The holidays are extremely difficult for those who are grieving. Because many holiday activities and gatherings are centered around children, this can be true especially for those who have experienced the death of a child through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or as a newborn.
For many families, this would be their baby's first Christmas or the first time the family would be together to share in the joyous news that there would be a new addition next year. To add to this sadness, the loss of a baby in early pregnancy or shortly after birth is often not recognized as a death by many, and the parents' grief can be dismissed by others.
To recognize the difficulty of the season, Baptist Health Lexington's Perinatal Bereavement Parent Support Program holds a candlelight memorial service each year.
This service gives families the opportunity to honor and remember their little ones during the holidays.
This service is for families regardless of how far along they were in their pregnancy or when the loss occurred. For many families, this is a yearly tradition that includes extended family members.
A fear for many parents is that others will not remember their children. At this service, a Christmas ornament is personalized for each baby. The baby's name is called, and a candle is lit by the parents in memory of the baby. There is also a presentation that recognizes each baby by name and includes a message written by the parents.
This service also provides an opportunity for families to be with others who are experiencing a similar grief, and provide fellowship and comfort to one another.
This year's service will be Dec. 3. Families are asked to arrive between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. for registration and ornament preparation. Child care will be available, and light refreshments will be served after the service.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP to (859) 260-6904 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to have your baby included in the presentation, please email by Wednesday your baby's name or family name or, if you were unable to name your baby, delivery date and any other information or message you would like to share.
If you go
Candlelight memorial service
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 3
Where: Beaumont Presbyterian Church, 1070 Lane Allen Dr., Lexington
Reservations: (859) 260-6904 or dmueller@bhsi
Deborah Mueller is the perinatal bereavement coordinator at Baptist Health Lexington.