Reflecting on 2019: A letter from HAND President, Kelly Symons

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Helping After Neonatal Death

2019 Annual Letter

Dear HAND Families –

Helping After Neonatal Death is closing its 36th year providing grief support and services to families who have lost a child before, during, or shortly after birth.

HAND is run exclusively by volunteers – all bereaved parents – in the Bay Area. We all strive to provide families with a safe place to land.

Your feedback matters

Whether you’ve attended a meeting or annual event, received printed materials or phone support provided by HAND, your feedback is extremely valuable.

By responding to this short survey, you enable us to learn from your experience, to improve our services and better support bereaved families in the Bay Area.

Do you have 10 minutes to help us?

Take our survey

Our community events

Service of Remembrance – October 6, 2019

Celebrating the memory of the children we have lost is both beautiful and difficult at the same time. Every October we gather to honor the memory of our children. HAND families spend time connecting with old and new friends; and providing comfort to one another.

Holiday Craft Night – December 5, 2019

The holidays tend to be a difficult time for families who have experienced the loss of a child. Every December HAND provides a night for all to gather, to provide joy at this trying time. Families come to mingle, share stories and create a holiday memento of their child.

“What HAND Means to Me”

We asked parents what HAND means to them. Here are some highlights:

“HAND has given me a place to go where I feel understood and can share freely.”

“HAND understands me and allows me to grieve on my own terms.”

“HAND provides a comforting refuge during a dark storm and continues to comfort through the years of learning a new normal.”

“HAND gave me a safe space to begin to process, express, and honor the loss of my son. It was like learning a new language, and meeting others who spoke the same.”


As we close 2019 we’re so very thankful for our volunteers and the time they give to help grieving families.

There’s a place for you at HAND. Our board is always looking for new faces with unique experiences and perspectives. Most volunteer positions require minimal time. We currently have openings for meeting facilitators, phone volunteers, and a general outreach committee.

If you are looking for a way to give back in 2020, we would love for you to join us.

Be a volunteer

Support Our Mission

We rely entirely on your support so grieving parents can receive our services for free.

Though we would desire to live in a world without neonatal loss, we don’t.

Here’s how you can help us.

Volunteer time to support to families in need. There are small and big ways to help others, please contact info@handonline.org or 888-908-4263 if interested.

Talking about HAND to others can be especially helpful, reminding people that pregnancy and infant loss is common, and that HAND is available to help.

Provide a financial contribution to make it possible to offer HAND’s services and materials at no charge to newly bereaved families.

Make a donation

I wish you all a safe and happy 2020.

Kelly Symons,
HAND President, 2019
Forever Remembering Hadley Avery Symons

Helping After Neonatal Death (HAND) is a California not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation, founded in 1983 to help parents, their families, and their healthcare providers cope with the loss of a baby before, during, or after birth. HAND relies primarily on your donations to fund our programs to support parents and families.