August 19th – Day of Hope – The Prayer Flag Project

flagssprojectzWelcome.

The August 19th – Day of Hope Prayer Flag Project is a profoundly moving, poignant and healing event to break the silence surrounding the death of babies and children. It is also an incredibly touching way to honour their lives. Each year we have thousands of people taking part across the globe, making this a truly inspiring event.

The Project itself begins on July 1st and will end on August 19th 2014. You can join the Project at any point between these two dates. We invite you all to make a Prayer Flag in memory of your children that have died. In the process of making your Prayer Flag you are able to give yourself some time to honour your own personal journey and reflect on your grief and healing as well. On August 19th we will be stringing our Prayer Flags up in our homes, gardens or places that are significant to us, all over the world. We will then be sharing them in photographs and video clips with the rest of the world through social media.

What Is A Prayer Flag?

A Prayer Flag is a piece of coloured material. They are usually rectangular in shape. The Prayer Flags are often inscribed with mantras, prayers, messages, scriptures, blessings, names, words, poems or quotes.  The tradition of hanging Prayer Flags dates back thousands of years. It is believed that once the Prayer Flags are hung up, the breeze takes the prayers and carries them all over the world. Prayer Flags hold a very sacred and beautifully divine energy.

Who Can Join This Project: Anyone who has been touched by the death of a baby or child at any age or gestation is welcome to join. Just like last year, we would also like to invite the infertility community to join us too. For those of you who are living through infertility we invite you to make a flag to capture your own journey. You may want to make a Flag to express your grief with trying to conceive a child or you may want to make a flag of hope for the future, it is completely up to you. You may want to share this experience with your friends and family members or support groups. It could be a project that you all work on together. In saying that you can keep this project completely to yourself. There is no obligation for you to share this experience with anyone. Just do what is most comfortable for you.

cdd-horzHow To Make A Prayer Flag:

Take your time to make your Prayer Flags. Dedicate this time in your life to your children and to yourselves.  You may want look for some inspiration before starting. Think about your children. Is there a certain colour that you associate your child with? Do you have a specific symbol for them? Think about all of the things that you could incorporate to represent the precious life of your child. You may want to search Pinterest for some ideas. You can sketch your design out on a piece of paper before you start working on your Flag. You may choose to simply cut and glue (like me!) or if you can sew or crochet, you may take that approach. When it comes to the actual time of creating your Prayer Flag – light a candle for your child and play some beautiful music or you may even want to make it in silence. Switch your phone to silent, turn off the TV. Make your surroundings as peacefu as possible. You may want to take photos as you go to document your journey. Remember to be mindful that this is to be a healing experience. It is not just about the very end result, but the journey.

You will need:

  • A rectangular piece of material around 9×12 inches in size:  By us all having the same shape and size we can symbolize the unity in this community. We all have different stories (flag designs) but we have one common bond (Flag size/shape).
  • Creative Materials: You do not have to be super creative to take part in this Project. Things that you will need a pair of scissors, glue OR a sewing machine. I do not have a sewing machine, so for those of you freaking out, thinking you can’t take part… you can! You may want to paint your Prayer Flag or use coloured texters, stickers or other embellishments. There are no rules when it comes to how creative you would like to be with this Project. If you are looking for more inspiration you are welcome to browse through my Prayer Flag Albums that I created in 2012 when over 350 families from around the world sent us a hand-made Flag to be displayed at our Beach Remembrance Ceremony that we held in October 2012.
  • What To Include In Your Flag: Take some time to think about what you would like it to represent. The most popular idea is to put your child’s name and special dates on the Flag. Some people include photographs, hand and foot prints. You could include a poem, love letter to your child or meaningful words. We had a few people create their Flags last year from baby blankets and clothes that were worn during labor. The creative possibilities here are endless. You may want to tell a story of your grief and healing journey within your flag. Some people like to write the names on their flag of all the people in their lives who have been supportive during their journey.
  • How Many Flags You Can Make: We think it would be really lovely for us to only make one Flag per year. In saying this though, we want this project to bring the most amount of healing as possible and so if that means that you would like to make multiple Prayer Flags, please do so. We love that some people make one for their child and one for themselves to help inspire healing and hope.

Join The Online FACEBOOK Event:

We are hosting the online event on Facebook. The event wall will open for people to post their Prayer Flags on, a few days before August 19th. Please note that all major updates will be posted on my facebook page.

Where And When Do I Hang Your Prayer Flag: On August 19th – Day of Hope we will be sharing the photographs of our prayer flags hanging in all different parts of the world on social media. Where you decide to hang them is completely up to you. You may want to take them to  special place, the cemetery, a beach, park, memorial garden or in your own home. I will be keeping the event open for a week after August 19th to give people the opportunity to share their Prayer Flags. Please feel welcome to share what part of the world you are from too!

Hash Tags: If you use hash tags please use #august19thprayerflagproject

Project Updates: Throughout the next 2 months I will be featuring blog posts, instagram images and facebook posts from you all so please feel welcome to share your journey on my page under any of my posts. You can add photos in all of the comment sections. I will also be hosting a google hangout and a Prayer Flag making tutorial on youtube. If you want to keep up with any project updates please visit my facebook page here. You can subscribe to the page to avoid missing anything by hovering your mouse over the “liked” button. It should then drop down and give you the options to get notifications.

Media Inquiries: All media inquiries can be emailed to carlymariedudley@gmail.com

Please Share The Project: Every year after this project comes to an end, we have so many people contacting us telling us that they found out too late. We want to avoid this as much as possible, so please share the event with your friends, family and support groups! This is a project that everyone can work on together.

prayThe World Map: If you plan on taking part this year, we would love you to let us know where you are taking part from as we plan on adding pins to this world map to see where all the Prayer Flags are being created. Please take a moment to fill out the form on the right hand side of this website towards the bottom of the page. All the information you send will be kept confidential. The world map will be updated here each week.

Promotional Film Clip: Below is a short film clip we created for The Prayer Flag Project. The film features around 20 of the 350 flags that were sent to us for our first Project back in 2012. We hope that the film inspires to you to join this peaceful movement to break the silence surrounding the death of babies and children. May we unite and heal together. Thank you so much for being a part of this dream of ours.

Remember, this is a project to inspire healing for your heart. If at any point your feel stressed, or that it is just too hard, that is okay. You can always come back to the project another time if you want to. You need to remember to look after yourself. So be gentle with your heart.

We can’t wait to see all of your beautiful Prayer Flags!

With love and blessings to you all,

CarlyMarie and Sam Dudley

Comments

  1. I can hardly wait to get started on my flags for each of my stillborn children.
    Gale Fitts

    • CarlyMarie says:

      Hi Gale! So lovely to hear that you will be taking part! I cannot wait to see your beautiful flags for your beautiful babies. I hope you enjoy the project :) xxx

  2. Michelle says:

    Carly do you have pictures/a gallery of the flags from last year we can look through to get ideas and inspiration from?

  3. I cannot wait to start my flag. My daughter died last Aug 27th, so this is the perfect start to that week. And that sounds weird- because my child is dead so it can’t be perfect. But I love the thought of hope and remembrance and how powerful they are when we can do it together.

    • CarlyMarie says:

      Hi Laura, I think this project will be a really healing experience for you in the lead up to your precious daughter’s anniversary. Wishing you much love and peace xxxx

  4. I am really looking forward to participating in this event. Our baby boy died last October, and this will be a very special way to honor him. I loved your idea to invite others to make a flag to honor our baby, so I invited family and friends to do so, which I think will be such a special way to honor and remember him, as well as having others break the silence as well. Today I noticed the portion of your post labeled “How Many Flags Can I Make?” and I hope I didn’t misunderstand by inviting other to make flags in honor of our baby boy as well?

    • CarlyMarie says:

      Oh no! Of course, please invite whoever you would like to make a flag for your precious son. Wishing you much love Jeanette xxx

  5. Bárbara says:

    Perdón por mi mal inglés.
    Soy una mamá española, y queria participar en su proyecto.
    Me gustaria participar de forma anonima, es posible mandarle la foto de mi bandera sin que aparezca mi nombre?
    Gracias!

    • Bárbara says:

      Sorry for my bad English.
      I am a Spanish mother, and wanted to participate in your project.
      I would like to participate anonymously, you can send the photo of my flag without displaying my name?
      Thank you!

  6. Dear CarlyMarie,

    I’m a spanish mother too. At this moment, I’m working in this project and the flag is made from fabric of several colours…I want to take a photo in the evening because the light, near the sea, is more beatiful. My husband is working in the afertoon and i want to go to the beach with him…

    I have a doubt:

    Do I have to send you the flag in a packet by the post office? In this case, I need your adress.

    Or, in other case, Do i have to send you a photo or video by mail?

    Thanks a lot…

    Paueta, from València…near mediterranean sea!!!!

  7. I will definitely be taking part in Brisbane Australia I will do this for my beautiful daughter Chelsea who passed away at 3 1/2 from cancer . Your video made me cry it was so peaceful and made me think of all our little babies taken too soon . Funny thing is I am actually working on her garden at the moment . The perfect place to sit remember and never forget my baby .
    Thank you thank you
    Joy xo

    • CarlyMarie says:

      Hi Joy, I am so happy that you will be taking part :) I love that youhave been working on a garden for your beautiful girl :) Wishing you much love!

  8. I will be participating in this lovely project this year an every year.this is such a special way to remember our precious babies that are no longer here. I was 18 weeks when i went into labour with our daughter and she passed as she was being born. We have always celebrated in one wayor another for her and this will be added to our remembrance of her. It has been 8 years this july and not a day goes by that i dont think about her.This is goin to be a special thing that i can do with her 4 brothers each and every year for hope,love and remembrance.

    • CarlyMarie says:

      Ramai, I am so sorry that your sweet daughter could not stay. I am so thankful that you have found this project and I hope that it brings much healing to your path. Wishing you much love xxx

  9. this is such a alsome and amasing idea to help to grive and to heal thank you

  10. Thank you so much for all that you are doing to remember and honor our children. Just found your website today. I was looking for inspiration on art therapy for a group that I am in Gods Tiny Angels. I am facilitating in August. (My son’s brithday is 8/26/07).I am so excited to present this idea to the group and create our own flags. Also LOVE the Capture YOur Grief project. Hope to do that as well. Again- thank you for all that you have done. WE are not alone

  11. I made my flag today <3

  12. I am just so touched by this project and will definitely be participating in it this year. My husband and I just got done making our prayer flags for our angel baby Tucker whom passed on the 9th of May. He would have been our first child. I made prayer flags for my mom, too. Such a beautiful way to commemorate our loved ones. Thank you for creating this project.

  13. Wow this is so awesome! I can’t wait I start my flag for our little girl Ella!! I have
    a question do I make a flag and send it to you or I just hang it on August 19th?

  14. molly bolt says:

    proud to be doing this again this year with you all <3 we are just finishing up our flag!… i think i keep missing what exactly we are going to be doing with our flags/picture this year… let me know? thank you! xx

  15. I am truly touched and honored to see that my Claire’s flag was chosen to be in your video! I have just completed this year’s flag and I want to thank you for making me take time to slow down and to spend time doing something that is uniquely for her. I cannot express how much this project means to me. Thank you for your creativity and your generosity, Carly. You are an outstandingly beautiful mother.

    x <3 o

  16. Did you post the youtube video on “How to make a prayer flag”? If so could you post a link please?

  17. What a fantastic project – thank you! Thinking of you and Christian extra today. Sending hope and hugs. xo

  18. I just found your site – thru an instagram image of the prompts. I lost a child 25 years ago to a miscarriage. I choose responses carefully to this kind of news when someone opens their heart about any kind of loss.

    See I don’t believe you ever “get over it” — and I’ve chosen not to get over MaggieGrace at all —

    Just like my Molly (now 23) and Abby (now 20), she had a profound effect on me even as an unborn child.

    I love her. I miss her. I wonder about who she might have been.

    I want her to be proud of who her mother was.

    I have chosen to continue living fully with her loss (and the loss of others close to me) and remember the blessing that she was. And try to continue blessing others with my life.

    I hope that make sense. I never got over her – I just got to love her – and Love is the greatest gift of all.

  19. I will be making a flag in honor of my son, Matthew. I carry him with me always. Rochester, New York.

  20. Lauren Sims says:

    This is such an amazing idea and myself and my husband will be making a flag for our daughter Gracie who passed away 5 weeks ago. She was 18 months old. We are currently making a ‘fairy corner’ in her garden for her. x

  21. Ally M. says:

    So keen to get started on my flag to honour my daughter Hope Mohr. I’m going to get my class involved I’m planning to briefly explain it (they are only kindergarten) and then invite them to make a flag for the angels in heaven. We will display them in our classroom – I’ll be sure to send you a photo! Keep up the great work I read your posts all the time on Facebook and it’s really helping me heal. xox

  22. Anne Smith says:

    I am so looking forward to participating in this. I just held a soccer tournament in his memory for all so us but this would be just for me and my son T-mo. I can’t wait to start :)

  23. This is an amazing project which I am proud to say I will be participating in. My baby Zia was born still on 16 July 2013, her due date was 19 August 2013, a very significant day that is. Thank you for opening this up to us all.

  24. Colleen Duffin says:

    Bless you Carly Marie for the opportunity to remember and honour my beautiful angel nephew Freddie! Born sleeping on 13th of April this year. I am hoping to make something beautiful by incorporating the bunting from his baby shower. My prayer is that my beautiful sister and her husband are blessed with a rainbow baby to fill there empty arms and hearts. I love your work it has been so very healing for me can’t thank you enough xxx

  25. Am currently working on mine, am doing one for Melody, things that remind us of her. A family one, so we are all on it as one after loss. Two others I am adding baby names of friends whom have lost, a boy t-shirt, and a girl t-shirt that is the size of what Melody should have been wearing xxx

  26. jessica says:

    Cant wait to get started on mine i lost my son 4 yrs ago to a rare heart defect wasn’t detected so was very unexpected forever my angel Sash xo

  27. This year I’m going to make a flag…Albie’s birthday is the 12th of August…..normally I’m bust making my bracelets for people who have sadly said goodbye to there babies to soon x Thank you Carly x

  28. I myself have not lost a child but I know women who have & even if I didn’t this project is something I would still like to be a part of. I can only imagine how terrible a loss like this would be & would like to support people everywhere going thru this. Is that ok.

  29. Malinda Clay says:

    I am so glad that I found out about this on Facebook. My little grandson, first grandchild, died just short of 5 months on 3/28/14 (you can read about him at http://www.chroniclesofclay.com). My youngest son and his wife had a miscarriage last April. I plan on making two flags in their memory. Thank you for such a wonderful project and blog.

  30. Kathrine says:

    Hi there :) I really love this! My husband and I are currently doing ivf and I have suffered one miscarriage. I have also had three other failed attempts, but it still feels like a loss :( I find this project inspiring! Thank you

  31. Anne Smith says:

    Thank you for including me in this project. It is so beautiful.

  32. Lauren Conley says:

    I am so grateful for the awareness you spread all over the world for those of us with angels. We lost our daughter the day she was born, August 2nd of last year. What a perfect month to make a prayer flag!

  33. I will be taking part in this. My Sweet Violet died on January 31st this year. Her birthday is August 19th. How perfect that it’s on her birthday. Thank you for doing this.

  34. How do we share pics of our completed flags?

  35. Carlie, could you add Jacksonville, NC. Thank you

  36. we will participate in Rochester, NY USA for our sweet baby girl who has been gone for 5 years now. Our story is on her memorial page – http://www.allesheaproject/org

Trackbacks

  1. [...] will be celebrated on August 19. This year the idea the Day of Hope will be celebrated around the The Prayer Flag Project. I have given some thought to the idea and I think I will join it and create a prayer flag for you [...]

  2. [...] can join through social media like Facebook and Instagram. This day will be celebrated with the exposition of prayer flags. You can create prayer flags for your lost ones, for your hopes and your dreams. I know I will. I [...]

  3. [...] I often see her post encouragement for parents to remember and celebrate their lost children, create an open “non-taboo” dialogue with others who have not experienced such loss, and I saw this past week that she has been promoting “August 19th: Project Heal.” [...]

  4. [...] the day of hope and healing for all bereaved mothers through Project Heal which can be found at http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/2013/06/august-19th-day-of-hope-the-prayer-flag-project.html  I made Clara’s little prayer flag and invited Grammy and Grandma to join in which they both [...]

  5. [...] year Carly is again hosting a Prayer Flag Project- this time each of us will photograph and share our flags to celebrate August 19th – Day of [...]

  6. [...] August 19th is the Day of Hope in the baby loss community, and that includes tiny babies lost in miscarriage.  I learned about this in last week’s pregnancy loss support group meeting.  The co-facilitator brought craft supplies for us to each make a prayer flag in remembrance of our lost babies.  The idea is that today, these prayer flags will be flown all over the world.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to make, but I experimented as I went along and, as usual, found inspiration in Jizo.  Here he is on the beach, against a starry sky, dressed in a traditional red bonnet, holding a ball of glittering gold, and with a starfish at his feet: [...]

  7. [...] to participate and I picked out the poem above to read. I also made a prayer flag as part of the prayer flag project. I included lines from a song that spoke to me deeply during my second miscarriage. I left the [...]

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  16. […] A day to reflect and honour our much loved babies.  In the lead up to the day, Carly Marie hosts a prayer flag project.  Parents and others touched by the loss of a child are invited to make prayer flags in honour of […]

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