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Author Archive: Tammy Ruiz Ziegler, RN CPLC

Tammy Ruiz Ziegler has been a Nurse for 30 years and spent most of her career in Neonatal Intensive Care. For 10 years, she has been a Perinatal Bereavement Coordinator - caring for women and families suffering miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death and SIDS. Part of her work involves assisting parents in preparing for births when the baby has received the diagnosis of a life limiting condition (often called "Perinatal Hospice").

In addition to her Nursing education, she studied (but did not become certified in) Clinical Pastoral Education at a Catholic Hospital in the midwest.

She has been on EWTN and speaks regularly to Physicians & Nurses on the topic of perinatal loss care. Her work has been translated into Polish, Spanish, Czech, French, Italian & Japanese.

Her career was both fragmented and enhanced by having 14 different jobs because of moves for her husband who was an active duty Officer in the USMC. She has 3 quasi-adult children and one super-cute grandchild. A convert to the Catholic Church, she was widowed after 26 years of marriage but recently married a man she met when they were both children.

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Ashes as a Witness To and Of the Faith

February 24, AD2016 0 Comments
Ashes as a Witness To and Of the Faith

 Ashes on Ash Wednesday You never know who might be touched by your quiet witness of ashes on Ash Wednesday. Last year, I really wasn’t that busy but I convinced myself I didn’t have time to go to Church in the morning. At work, I passed a surgeon in the hall who had ashes. Knowing […]

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“God Is So Dope”: Learning About Social Justice From a Young Catholic Worker

January 26, AD2016 2 Comments
“God Is So Dope”: Learning About Social Justice From a Young Catholic Worker

Recently a flurry of social media posts focused on what people would do if they were to win a billion dollar lottery. In all the suggestions about the good  people could do with so much money,  no one mentioned anything remotely like, “I would serve men on skid row in the inner city, including those […]

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I Hope You Dance

December 22, AD2015 5 Comments
I Hope You Dance

[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Catholic Stand, December 25, 2013. We are republishing here for your holiday enjoyment. Its beautiful message is timeless.] It was a homily I almost missed as the words swirled and my mind wandered this past Sunday, but something caught my ears and pulled me back in. Father […]

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Infant Burials: What Can You Do to Help the Lesser of These?

November 24, AD2015 2 Comments
Infant Burials: What Can You Do to Help the Lesser of These?

Infant burials are a reality that we need to not only address, but accommodate in respecting our Faith Tradition. The photograph you see here is one I took myself of a beautiful baby who died (of natural causes) shortly before he was born. His mother gave me written permission to share this photo and I […]

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Community Effort: Infant & Miscarriage Burial Programs

October 26, AD2015 1 Comment
Community Effort: Infant & Miscarriage Burial Programs

  In my previous column, I shared how hospitals can develop burial programs for babies who die prior to birth. There are as many as 925,000 naturally occurring fetal/infant deaths that occur in the US each year prior to birth – 900,000 less than 20 weeks gestation and 25,000 after 20 weeks. (Another 25,000 babies […]

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A Respectful Burial After a Pregnancy Loss

September 13, AD2015 1 Comment
A Respectful Burial After a Pregnancy Loss

In the controversy over Planned Parenthood doing things with aborted fetuses that people never thought was happening, the discussion of dignity of human remains was part of the big discussion. I was surprised that the large societal conversation didn’t spark a discussion of baby remains in general. I propose we not let this moment pass […]

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Truth: A Tool For Caring

August 5, AD2015 2 Comments
Truth: A Tool For Caring

  We each have things in life that drive us crazy and push us to the point of unpleasantness, if we allow our emotions to take control. I seem to be able to tolerate all sorts of behaviors from people, but I have developed a particular distain for lying. I don’t think anyone likes being […]

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How to Hold a Deathbed Vigil

June 11, AD2015 6 Comments
How to Hold a Deathbed Vigil

  Recently, I had an internet conversation with a number of fellow Catholics and one of them came to learn of a man who was dying in a Catholic Hospital. When he got close to death, a nurse called a priest who stated he was “unavailable”. The nurse was mightily upset and disappointed with him, but […]

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Abundantly Blessed: The Lowest Degree of Obedience

May 12, AD2015 6 Comments
Abundantly Blessed:  The Lowest Degree of Obedience

In our “go big or go home” culture, we too often forget how a single small kindness in a moment is what God may be asking us to do. Sometimes a kindness will grow into a huge apostolate or crusade, but imagine the small opportunities we might miss if we put our kindness on pause […]

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Walking Our Own Journey to God

April 14, AD2015 2 Comments
Walking Our Own Journey to God

In November 2013, I wrote a column [link here] about my son leaving the Church, and going off on a journey, that was far away from what most of us imagine for our kids who been raised well in the Church. He had changed his name to “Fig” and moved to a Feminist Anarchist commune and […]

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Book Review: Runaway Radical – When Doing Good Goes Wrong

March 17, AD2015 2 Comments
Book Review: Runaway Radical – When Doing Good Goes Wrong

I was first introduced to Amy Hollingsworth’s writing with a book that was so popular that it was sold at Walmart: The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers. This book is clearly a labor of love. Amy was blessed to become a friend and pen pal of the favorite neighbor that everyone would have enjoyed knowing. Her more […]

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Perinatal Hospice

February 17, AD2015 5 Comments
Perinatal Hospice

I first read about “Perinatal Hospice” in a newspaper article in about 2003; it was a new model of care that had been developed for families who were faced with life threatening diagnosis for their unborn babies and only a small handful of programs existed. It was first proposed by a (then) Army OB Physician […]

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A Midlife Marriage is an Interesting Thing

January 26, AD2015 7 Comments
A Midlife Marriage is an Interesting Thing

I never imagined myself getting married at 50. I thought my first husband and I would get old together, but his death prevented that. In my new and unexpected singleness, I prayed and was specific with God:  I prefer having no partner over a “bad” one, so if there is no good man for me, […]

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The Forgotten Corporal Work of Mercy

January 5, AD2015 6 Comments
The Forgotten Corporal Work of Mercy

My days were frantic preparing for a two-week trip to Turkey; before I left I had to have my home, kids, dog, and get everything at work prepared for my absence. I laid out extensive back-up plans at work since I am the only Perinatal Bereavement Nurse in my region. I thought I was ready […]

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Response to Abigail Reimel’s “The Curse of the Planner”

December 2, AD2014 5 Comments
Response to Abigail Reimel’s “The Curse of the Planner”

I asked Abigail Reimel if I could write a follow up to her article about being a planner (found here). I am about 30 years older than her, and those years have taught me a few things. I hope someone older than me will follow up my article. Abigail brought up some helpful points. Our […]

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The Idol of Safety

October 31, AD2014 16 Comments
The Idol of Safety

Those calls a mother dreads. I have received a number of them in the past few weeks. “Mom, I was hit by a car while riding my bike;” “My financial aid package may not go through;” “Tonight I might be arrested.” Sometimes I think my fears feel magnified being a soul-surviving parent. The days of […]

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Reflections on Mass and Marriage

October 1, AD2014 3 Comments
Reflections on Mass and Marriage

There have been times when I realized a day was a Holy Day of Obligation and I bristled at the idea of fitting Mass into my schedule. I love Mass, but even with numerous times to pick from it felt like a hardship if there wasn’t one that perfectly fit my schedule. I’ve hardly ever […]

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A Lesson of Beauty in the Wake of Death

August 6, AD2014 4 Comments
A Lesson of Beauty in the Wake of Death

Our little city has been reeling. In a very short time, there were two deaths so compelling that they each independently made international news: here and here. In addition, a duo of sisters I am friends with lost a sister of theirs who was a single mom leaving a teen son with no parents or grandparents. […]

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The Benefits of Talking to Your Family About Death

July 12, AD2014 7 Comments
The Benefits of Talking to Your Family About Death

My family has never been one to shy away from talking about death. A number of factors contributed to that being a normal part of the fabric of our family, and my late husband used to have something he would say regularly. He would reference his wishes for his eventual death by saying, “I hope I […]

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To the Pew End-Squatters, Move Over

June 10, AD2014 61 Comments
To the Pew End-Squatters, Move Over

I love to watch the EWTN show The Journey Home where converts are interviewed and have a chance to tell their stories. It is common to hear the converts speak of how difficult it is to give up congregations that were warm, friendly, and welcoming for a Catholic parish where they seemed invisible and no […]

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So I Went to Rome

May 13, AD2014 3 Comments
So I Went to Rome

“Go to Rome” was placed on my bucket list about four years ago. With good planning, it was about to become a reality, but one day not long before the trip I read that there would be a canonization on the last full day we were already planning to be in the city. Hence a few […]

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More Spiritual Care of Patients

April 15, AD2014 3 Comments
More Spiritual Care of Patients

God gives us all opportunities to be a witness to Him, but Dr. Victor Ajluni wrote a wonderful column illustrating the sacredness of the places our healing professions allow us to go. If you haven’t read it yet, please do yourself a favor and do so. When I returned to the level- 3 neonatal intensive […]

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Social Justice at Your Local Restaurant

March 24, AD2014 18 Comments
Social Justice at Your Local Restaurant

So often in conservative circles, being diligent and thrifty with finances is spoken of in the most encouraging terms. We must be responsible with our money and watch every penny. Most often we are being prudent when doing so, but when might we actually be making a mistake with our thrift? As Catholics, many of […]

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Guidance for Catholics on Prudent End-of-Life Decision Making

February 18, AD2014 8 Comments
Guidance for Catholics on Prudent End-of-Life Decision Making

The last few weeks have been filled with numerous news stories of end of life issues and interesting online dialogues have taken place. It is not my goal here to rehash some of the earlier conversations. I want to use the momentum of these discussions to introduce you to (or remind you of) some helpful […]

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