Friendships and Loss

I will never forget the first time I felt it. I was sitting in a room full of women, who were all laughing, talking, complaining about their husbands, bragging about their children. It was five months after my son Joseph had died, and I thought I could do it. I thought I could join the world again. I wanted to feel normal. But sitting in that room—with a newly formed women’s group—I never felt so alone in my entire life. The sounds all became one, like a constant buzzing. My hands started to sweat. My heart started to pound. And I ran for the door.

I ran from new friendships and I ran from my old friendships. I isolated myself from those who had children and babies. I couldn’t face my pregnant friends, because I was a reminder to them of what could go wrong. My friends’ worlds were moving forward, and my life felt as if it was standing still. I didn’t know how to be anyone’s friend.

I was different. I had held my son and watched him take his last breaths. I watched his casket being put in the ground. I had gone home to leaking breasts full of his milk, an empty nursery, and a broken heart. And my friends would never understand that.



As the months after Joseph’s death turned into years, and I sought the help of support groups and private therapy to deal with my grief, I tried to repair old friendships and begin new ones. I started to accept this was the new me. And I began to see, I didn’t have to run.

And I wasn’t alone after all. Through Forever Footprints I’ve met thousands of other women just like me. Women who have lost their child or children. Many of them have become my friends. We may not talk every day. We may not see each other for months. But I know they are there for me, and I am there for them. We are forever connected by the love of our babies.


I’m so fortunate to have women like Taite and Liz in my life. We share the pain of our losses but have formed beautiful friendships. Forever Footprints brought us together. To join a support group and sit beside others who know your pain, Click Here for more information.


I found I could become a friend to others that struggled with pain or loss. It doesn’t just come in the form of losing a child, but also through things like divorce or illness. I’m not always the friend people call to go out for a movie or to go on a girl’s trip, but I’m often the one they call when they are going through a difficult time.


Our friends have been a wonderful support and attended the OC Walk to Remember with us each year. I’m especially grateful to my friend Sandi who has walked beside me for 12 years at every OC Walk to Remember since it began. To create your own team or to walk in honor of a friend’s baby at the 2017 OC Walk to Remember on October 14, Click Here


There are still times I sit in a room and feel so different than anyone else. But I don’t run. I embrace that being a mom who has lost a child has formed me into a person who is strong, brave, resilient, and compassionate. And I tell my story, because more often than not, there someone else in that room that needs a friend.


Kristyn von Rotz is the Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors for Forever Footprints, a nonprofit organization that gives support, education and remembrance to families who have experienced pregnancy loss or infant death. In honor of her son Joseph, who died at birth in July 2005, she has worked for twelve years to improve the care families receive after the loss of their child or children. She’s the mom to three living children and works as a freelance writer and editor. Click Here to follow her Facebook page.

A Mother’s Love

In October of 2009 we were shocked to learn that we were expecting triplet boys. The news brought the eventuality of bedrest, NICU, and the like. In spite of all the risks associated with a multiple pregnancy, we never even considered the possibility of a loss. We were in good hands, we were being watched carefully, and there was no reason to believe that something would go wrong. Until it did.

At 32 weeks and 5 days, I went in for a routine check, and we were given the devastating news that Baby B’s heart had stop beating. In an instant our life changed. We went from anticipating the arrival of three beautiful boys, to mourning the loss of one, and praying like mad for the other two.
Later that same day, all three boys had to be delivered. It was the most bittersweet moment of our lives. Hearing Adler and Cameron cry and seeing their tiny pink bodies was a joy, but feeling Boe being pulled from my body silent and still was heartbreaking. So many emotions and thoughts ran through my mind. How could the other two be here, be alive, and not Boe? How could we have made it this far for this to be the result?

Our Angel

In the days that followed, we were so fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends-people who were there for us in our darkest days. We were also fortunate to be provided with amazing resources to aid in the grieving process. How would we parent the beautiful daughter we already had at home? How would we parent Boe’s surviving brothers while mourning his death? How would we parent the unexpected child who came 18 months after Boe left us? These resources helped. The Balancing Life and Loss: Parenting After Loss Support Group, offered by Forever Footprints, was a huge part of our grief journey. I found comfort sitting with other women who, different as their stories and journeys may be, were right there with me. We were all there for each other, to raise each other up and to laugh, cry, and speak our children’s names aloud so they knew their short lives mattered.

Help Forever Footprints support mothers like Kirsten. We need your support.

Click Here To Donate Now

or text the dollar amount you wish to donate to 714-831-5011

Forever Footprints Programs

3 Hearts

Support Programs

Each day, hour, and even minute, a member of your community experiences a loss of a baby. Sadly, most areas are greatly lacking the support and assistance these parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends need in dealing with their heartache. Forever Footprints is working each day to fill that gap. Through our various programs, we strive to connect these hurting families to support that will offer them understanding and aid as they navigate through the journey ahead of them.

Forever Footprints Support Groups

The Balancing Life & Loss: Parenting After Loss Group is a free support group that addresses the needs of bereaved parents who, after a tragic loss, need to continue living and parenting their surviving children.

The Coping With Loss: Helping Families With The Loss Of A Child Through Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Early Infancy Group is a free support group for bereaved parents and families who have experienced the loss of a child and need a place to help process their  experience and be able to heal.

Education and Support Books Program

Our Education and Support Book Program allows us to donate books to families and hospitals. We offer several books specifically for mothers, fathers, grandparents and children or siblings.

Journey to Remember Program

The Journey to Remember Program is a perinatal comfort care program created to provide a safe and nurturing environment for families who wish to carry to term despite a life-limiting or fatal diagnosis. We provide sensitive care facilitated by a labor and delivery nurse trained in bereavement with personal experience in perinatal loss during the pregnancy, delivery, and follow up bereavement support for the years to come.

Memory Box Program

The Memory Box Program allows us to donate memory boxes to families and hospitals. The boxes are used as a home for keepsakes and photos for anyone who has experienced a pregnancy or infant loss.

Remembrance Basket Program

Our Remembrance Basket Program allows us to donate Moses baskets to funeral homes and hospitals. The baskets are used by hospitals so they have a loving way to transport these special babies with dignity and grace.  The baskets are also used for families who want to spend time with their baby and for photographs.

Sibling to Remember Program

Our Sibling to Remember Program helps big brothers and sisters trying to grasp the loss of their new baby. Through a package personalized to best fit the loss and offer age-appropriate activities and guidance, the gift is intended to assist the child/children in understanding their own grief, that of their families, and the sudden changes in their family dynamics.


Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Oak Creek Golf Club
1 Golf Club Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

11:30 AM Registration
1:00 PM Shot-Gun Start
5:30 PM A Night to Remember (Taco Bar Dinner, Silent and Live Auctions)
The OC Walk to Remember is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Golf to Remember Tournament sponsored by White Nelson Diehl Evans, LLP, to be held on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at Oak Creek Golf Club with a 1:00 PM shot-gun start. Over two million babies die each year due to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, pregnancy loss and infant death. Proceeds from this annual event will contribute to help fund our supports groups for families, assist with educating the medical community to improve quality of care and response and allow us to continue creating opportunities of remembrance like our annual 5k Walk in October and several other events.

DISCOUNTED FOURSOME- $550                                                                                       Single Golfer- $15                                                                                              Golf Includes:

  • Range Balls
  • Putting contes
  • Boxed Lunch
  • Green & Cart Fee (Shared Cart)
  • Taco Bar Dinner (A Night to Remember)
  • And other contests, raffle and fun surprises!


To pay by check, please make checks payable to: OC WALK TO REMEMBER
with a reference to Golf to Remember in the notes.
Mail your payment to:
OC Walk to Remember
151 Kalmus Drive, Suite L-4
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


For more sponsorship and golf opportunities, please visit the OC Walk to Remember website for more details by CLICKING HERE.

 Or contact Ciara Johnson at

 Can’t participate? Donations to the OC Walk to Remember Organization are also welcome! Please CLICK HERE to donate to the organization!


Girls Night Out Fundraiser – June 7th, 2014


Looking for a fun way to support OC Walk to Remember?

One of our board members, Allison DeGeorge has organized a Girls Night Out fundraiser featuring an open bar, dessert bar, Stella and Dot trunk show, and more fun!

If you’re free June 7th please visit this link for more information and to purchase your $40 ticket, and of course 100% of the proceeds will benefit OC Walk to Remember.

If you can’t make the event, but still want to support us in a fun way, check out the online trunk show for Stella and Dot, where commission will be donated back to us and a purchase of $40 or more automatically enters you in a raffle!