Each year, about 100 families mourn a loss from miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death at UK HealthCare, which has the region’s only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit. The ceremony – open to all families who have suffered loss, whether or not affiliated with UK – is a chance to remember and to ensure those children are never forgotten.
“This service provides a way for families to honor and remember their child and to let them know they are not alone in their grief,” said Michelle Steele, chair of the NICU/Labor and Delivery Bereavement Committee. “Many families didn’t have a funeral or service when their infant died through miscarriage or an early loss, and this is a way to help provide that closure and outlet for their grief.”
The event also reunites families with the healthcare providers and staff members who provided compassionate care for their child. Held the first Sunday of October, the event occurs during National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
The Walk to Remember includes a craft table for children, the planting of a tree that includes an engraved memorial plaque, special readings and music, a balloon release, and a walk through the Arboretum.
The inscription on the bronze plaque provided by UK HealthCare administration reads: “In memory of your baby’s life, gone but still cherished. Your baby will always be remembered.” Families are welcome to write a message to their baby and plant it with the tree.
“The Walk has become an important annual event, and some families now come year after year and bring their children they have had since their loss so they can also remember and honor their lost sibling,” said Sandra Mojesky, divisional charge nurse in Labor and Delivery and a longtime committee member. “It is really meant as a time for healing and remembrance, and we hope anyone in the community who has suffered an infant loss will feel welcome to attend.”
In the event of rain, the service will be held in the Myra Leigh Tobin Chapel on the ground floor of Chandler Hospital Pavilion A.
For more information about the Walk to Remember, contact the UK Pastoral Care Office at 859-323-5301.
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This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.