Third annual Walk to Remember is Saturday
Miscarriages, stillbirths and infants that die soon after birth are often viewed as an “invisible loss” because no one had the chance to know the baby. However, that lost child was very real for their parents and families.
“Oftentimes once the funeral is over, (it's expected) you should go on,” said Mary Frances Atchley, a registered nurse and coordinator of bereavement services at Yuma Regional Medical Center.
“But no matter if it's your first, second or third pregnancy, that will always be their baby. They had hopes and dreams for that baby. They're still very much a part of their parents' lives and family members'.”
To remember “these tiny lives that are no longer with us,” YRMC's LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum) Perinatal Loss Committee will host the third annual Walk to Remember on Saturday at West Wetlands Park.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. The walk and memorial service begins at 8:30 a.m. Closing remarks will be delivered at 9:30 a.m.
The Walk to Remember is an opportunity for parents who have had miscarriages, stillbirths or neonatal deaths to remember their babies as they walk.
Parents are encouraged to share memories and connect with other families, “assuring them that they're not walking this path of loss alone,” Atchley said.
Health-care professionals and community members are also invited to join the families.
“It also gives us health-care professionals an opportunity to support them in their loss and grief,” Atchley said.
During the memorial, parents and families may read a special poem, say a prayer or share a memory of their baby. A chaplain will give a short talk and a prayer and doves will be released.
The event is also meant as an opportunity to “increase awareness and understanding of what these parents go through,” Atchley noted.
The Walk to Remember has its roots in a 1988 proclamation by President Ronald Reagan marking October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. However, because October is already filled with many activities in Yuma, YRMC holds the walk in November.
To register, please email email@example.com or call 928-336-7434.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856.