Remembering Mia

When my daughter was in middle school, her dance teachers carried far more weight with her than I — a mere mom — did. Jelina Gonzalez was one of those teachers for my daughter. Now that my own daughter teaches dance and fulfills that role for a new generation of middle schoolers, I see the legacy that evolved from how Jelina and others taught her, not just to dance, but to become a young woman.

Jelina and I have stayed in touch, even though she moved hundreds of miles away. She began teaching (her experience of teaching was an integral part of a Toastmasters speech I gave about the power of a pencil). She got married. She shared her excitement as she became pregnant and planned to be Mia Sofia’s mom, with Erik to be Mia Sofia’s dad.

Mia Sofia died in utero at eight months’ gestation on March 21.

Jelina and Erik are working to raise money for Cuddle Cots so other families in similar situations can spend more time with their babies.  

As you can see in this video, Mia Sofia is loved beyond measure. (Note: The video’s privacy settings may or may not allow you to see it.)

Why a Cuddle Cot

To honor Mia Sofia, Jelina and Erik are raising money for Cuddle Cots. A Cuddle Cot is a specially-designed cooling system that prolongs the time a family can spend with their infant. Learn more about how Cuddle Cots work by visiting this link.

Comments in italics from Erik and Jelina:

Losing a little one is tough. Bereaved families are given the opportunity to spend some time with their baby after they’re born before being transported to the morgue. Unfortunately, this time is fleeting and doesn’t allow the parents to properly bond with their little angel. That time meant everything to our family.

A CuddleCot gives the family time to bond and grieve by keeping the baby cool. We wish we had one during our time of need, but we feel that we can honor our baby girl by donating one to Wellington Regional and help other families.

If you’d like to make a donation, please send your gift via Venmo to
@MiaSofia2019. (Here’s a link, but I think you have to be on the app for it to work.) Erik and Jelina ask that you include your name and email so they can keep you updated.

One image in my head throughout this period has been the sign Erik and Jelina had prepared for Mia’s room.

In that spirit, suggestions for three ways to help this family that is so dear to us.

M … for memories. Erik and Jelina will always have memories, and they created as many as they could in the time they had with Mia. They are trying to get Cuddle Cots for the hospital where Mia was born so other families faced with the death of their infant will have time for more memories.

I … for inform. Inform people about Cuddle Cots and — beyond telling them about a particular product — help them understand why families need this time with their babies.

A … for act. When there is a loss like this, everyone wants to do something to make a difference. In this situation you can act by donating or by simply providing support if a family you know finds themselves in this situation.

21 thoughts on “Remembering Mia

  1. I recall watching a video of a park in London where, at one time in recent past, it was possible to pay to have message placed on one of the benches. There was one I could never get out of my mind. It began with a child’s name. I don’t recall the name. Then, the message: … live for an hour, loved forever.

    • I think we can fill in the blanks and I appreciate you commenting/sharing the story about the bench. I was telling Jelina that this — and the way she and Erik are celebrating Mia — is so personal to me b/c my mom lost an infant in pretty much the same way. It was the early 60s, though — and although I don’t know the details of how they commemorated his life, I am pretty sure the medical establishment wasn’t as informed about how parents need time with their infants in this situation. It’s for Kevin, too, and for the thought that we have all become a little better (hopefully) at walking with people through this very difficult journey.

  2. Having given Jelina her first teaching job, I have witnessed her passion for helping others and Eric is always there to support her. I admire their strength and endless desire both of them have to put others needs first and do whatever they can for others. They are a rare couple I am proud to help. We wish our family, and others, including another reacher on staff, who could have benefitted from this kindness. Luckily, Eric and Jelina are making this happen with the support of so many. Thank you for sharing this chapter of their story!! ♥️

  3. A wonderful way to remember and love such a beautiful baby. Mia Sofia has touched so many lives in her short time and will help to bring some comfort to the families of those unfortunately lost in the future. God bless you for all that you’re doing Jelina and Erik in the name of your baby girl, Mia Sofia.

  4. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. The very first time Mia Sofia opened her precious little eyes she saw the face of Jesus.
    “Blessed are those that mourn: for they shall be comforted”.
    With the loss of Mia Sofia their very first child, Jelina and Erik are showing their strengh by achieving positive and helpful deeds together with Erik and Jelina’s parents, who are first time grandparents.
    May God bless them now and forever.

  5. I have a niece who died a week before scheduled delivery, so I pay a little more attention to stories about loss and babies. I’m glad to see that this innovation can help parents at such a tender time.

  6. What a gracious way to not only honor the memory of their precious Mia Sofia but also to pay kindness forward to others going through similar heartache. Will be praying for their family as I’m sure their time of grief and heartache continues, and that their message of hope grows deep roots as a firm foundation, and wings to spread it far and wide.

    • Thank you, Dianna. I am sure they will appreciate your prayers. One of their friends had a rose propagated that is registered with Mia Sofia’s name (it’s lavender, of course). It is such a lovely sight to see the pictures of the roses as they are blooming. What a perfect reminder.

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