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Families will gather virtually Oct. 15 to honor babies, support one another

Families will gather virtually Oct. 15 to honor babies, support one another
Born at 34 weeks, Karolina Bletscher did not survive delivery. Just a couple of months later, an invitation arrived inviting her parents to participate in a memorial. It was hard to accept, yet her parents decided one way to manage the grief was to accept the invitation,  remember, and come together with others who experienced the same kind of loss during The Shining Light Memorial for Pregnancy and Infant Loss event held in Carle’s Shining Light Infant Memorial Garden.
This year, the free event from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 15, will be held virtually from the garden with quiet times of remembrance accompanied by harp music and inspirational messages of hope from Carle Chaplain Florian Kamanda and Linda Ellison, retired certified perinatal bereavement counselor.
To view the ceremony virtually or register to have your baby’s name read during the ceremony click here. Thanks to generous support from the Carle Health Center for Philanthropy, this event remains free and open to all.
Kristina and Kyle Bletscher will be participating in memory of Karolina as they always do with their parents on Oct. 15, the same day recognized by families internationally as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
“It makes me feel like I am part of something,” Kristina said, who also experienced three early losses. Now she and Kyle have a “rainbow” baby, a term for a child born to a family who have previously lost a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth or death during infancy. Knoxlin, born last year with the “lin” part of her name borrowed from Karolina is in great health and just started taking her first steps.
Visitors to the Shining Light Infant Memorial Garden will find the garden beautifully decorated during the week of Oct. 12. Families have an opportunity to visit on their own and pick up a small remembrance gift while socially distancing and wearing face coverings to protect themselves and others from the spread of coronavirus. The garden is visible from W. Church Street near Park Street. Visitors may park in the north parking garage near the hospital.
“This is our way of giving families comfort while honoring their babies,” Rachel Campbell, RN, Labor and Delivery and perinatal grief and bereavement liaison at Carle, said.
“Sometimes pregnancy loss is pushed to the back burner, but parents need to know it is okay not to feel okay. Carle has a whole team there when you are ready to reach out for support,” Kristina said.

Categories: Community

Tags: giving, grief, infant loss, memorial, philanthropy, pregnancy