An Evening of Remembrance
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance month. This year, instead of a burial and Evening of Remembrance in October, we are inviting all who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss to take part in a special opportunity to remember the lives of their children.
For the entire month of October we will have solar butterfly lights around the base of the Wings of Hope memorial site. In addition, we also invite all who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss to leave their child's name or a brief note of love on the form below. Our committee members will attach these to additional garden butterfly clips and include these at the memorial site.
Evening of Remembrance
We invite all of you to the Wings of Hope memorial site on Tuesday, October 1st at 6:00 pm to see the butterfly display and listen to a special poem. As part of the October remembrance tradition, we also invite you to bring a candle to light at the memorial site in remembrance of your child and to help create a wave of light.
This is just an update to let you know that the paver orders for 2019 are complete. You can see your paver at the Wings of Hope site during regular cemetery hours (sunrise-sunset). If you are interested in ordering a paver, please see our order page. Pavers are engraved once a year on site by local stone artist Tom Miller.
All proceeds from the pavers go to help support the mission of Wings of Hope and provide services to local families.
These are just a few of the pavers at the site.
As our committee continues to plan for the Evening of Remembrance on May 9th at 6:00 pm and meet with the pastor who will lead, we carry all of you who will be attending in our hearts and thoughts.
We understand that you might have questions about what to expect from the Evening of Remembrance, especially if you are a family who will be burying or honoring a child. The following are some of the details you might be wondering about - but might not know how to ask. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Join Us for an
If you joined us for our last Evening of Remembrance, you heard our committee member, DeeAnn, share the poem she wrote in loving memory of her three angels.
We are sharing her words here again. They say what so many of us feel about our own little angels.
If you have written about your angels and would like to share those words on our blog, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
But not to be had on earth.
I loved you from the start.
You were my hope, my joy, my dream.
You are the angels in the clouds,
The hug I feel as I fall to sleep,
Whispers in my ear,
Words I write,
Songs I sing.
You are the comfort I give to others
In the time of sorrow,
Love in my heart,
Smile on my face knowing I will see you one day.
You give me hope.
You give me strength
To live on this journey without you here.
In the darkness of my beating heart
Yearning to hold you
A light shines on my soul,
The light of my angels.
- DeeAnn, in memory of her angels
The pavers at the Wings of Hope site are permanent, profound ways for those in our community to come together and give voice and support to families who lose children at those earliest days, weeks, and months.
This holiday season, I encourage you to give the gift of a Wings of Hope paver. You can choose the wording or give the recipient the option of deciding. Order a paver:
- for a friend or family member who has experienced loss
- in memory of a loved one
- to show support for the community of Southern MN
- to remember your own loss
If you order a paver as a memorial gift, we will provide you with a certificate to give the recipient. Just let us know the details with the additional form at the paver order site.
- Information about our upcoming Evening of Remembrance
- Updates about current projects
- Details about fundraisers, meetings, and more
- On Thursday the 10th of May a Wings of Hope committee member will meet with a representative from Mankato Mortuary and Terry Miller of Calvary to witness the remains being placed in the burial vault.
- A volunteer from the community sews white satin burial blankets which cover each baby's individual burial container or box. The vault will be sealed.
- The grave will be prepared and the burial vault will be placed at the Wings of Hope memorial site before the ceremony.
- We have some seating available at the site. You are also welcome to bring your own lawn chairs or stand for the duration.
- In case of inclement weather we will move the service into the cemetery chapel (located near the Wings of Hope memorial site).
- Father Tim Reker is working with our committee to plan an ecumenical service with a message of compassion, love, and hope.
- Not all families have remains for burial, which is why all families who have experienced pregnancy loss and newborn death will be invited during the service to place flowers at the burial vault in recognition of all children who have been lost. In previous services we have had parents who lost children decades ago participate in this moment of remembrance with flowers.
- We provide fresh cut flowers for this portion of the service. You are also welcome to bring your own if preferred.
- After the closing song you are all invited to stay at the site for light refreshments. Some families also take this time to take pictures at the memorial site to include in their own personal albums and family history records.
- After the service, Terry will bury the vault at the perimeter of the paved walkway. A flat grave marker will be placed at a later date at this location with the month and year of the service.
Some families will use these wraps for their babies' remains, while others might choose to add them as keepsakes to memorial boxes or books. The difficult reality for some mothers who endure first trimester loss is that they pass fetal remains at home - or even while at work or doing errands - and they are often unsure what to do. While everyone must make personal decisions, we have heard from so many who say things such as:
I wish I would have known.
I didn't even have a baby blanket picked out yet.
I didn't know what to do.
For these mothers, the flannel wraps can provide a comforting way to collect the remains before making arrangements with the funeral home. These flannel wraps have a moisture resistant liner and ribbon ties. The wraps are also small enough to tuck inside a baby book or scrapbook if parents just want to use them as reminders of their littlest angels.
We'll keep you posted with more pictures and updates of the care packages as we get ready to deliver them to care providers. A heartfelt thanks to volunteers like Patty who are helping us get all of this ready - so far 140+ of these small wraps - and 50+ for second trimester losses.
We hope those who came found what they needed, experienced a message of hope, and will consider sharing more about Wings of Hope with others.
The members of our committee have all been on the journey of pregnancy loss, but in different ways. Learn more about why they are all so passionate about bringing awareness and comfort to families who lose a child during pregnancy.