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Ole Miss Grad Develops Affirmation Cards for Mothers Navigating Grief, Loss

A University of Mississippi graduate has crafted a resource to help stillborn and miscarriage moms navigate their grief with love, mindfulness, and positive psychology.

Vera Chapman. Photo provided

Vera Chapman, a licensed professional counselor, board-certified coach, and Reiki master – developed her Light in Loss Daily Healing Affirmation Cards as a way for grieving mothers to begin the healing journey.

Before transitioning to a career as a coach and author, Vera served as a career counselor in colleges and private practice for over 10 years.

She earned a doctoral degree in higher education and a master of education in counselor education from the University of Mississippi.

The 31 positive psychology-based affirmation cards are rooted in Chapman’s personal experience with grieving their stillborn son, Hayes, born in 2021, as well as her professional background in psychology and wellness.

Positive affirmations can train the brain to elicit kind and compassionate self-directed thoughts during times when they are especially needed, such as grief.

“I created these cards to help mothers who are struggling with perinatal grief to find light in the midst of their loss so they can move towards healing,” Chapman said.

Part of what led Chapman to develop these cards was the tremendous impact of not finding the support she needed from the medical professionals who handled her care during and after the traumatic delivery.

She was diagnosed with postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder as a direct result.

The 31 positive psychology-based affirmation cards are rooted in Chapman’s personal experience with grieving their stillborn son. Photo provided

“I carried so much regret, shame and guilt from the experience,” Chapman said. “After being

diagnosed with postpartum PTSD, I knew I needed to start my healing somewhere gentle – a top-down

(mind-first) approach to nervous system regulation. So I started creating targeted affirmations that gently challenged my negative thinking while offering the compassion I was so often unable to give myself. That became the gateway to my own healing.”

The cards can act as a liferaft in the wake of trauma for women like Chapman. While developing

the affirmations, she turned to several communities of women who understand the grief journey first hand in order to narrow them down to the 31 most impactful messages.

“The cards are so lovely,” said Brigid Boyle, a perinatal and infant loss grief counselor. “They carry perfect messages – so consistent with the way I approach this particular kind of grief both in my life and in my work.”

Chapman plans to place the cards in hospitals and other places that support women through delivery and perinatal loss throughout the country, making them readily accessible to those who need them most.

She featured illustrations of diverse women on the cards because stillbirth and miscarriage do not discriminate based on race or ethnicity. She also offers an option for anyone to donate card decks from her Shopify store. People can choose an organization to donate to or opt for Chapman to choose the benefiting establishment if they do not have a specific one in mind.

She hopes the cards will be a reminder to women that they are not alone in their experience.

“I was the first to heal from the words on these cards,” Chapman said. “I am beyond honored to share them with women like me who are trying to find their way through the darkest of times, and I believe it is a beautiful first step to begin their healing process – one card at a time.”

For more information, visit https://veravchapman.com/light-in-loss/.

Staff report

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