The eight women who gathered recently at the home of Laurie Mossey of Abbotsford had something heart-wrenching in common: They have all lost a child within the past 14 months.
They were bonded by a grief that only those who have gone through it can understand, and they wanted to pass on the act of kindness that they had experienced through Mossey.
Mossey runs The Pajama Project, which delivers a pair of pajamas to moms coping with the death of a child.
When she heard about the horrifying mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, Mossey thought of the grieving families of the 20 children who were killed.
She sent an email to a Catholic church that was among those handling the public outpouring of support, told them about The Pajama Project and asked where she could send packages for the moms.
She received a reply the next morning with an address to send the gifts.
Meanwhile, Mossey had already connected with many of the moms to whom she had previously sent pajamas – a gesture of kindness and comfort in a dark time.
They, too, were moved to help. They gathered at Mossey’s home to help her package the pajamas and prepare cards of support.
“We understand what they (the Newtown moms) are feeling and wanted to do something,” Mossey said.
She said the women who came to her home instantly bonded.
“It was amazing. We all understood each other.”
Mossey began The Pajama Project last fall. She had been moved by the pair of pj’s she received after the November 2011 ecstasy-related death of her only child, Tyler Miller, at age 20.
She was touched that someone knew exactly how she felt – so consumed with grief that she didn’t even want to get dressed.
Mossey began sending pajamas to moms she heard about either from news reports or through word of mouth.
The project continues to grow. Last month, a partnership with the Abbotsford Hospice Society resulted in “Wear Your Pajamas to Work or School Day” to raise funds for the group.
This year, Mossey plans to establish The Pajama Project as a non-profit society, and wants to host weekend retreats for grieving moms.
For more information about The Pajama Project or to make a donation, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.