Our Story

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One journey of grief and hope

Our story is just one of many stories of child loss. By sharing our story, we invite you to reflect on your personal journey, and we want you to know that you are not alone. Together, we’ll weave a tapestry of stories that collectively form the story of child loss and Forever Held.


a place of deep grief-
the story of founders hayden and sheree ballinger

Our journey has taken us into the joys of parenthood as well as the depths of grief. Growing our family involved more heartache than we ever anticipated as we experienced 5 miscarriages.

The idea of Forever Held came after our most recent miscarriage in May 2018 when we lost our beautiful baby boy, Jamin, after 18 weeks of pregnancy. His devastating loss propelled us into a place of deep grief as we tried to come to terms with losing our precious son.

There were no answers.

Just grief.

Susan A Berger
Although the loss of a loved one is
unquestionably traumatic, it carries with it hidden gifts as well.”

Susan A Berger

Our world changed forever

We’re thankful to have experienced amazing support from our family and friends after the loss of Jamin. At the same time, it was difficult to navigate our grief when we felt that our world had forever changed, and yet everything around us kept going like nothing had happened.

We grieved in a vastly different ways, making it challenging to know how to connect and support each other. We grappled with how to process our grief in the middle of the everyday demands of life. The impact of grief on our family was enormous.

Even though this is not the story we would have chosen, this is our story. Rather than running from it, suppressing it or hiding it, we are learning to accept it. We needed to make space for our grief no matter how uncomfortable or painful.

When we have the courage to walk into our story and own it, we get to write the ending.”

Brene Brown

a vision of hope

As we allowed ourselves to be authentic in our grieving, we discovered that grief is intertwined
with glimpses of beauty. There will never be anything ok about the loss of our children but in the midst of our pain and loss, we found hope in the darkness.

We also realised that spending time in nature helped us to be still and experience a sense of peace even though our circumstances had not changed.

Our journey led to our vision of providing a peaceful retreat to help parents grieve the loss of a child.

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