Hazel is a mother of two amazing boys. One who is now a father and the other, her angel, who was stillborn at 21 weeks. In memory of her son, she started an organization called Mattie’s Memory in October of 2012 to provide support for local Milwaukee, Wisconsin-area hospitals. Mattie’s Memory’s mission has also spread nationwide, with some international interest as well.
She is a trained bereavement doula and midwife, and has helped local chapters of different organizations that help families through difficult times during pregnancy and childbirth. She has provided many newspaper and TV interviews on the topic of stillbirth and the work she does.
Hazel has been recognized and awarded commendations by former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and has received a citation of commendation from State Senator LaTonya Johnson. Mattie’s Memory was also named a finalist in the best Non-Profit & Human Services Organization in the Best of Milwaukee awards for 2021, 2022, and 2023, and was also a finalist for Milwaukean of the Year in 2022 & 2023. She has published many books since the loss of her son, all of which are available online, including the following titles:
Resources for families who have gone through the loss of a child during pregnancy and infancy
Within this book are ideas and help during this extremely tough and difficult time. Including resources to online help, memorial items and details on how to cope with the loss of a child during pregnancy and infancy. We are hoping with this guide you can navigate your journey with grief a little easier and also find the support that is out there for you during this time.
Published on October 23, 2023 • Layout by Julie Arnold
PAIL Resource Guide: Mattie’s Memory Publication
(Walk through the storm)
A book of resources for families who have lost a child. Listed in order of States. These are the main sites available, others including Facebook pages can be found doing Google searches.
Buy now: Amazon Paperback
Published on August 8, 2016
Heavenly Child Memorial Book A Celebration of life: in memory of those lost in infancy
A book for parents to save precious memories of their child from birth and include the sad death of their child. Many parents need something to document both events regardless of how sad it may be.
Buy now: Amazon Paperback
Published on June 6, 2014
Heavenly Child Book of Memories
A book for families who have experienced the devastation of miscarriage to be able to record moments during the pregnancy and have a place to put messages of love to the child they lost.
Buy now: Amazon Paperback
Published on May 7, 2014
The long walk home (A walk through the storm Book 2)
Published on March 9, 2014
A walk through the storm: a book of loss and rainbows
In this book you will find the stories of families wishing to break that silence, to tell society that it’s okay to openly grieve, talk and love their child’s memory. They have buried their child and their plans for the future that child would have had. They know firsthand, how painful it can be to see the looks in the faces of others when they talk about those children. To hear the whispers behind their back from those who think it is time for them to “move on”. “Move On”, what is that? There truly is no “moving on” or “getting over” the death of a child. It is a lifelong journey, one that is fraught with potholes, cliffs, ledges of mountains that they each must walk in their own time and space. They will never “get over” the loss of their child, they will only learn with time, to accept that loss as a part of who they are now. They will never be the same person they were before hand, as they now know that each life is even more precious than jewels. As they walk this journey, they will find that old friends will slip away from their new lives, but new friends will emerge. Friends, who will be there walking the path with them, friends who understand their pain even if their story for how they started this journey is different.
A wise woman once told me, “There is no greater pain than the loss of a child. It’s a pain you never fully accept, you just learn to live with it. You learn that it makes you who you are, who you want to be in the future. It’s the love of a Mother that is ingrained in us that we never let go of our children whether they are with us or not, and what you do with that love is up to us.” That wise woman was my Great Aunt, whose son was born prematurely and died just hours afterwards, to this day, she still grieves, she still mourns and she still visits and calls him her son.
I hope as you read these stories, whether you have lost a child or not, you will learn from them. You will take in what each of these families have to say about how hard it truly is to lose a child and to know how to deal with that loss. Society doesn’t need to dictate how we as parents deal with the loss of our children anymore. It’s time to take a stand, to be the voice for the voiceless, to proudly wear our love for our children on our hearts. Each child you read about in this book has a story to tell, one that was cut short. Who knows one of these children may have been destined for greatness; one could have been a musician, an artist, a scientist. We don’t know because our children were taken from us before they even had a chance to know life outside the womb. These are our children, our stories of loss and love but most importantly they are our stories of hope and renewal. Our renewal in hope of changing society’s views while helping grieving families to know they are not alone. Our hope to leave a legacy behind for our children, that they, themselves could not leave behind. This is their footprint on the world.
Published on May 21, 2013 • Illustrated by Desiree Saunders-Keck