• Shannon Zisa

Adalyn's Angel Walk - Finding A Connection To This World

Adalyn’s light is still shining so bright! She continues to inspire me to be the mama I want her to have, someone she can be proud of. Each toddler loss mama that I am blessed enough to journey alongside, on our walks through grief, bring healing and strength to my grieving heart. Each post that they share welcoming their bunny into their hearts and homes remind me that the long hours, heartbreaking stories, sleepless nights, and tears shed are making a difference. These bunnies give the mama (and family members) something to hold when the world feels like it is slipping through their fingers. The bunny is a keepsake, that carries a special item of their toddler’s inside, allowing the mama to continue physically carrying her toddler with her. It’s a way of holding their toddler close to their hearts. Acts For Adalyn Foundation Inc. is more than just the keepsake bunny. It’s a connection to other mothers that have experienced the same unimaginable loss of their toddler, suddenly, tragically, and with no warning. It unites mothers that have experienced the same type of loss as we try to navigate our new reality. Acts For Adalyn provides a safe place to talk about loss, life after loss, and life before loss. A place to share our toddlers with others that can truly use the words, “I understand”.


Adalyn is the greatest blessing of my life. Sharing her legacy and kindness with other toddler loss mamas has become my purpose in life. It is my reason for getting out of bed in the morning, my reason for facing the hard days, the reason that I survived that night. For 23 months, I have questioned why I survived that horrific night. I have tried to find meaning in life after the loss of my whole world. The honest truth is that I don’t know why any parent is forced to walk this road. I don’t have wise words to offer these mothers, I can’t take away their pain, I can’t heal their hearts. I believe, with everything inside of me, that my purpose here is to walk with these mothers. As I walk with them on their journeys through grief, I learn so much about myself and my shattered heart begins to connect with this world again. The world is a very different place after loss, especially after the loss of a child. Child loss is unnatural. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children. It seems that a natural response to such a huge loss is to feel very disconnected from the world. Nothing that we once knew to be true, like outliving our child, is real anymore. Nothing makes sense anymore. I have struggled to feel a sense of belonging anywhere after loss. I’m different, I am changed. The old “me” that I was before June 2, 2019, is gone.


For so long now, I haven’t recognized the face in the mirror that stares back at me. A face filled with grief and agony. Eyes that are empty and full of sorrow. My face has always shown my emotions. It’s impossible for me to mask my feelings...if my mouth doesn’t say it, my face definitely will. It’s been no different with grief. Nothing will age you as quickly as losing your child. The physical signs of grief are displayed in so many ways. It’s the outward expression that you are no longer the same as you once were. Grief changes everything about you.


I am humbled to be a part, no matter how small, of each mama’s life and their journey. I’m honored to have the opportunity to get to know their toddlers through their eyes. I am thankful to have some connection to this world again. The Acts For Adalyn Foundation is only able to impact the lives of these mamas, and all the mamas yet to come, because of the support from so many. Your donations, your prayers, your thoughts, and your support are changing and impacting the lives of these mothers as they face the unimaginable loss of their toddler.


This year, on June 2nd, we will honor and remember Adalyn with a fundraising event to help support and continue her legacy. Adalyn’s 1st Annual Angel Walk will include a walk down the path we took that night, it’s the path Adalyn took to her angel wings. We will honor her at her cross with pink flowers (Adalyn’s favorite) and the addition of an A to her memorial. Participants that register on or before May 15th will receive an event shirt with their registration. The shirts are adorable and commemorate the very 1st Angel Walk. You can participate in person or virtually. You can be part of a team, create a team, or register as an individual. We also have sponsorship opportunities available. You can sponsor a bunny for a mama on our website: www.actsforadalyn.org. You can find more information and register for the walk (in person or virtually) and/or become a sponsor by visiting: www.adalyn.runwalk.events.


Thank you to our sponsors and donors that continue to make this foundation possible. You are truly making an impact in the lives of toddler loss mamas, as they journey through grief. You are the reason that we can face this unimaginable loss together. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Thank you for continuing to support, sponsor, and donate to the Acts For Adalyn Foundation.


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