To help families who have been impacted by the loss of a pregnancy or the death of an infant, Johnson Memorial Health will host a special ceremony of remembrance.
Families will take part in a memory balloon launch, have the names of their children read out loud and say a few words about their loss.
For those who have suffered through a miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn, the ceremony is a way to share in their grieving while celebrating a child, said Stacey Hummel, nurse manager of Johnson Memorial Health’s maternity center.
“We felt it was important to give the patients somewhere to come to remember their babies. These families never really got to meet their babies,” she said. “The ceremony is a validation that yes, this child existed.”
The event will start at 4 p.m. Saturday in the hospital’s reflection garden, located on the south side of the campus at 1125 W. Jefferson St., Franklin.
The Johnson Memorial Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital, partners with the maternity care center to organize the ceremony. They also work with Love, Lucas, a nonprofit group that provides emotional, financial and spiritual support for those suffering a pregnancy or infant loss.
Hosted on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, the event is aimed at helping grieving parents struggling with a tragedy that often doesn’t get addressed.
“Some people who have never had a loss feel that they should just move on and forget about it, that it would be best to not worry about it. So the parents get pressured to move on quickly and everyone else feels a lot better when they start acting normally,” Hummel said. “But this was their baby, no matter if it was a nine-week miscarriage or a full-term loss.”
The ceremony is open to the public, and no reservation is required to attend. Contact the Johnson Memorial Hospital Foundation at 317-346-3703 or visit johnsonmemorial.org.
Pregnancy and infant loss remembrance ceremony
What: A community event of remembrance for families who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn or infant.
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Johnson Memorial Health reflection garden, located on the south side of the hospital campus at 1125 W. Jefferson St., Franklin
Information: (317) 346-3703 or johnsonmemorial.org