The August 19th – Day of Hope Prayer Flag Project is a profoundly moving event that was created to help inspire people who have experienced the death of a baby or child to create meaning amongst their grief. Not only is this project an incredibly touching way to honour these children’s lives, it also helps to break the silence surrounding the death of babies and children. Each year thousands of people take part across the globe, making this a truly inspiring event.
We invite you all to make a Prayer Flag in memory of your children that have died. 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.
Please note that while the project is called the “Prayer” Flag Project, this project is not religious and is not about religion. It was simply inspired by the story of the Prayer Flags in Tibet. I welcome everyone to join regardless of whether or not you are religious.
WHAT IS A PRAYER FLAG?
A Prayer Flag is a piece of coloured material. They are usually rectangular in shape and 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. We also encourage young siblings to take part. 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 group or 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.
HOW TO MAKE A PRAYER FLAG
Dedicate this time in your life to your own journey. 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, make it a sacred time. Create a beautiful space to work in. Light a candle for your child and play some beautiful music. Switch your phone to silent, turn off the TV. Make your surroundings as peaceful 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 entire journey.
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WHAT 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 are 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 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.
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WHERE AND WHEN TO HANG YOUR PRAYER FLAGS 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 you can use #prayerflagproject #august19th #dayofhope #whathealsyou
WORLD WIDE AUGUST 19TH PRAYER FLAG ONLINE CEREMONY Time and date to be confirmed.
PROJECT UPDATES and OFFICIAL SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS 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. If you are instagram, I will be looking out for prayer flags to share on all my social media pages s please tag in at @carlymariedudley if you do not mind me sharing your flags. Official social media pages can be found through these links
MEDIA INQUIRIES All media inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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