founding in 2015. As the organization began developing the services and programs that benefit our families, the Perinatal Comfort Care Package Program was created. The purpose of this box is to provide personalized memory box with items to honor a baby born via stillbirth or pass away shortly after birth. Additionally, the box includes items meant to validate both parents and encourage relaxation and healing during such a difficult time.
As the Package Program was developed, Michal and Executive Director, Kristen Samuelson brainstormed on handcrafted items that can be made by volunteers and provide true healing to families. She then got right to work to develop a small felt bird to be included in each box. Each felt bird is filled with chamomile and lavender herbs, both known to help calm, heal and rejuvenate, especially during times of grief.
Families are encouraged to keep the bird bedside and hold and smell to receive the benefits of aromatherapy. It is also a cute little reminder of their sweet little bird, who will always be with them.
Michal remarks, “Personally, I’ve always preferred creating things by hand versus machine. I've always felt more connected to what I make that way. Each one will come out a little bit different, but that's ok! I think that gives each of the birds personality, which I think is important. I see them as something to hold on to for comfort as an adult and as something their baby would have enjoyed.”
After several bedside sessions with families involving children meeting their baby sibling who has passed away, Three Little Birds was inspired by their fearless innate ability to understand, empathize and be the light in the room during such a dark time. In an effort to further connect these siblings, especially involving memory making and photo taking, Michal developed our Sibling Bracelet Project. These bracelets are given to our volunteer doulas and photographers to share with families who involve their other children in memory making. Children can then keep the bracelet and wear it as a comforting reminder of their connection as a family while they grieve and begin to understand the situation.
Michal is currently working with our other volunteers to develop a Sibling Comfort Package to be given to the families Three Little Birds serves, as well as for sale nationwide through our Etsy store. This project couldn’t be more appropriate given her intense connection with her sister Margrette, who lives more than 2,700 miles away. Over the past two decades, they have shared this bond while Margrette and her family lived all over the world, including, Germany and Alaska. Together, they operate their own Etsy store, MarKel Goods, selling handmade crafts and seasonal decorations. Their motto: Sisters living far apart, uniting through creations.
“My sister and I have always had different viewpoints and styles, but a bond we have always shared is crafting and making things together. We were brought up doing crafts and making many things by hand and really love the sentiment behind a handcrafted gift. Our mother was huge into sewing and creating and we lost her in 1999, so it's always felt like a connection to her as well. It is an honor to sit and create something that you know may bring a smile to someone’s face or let them know they are thought of as they go through a difficult time.”, says Michal.
It is also a testament of how bonds with those we love transcend time and space. Despite both of them living so far apart, they are able to maintain a ritual bond between them to honor their special relationship with one another. There is no reason grieving siblings cannot do the same when they lose a baby brother or sister. These rituals and celebrations offers their hearts and minds healing as families move forward on their journeys of healing.
Picture above: Three Little Birds Supporter Margrette McWilliams and her sister, our volunteer of the Month, Michal Frazee.
You can find more of her work on her handcrafted items at their Etsy store
You can find more bereavement comfort items in Three Little Birds' Etsy Store as well!
Thank you to Michal for your time, talent, artistic point of view and BIG BIG heart in contributing to our mission of community healing and support! Also, thank you to our supporter Margrette McWilliams who supports our mission all the way from California!!!!
WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS NEAR AND FAR!
Kristen Samuelson, SBD, Founder & Director