The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 4, 2012

'Walk to Remember' will memorialize babies who have died

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

— As part of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, a walk to memorialize babies who have passed away will be held Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. in the education center at Raleigh General Hospital.

“Walk to Remember” is a celebration of life and an opportunity to memorialize babies who have died through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or early infant death.

Throughout the nation, parents, family members, friends and health care professionals will gather to pay tribute to the approximately 870,000 babies who die each year.

Ellen King, director of Women’s and Children’s Services at RGH, said the hospital has participated in the Walk to Remember for 14 years.

“Raleigh General feels it’s important to support the community and support our moms,” King said. “Support groups happen around this event because people come every year. We welcome new families to come for support from families who have shared their grief.”

She said a minister will conduct the program welcoming, a poem will be read, and everyone will go to the memory garden adjacent to the hospital. Balloons and a dove will be released and a time for sharing will be held. Families are encouraged to talk about their grief or how they’ve managed to move forward.

Families may bring pictures and other momentos of the child that has passed.

For more information, contact Ellen King at 304-256-4051.

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A similar event is scheduled Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. at Twin Falls State Park.

The Remembrance, Hope & Celebration Nature Walk is a way to reflect on God's Creation and take comfort in knowing that our babies are safe in His arms, according to organizers. Participants will meet at the first family picnic area, located on the right just past shelter No. 2 — look for the sign and pink and blue balloons.

The free event is open to everyone from parents to siblings, to aunts and uncles, grandparents and friends who are affected by the loss of a baby.

There will be several activities, refreshments, door prizes and pregnancy and infant loss awareness items for sale. There will also be a time for everyone who would like to share their story and please bring any poems, pictures or memorabilia.

 For more information, contact Wendy at 304-887-7282 or remembrance_hope_celebration@hotmail.com.

Registration is optional, but preferred, by Wednesday, so that we can ensure enough ribbons and refreshments will be available for everyone.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com