I am the President/Founder (Jen Iacino-Taylor) and I lost my son at the age of 3 months and 9 days. With limited family support, I faced the task of breaking news to family, financing and burying my child and dealing with the emotion of having a child die of an unknown cause. After 23 years of trying to find closure, I had my son exhumed and cremated so he could be with me on a daily basis. I still have many unanswered questions and face questions daily on why my child died, why I chose to have him exhumed and why I am still grieving. After doing research I found there is a significant resource gap for families that will be this foundation's goal to fill.
Families who lose a child in a medical facility have multiple resources to assist them. This may come through hospital clergy, victim advocacy, disease foundations (cancer, etc.) and medical insurance. This assistance is usually very short term and there is little follow up or long term assistance.
Families who lose a child outside a medical facility, due to medical or trauma causes, many times are left to grieve and find closure with little or no support
While the parents may get some support, often siblings and other immediate family members don’t get similar support.
Today I spend my time assisting families who have suffered a similar tragedy. Whether it is providing support through a phone call, referring a family to those who can provide grief support and counseling or assisting with funeral arrangements I personally assists those who contact the foundation. Additionally I meet with funeral homes, cemeteries, law enforcement and others to educate them on the needs of these families by sharing her story and providing educational materials.
Now that you have read my story about my son, or if you haven’t, please read our story to understand who Little Man was.
Four years ago, I met my best friend and with him I finally began the grieving process. We sat and talked about Little Man and visited him at the cemetery often. We also talked about the conflict I faced between family pressure, personal beliefs and wishes and the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Over our many visits I expressed to Don how much I had always wanted Little Man with me, but those pressures had me bury my son instead of cremation. Don supported me in making the tough decision of fulfilling my initial desire of having Johnathon cremated and home with me.
The process was long and involved many players. The cemetery was very supportive of a process they had only previously done with adults. The cemetery assisted with getting permission from the State and filing all the required paperwork. After not speaking to Johnathon’s father for many years I had to reach out to him as he was on the birth certificate. This was a difficult phone call to make as he was very distant during the death investigation and burial process. He, nor any of his family, had visited the cemetery after the ceremony. The phone call was difficult to say the least, but he agreed to sign the paperwork provided he had no other obligations.
I also had many questions about the interpretation of the church of my wishes. Don met with a local leader of the church and asked many questions on my behalf. It was nice to hear the church’s position directly and not from family members. The bottom line is they had no conflict with the process we were undertaking. When I was a child, we were close with the leadership of the church. One of the friends had reached a high leadership position in the church and he agreed to come out the day before the exhumation and bless Johnathon and the process.
The process took roughly 6 months during which time my best friend and I married. As we waited for the day (August 1) we continued to talk about how difficult all of this had been and continued to be. I had spent much of my life essentially being a single parent while balancing my career in public safety. The question kept coming up of how I could use my experience to continue to help others.
As we talked, we heard a story on the evening news of a father who had lost his child in a car wreck on the interstate. He understandably was having to deal with the loss and clearly stated he was lost at what to do first. The child was with his ex-wife, when the wreck occurred, and he was faced with how to bury his child and assist his other children with the loss. He talked of his struggle of deciding whether to cremate or bury his child, where to get support for him and his other children and where he could turn for himself. We realized had this child been ill or been in a hospital there were support networks in place but with this death occurring outside a medical facility there was no true support network in place.
So, the idea of Little Mans Legacy was born. A centralized and personal support network for families (parents and siblings) who lose a young family member unexpectedly. The opportunity to use my experiences to help others. Also, an opportunity for Don and I to use our public safety backgrounds to also educate our first responders on how they can better support these families.
So after meeting state and federal guidelines, finding board members and even getting a copyright on the logo (Little Man’s favorite toy that he was buried with was a red dinosaur) Little Mans Legacy was formed. We reach out when we hear of a family who suffers a loss or when we are contacted by a family. We have been busy our first year and look to continue to grow and support as many families as we can during their time of need.
Copyright © 2018 LITTLE MANS LEGACY - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ~
LITTLE MANS LEGACY IS A 501 (C) (3) NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION & A REGISTERED CHARITY IN COLORADO.
ALL DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE RECEIPTS WILL BE MAILED OR EMAILED UPON RECEIPT OF PAYMENT.
OUR TAX ID IS 83-1967045.
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We are working on more events and fundraisers for 2023.
If you would like to check out a fundraiser, please go to the 2023 Fundraisers page and follow the prompts.
To donate, please go to the donate page and follow the prompts.
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