About Hazel

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:

Coping with the death of a loved one

A book made up of the blog posts i have published over the years about grief and how to cope or at least try and cope with the unthinkable.

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Published on November 2, 2023

Giannnis looks for a friend

The story of a little dog who can’t find his friend and the new friends he makes along the way.

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Published on October 30, 2023

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.

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Published on October 23, 2023 • Layout by Julie Arnold

Little turtle’s big adventure

A story of a little turtle looking for his mommy. 

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Published on February 6, 2023 • Illustration by Michael Isler

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.

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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.

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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.

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Published on May 7, 2014

The long walk home (A walk through the storm Book 2)

The worse words you can ever hear are “there is no heartbeat” 1 in 4 women experience child loss and Hazel is one of those women. This book tells the story of her journey from the beginning and where it has taken her too. The death of a child is still a taboo subject and words like “you need to get over it” or be glad you can have children cut to the core. No parent should ever have to bury their child, no parent should leave a hospital with empty arms but sadly 1 in 4 women do. In memory of all our children taken too soon.

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Published on March 9, 2014

A walk through the storm: a book of loss and rainbows

A Walk Through the Storm is a labor of love, a collaboration of families coming together to share their stories of love and loss. The stories all begin the same, you wake up, you discover you’re pregnant and are overjoyed by the news. You plan; you dream and prepare for the future arrival of this new bundle of joy. For some months go by and everything is perfect, for others on this journey the time is much shorter. You’ve heard those words that no parent wishes to ever hear…. “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat”. What do you do know, where do you turn? Who will help you through this journey? Sadly, Pregnancy and Infant Loss occurs more than people would like to think. However, due to society’s views on child death, those numbers are silent. We’re taught, or rather it’s ingrained in us that it’s one of those things you just don’t talk about. Some believe it’s too hurtful for the family if you mention it, others just simply believe that the less said the better.

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.

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Published on May 21, 2013 • Illustrated by Desiree Saunders-Keck