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Creating Meaning Out of Loss with Matt and Haley Phillips

Episode 47:

How do you recover from a terrible loss? And how do you honor the life of the person you lost? And most importantly, how do you create meaning out of heartbreak?

The Uncommon Life is about every aspect of life, the good times and the challenging times. That’s what makes this episode so meaningful for us. We talk with Matt and Haley Phillips, who are the parents of two beautiful children who they got to bring home from the hospital after giving birth – and one who did not come home with them.

Through their experience with their son Fletcher, you’ll find out how they came to understand grief in a way they had not experienced before. They wanted to honor Fletcher’s life and also help people who are going through similar circumstances.

We talk about the financial burdens of a hospital visit for childbirth, even when the child does not return home with you. We talk about what it means to start a charitable foundation from scratch. Hint: it’s not easy!

Matt and Haley Phillips started The Fletcher Foundation after the loss of their son through stillbirth. The Fletcher Foundation is for families who find themselves in a similar season of life, wondering how to cope with the financial and emotional burdens of such a loss.

There is a sacred pain in losing a child, and the Fletcher Foundation is about walking beside families who are going through that pain.

https://thefletcherfoundation.net/

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • The financial impact of miscarriage and stillbirth
  • How to find support after a miscarriage or stillbirth
  • What it’s like to build a non-profit from scratch
  • How to be kind to yourself and to loved ones when tragedy strikes
  • The challenge of raising money for a tragedy that doesn’t get talked about
  • How to set up tax-exempt status for your charitable organization
  • How to be there for people who are experiencing griefCreating meaning out of loss
“I wanted to start a nonprofit where we would pay the family's bills after they lost their baby to miscarriage or stillbirth.” – Matt Phillips Click To Tweet “To have a higher bill for the child we weren’t able to bring home compared with our first child, that was a real shock to me.” – Haley Phillips Click To Tweet “Newsflash: Setting up a non-profit is a little more complicated than setting up a Facebook page, asking for donations, and helping people pay their hospital bills. We found that out in a hurry.” – Matt Phillips Click To Tweet “Both of our places of work were so supportive after the stillbirth. We both got maternity/paternity leave, people brought food, sat with our one-year-old. That is not the kind of support everyone gets.” – Haley Phillips Click To Tweet “I'm definitely not emotional or a griever, especially right away. It takes me a long time to process things.” – Matt Phillips Click To Tweet “Having time to grieve helped us realize life is short. What do we do with it? What matters? Where are we investing? We were able to love each other well, and we got great advice to just be kind to yourself and be kind to each other.” – Haley Phillips Click To Tweet “We wanted to structure as a non-profit organization without a lot of overhead. I wanted people to know that the money that's coming in is going back out towards the little expenses we have and then to the families we serve.” – Matt Phillips Click To Tweet “Ideally we’d like to reach people as a resource to help through the grieving process through the touchpoints they encounter at the hospital, through funeral homes, and through counselors.” – Haley Phillips Click To Tweet “The question now is how do we scale a non-profit to impact more families, have more outreach? It’s hard to figure these things out when you've never done it before.” – Matt Phillips Click To Tweet “Grief is a process. It's something that you'll live with for the rest of your life, and there are different triggers at every different season of life.” – Haley Phillips Click To Tweet