Meet The Facilitator
Hello and welcome to BLOOM! My name is Charmel Clough and I am the founder of Emilia’s Wings and facilitator for BLOOM. My husband Dan and I have called the Kansas City Northland home for over 10 years. We have been blessed with four beautiful children – Adelaide, Emilia, Roselyn, and Owen – each of whom bring so much love and joy to our family. In my free time I enjoy crafting, cooking/baking, eating delicious cuisines, exercising, traveling, and of course advocating for Pregnancy and Infant Loss through our family’s nonprofit, Emilia’s Wings.
My journey with loss began with the sudden death of my second daughter, Emilia Madeleine Rose Clough. Emilia was born asleep on March 15, 2017 at 33 weeks gestation due to an infarct in her umbilical cord. Life lost all meaning and purpose when Emilia died. Completing simple tasks such as showering, eating meals, and caring for my then three-year-old daughter all became labor-intensive chores that required conscious effort. During this time of raw and intense grief, I found KC Hope (what is known today as BLOOM). It was empowering to sit among other parents who understood my pain and whom I could also easily relate to. I could cry; say Emilia’s name out loud; curse, scream, and shout; and know that I was surrounded by others who wouldn’t judge me or treat me differently because of what I had been through. Almost five years later, my husband and I again experienced a second loss. On February 25, 2021 we miscarried at 7 weeks gestation quietly and safely within the walls of our home. KC Hope remained a steady source of comfort and hope for our family during this time.
My own personal experience with loss and grief has molded me into the person I am today. The support and compassion my family received from groups such as BLOOM have helped lessen the burden that so many of us carry alone. BLOOM is a place where parents can come to honor their babies in meaningful ways. We say our children’s names out loud and we remind the world that their short lives matter, too. We laugh, we cry, we hold onto the happy memories, and we help carry each other through the tough moments in life when grief is too heavy to shoulder alone. My hopes are that other bereaved parents feel welcomed into our BLOOM family, and that each individual is given the comfort they need to carry on. In times of grief, when our world has lost all its color, all we need is someone to take us by the hand and remind us that we are not alone.
We hope you will join us at BLOOM. It would be an honor to walk alongside you on your journey through grief.
How We Began
BLOOM got its humble beginning as a group of three women who sought each other’s comfort after the loss of a child. At the time, the group was called “The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group.” A spokesperson of the group said, “We are a group of women who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss and found no one who understands or can assist us through the grief and trauma. We have joined together to support each other.” That was 1988. At the first meeting in January, no one showed up. After advertising in four local papers, there was one person who came to the second meeting. Between the second and third meetings, phone calls started coming in, and the third meeting had four people in attendance. We are blessed to have touched over 150 families in the years since.
BLOOM has been reaching out to hurting families in the Kansas City area for over 35 years. Through the years we have changed locations and names (formally The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Group & KC HOPE), but the mission and essence of our group has remained the same.
BLOOM stands for Bringing Light Out Of Mourning. Our name was inspired by the blooming lotus flower. The lotus flower is a symbol that is sacred in Eastern cultures. It represents human suffering and the obstacles we are faced with in life’s challenges. The struggles we each experience while grieving after Pregnancy & Infant Loss is much like the lotus flower. “Lotuses root themselves underwater, pushing up until they break through the water’s surface, and bloom. Like a lotus, you have risen through muddy waters to create a beautiful life for yourself and those around you.”
Your life right now may feel far from beautiful. Perhaps you feel like your lotus is struggling to reach the surface and that your bud will never bloom again. BLOOM is here to sit with you in your grief and to help you find meaning and purpose within life again.