Calypso’s Ocean is a fairly unique charity in the world of infant knitting. There are many charities dedicated to preemies, to stillborns, to SIDS, and the like — but not many who target neonatal death. Neonatal death refers to babies who are born prematurely and, despite their best efforts, can not survive. This process is completely agonizing for the parents who have to watch their tiny infants struggle for every breath, often for weeks on end, before they finally succumb to death. The name Calypso’s Ocean comes from baby Calypso, the founder’s daughter, who struggled for 23 days before dying of an infection and a collapsed lung. This trauma inspired her mother to help others by founding a charity knitting organization designed to help others enduring the same pain.
Charity knitting for neonatal death
One of the most important functions Calypso’s Ocean fills has nothing to do with knitting. It’s just about memories. The charity’s website has ‘Angel Pages’ where grieving parents can post photos and memories of their lost children. Parents can take solace in one another and in the knowledge that their children will not be forgotten. However, this site is about charity knitting, so obviously there’s a knitting component to Calypso’s Ocean, too. The charity donates bereavement packages to hospital OB wards and NICUs. Helping can be as simple as making a financial donation, sending a disposable camera — or knitting up a storm. Like many preemie and neonatal charities, Calypso’s Ocean includes items for infants to wear in the hospital or to dress them for burial. These include blankets, hats, booties, and teddy bears — all things you can easily knit. It might not seem like a big deal to knit a blanket that will ultimately be used for a burial, but the knowledge that someone cared enough about their child to handknit something can mean the world to a parent. If you decide to knit items for Calypso’s Ocean, worry less about material than style. Remember, these parents are suffering the ultimate loss. They will treasure every little detail and embellishment you use to emphasize how important their child really is. It’s fine to donate individual items for bereavement packs, but consider a matched set: the extra touches are what make the difference. Once you’ve finished knitting, visit the Calypso’s Ocean website and contact them to find out the greatest areas of need and where you should donate your items. Knitting for neonatal death isn’t the most cheerful charitable undertaking, but it’s definitely one of the most meaningful — you won’t have any doubt in your mind that you’re making a difference. So next time you want to do some charity knitting, consider helping out these bereavement packs by knitting for Calypso’s Ocean!