Honoring children who have died

Robin Stocksdale, Bereavement Services Manager

Losing a child is a devastating experience for parents and for all who loved the child.  While the death of an elderly loved one is mourned, it is usually accepted as part of the natural order of life.  The death of a child may destroy the dreams and hopes of the parents, grandparents may grieve for their lost grandchild and for their children who are now bereaved parents.  Siblings may feel displaced, sad, and confused.  Many parents and families wonder if they will be able to tolerate the pain of the loss and survive it. 

The winter holiday season may be particularly difficult, as the Christmas and Chanukah holidays are focussed on the joy of children.  It’s important for families experiencing such a momentous loss to know that they are not alone. 

Remembering the children through a shared memorial service with other grieving families can be a source of support.  Saying the children’s names, viewing their pictures and being with others who mourn gives voice to the grief, offers comfort and support. 

To help support families who are grieving the loss of a child, Gilchrist Hospice Care is hosting a children’s memorial service on Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. entitled “Remembering the Children: an Interfaith Service” at Central Presbyterian Church at 7308 York Road, Towson, Maryland. We will honor infants, children and teens who have died.  A reception will follow the service, as well as a memorial craft activity for children who attend.

Parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, friends, and all those who loved the children are encouraged to attend.  Interested families should RSVP by November 14, 2011 to ghc_bereavement @gilchristhospice.org  or 443-849-8251.  It would be our honor to show a photo of each child during our photo tribute.  Photos may be e-mailed to ghc_bereavement @gilchristhospice.org

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