When I walk the path at the Wings of Hope site and read the inscriptions, a wave of emotions breaks over me. There are tremendous reminders of loss and beautiful tributes of love. I pray for the families who have lost a child. I thank those who have not lost a child, but who order pavers to let us know that they hold our grief in their own hearts.
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:
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.
We have heard that some of you would like to receive email updates from Wings of Hope for things like:
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. We have shared these before and heard from parents that it was helpful to know what to expect. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
The tiniest of blankets for the tiniest of babies. In our continued efforts to provide support and resources to the families affected by pregnancy loss, we are putting together care packages - including wraps for the smallest of the small.
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.
Even though the skies were grey to start the day, the clouds parted and we were blessed with a beautiful evening for our Evening of Remembrance! We want to extend a special Thank You to Pastor Dave Laughlin for leading us through the service with a heartfelt, genuine, and comforting message; a special Thank You also goes to our musicians for the evening - Kevin and Lorrie Torbenson. Their talents and voices helped provide the perfect setting.
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.
I didn't know how much I needed this.
It was the first time I felt I was able to say good-bye.
We hear the words "you are not alone", but tonight I actually felt like it. Surrounded by my own community of people.
These are just some of the words we have heard from people who have attended our Evenings of Remembrance. Join us on Tuesday, October 3rd, as we join together once again as a community of parents, family members, and friends - all touched by the heartache of pregnancy or newborn loss.
Here are the details:
We are once again getting ready to participate in the fall craft fair to be held at the Madison East Center in Mankato on Saturday, November 18th.
These birdhouses were handcrafted by Elmer Binsfeld of Big Stone, SD, and will be available for sale at our booth. Elmer has been a woodworker for decades, and his home woodworking shop boasts years of dedication to - and love for - his craft.
One of our local supporters was browsing in his shop - looking for something to purchase and donate to us for the sale. As Elmer helped her choose one, he asked why she was purchasing it. She told him of Wings of Hope and he insisted that she take two more as his personal donation. We love hearing how people connect with the mission of Wings of Hope and are willing to support our group!
This is an important fundraiser for us as we strive to complete payment on the memorial site and raise funds to supply care packages to parents enduring pregnancy loss. We need your help to do these things!
Please join us for our next Evening of Remembrance, to be held at the Wings of Hope memorial site on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. The service will begin at 6:00 pm and include music, prayers, a time for reflection, and an opportunity for families to place flowers at the memorial site in remembrance of their children. Flowers will be provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
This first image is a throwback to November of 2015, when a spray-painted line and foundation for the central statue were the only hints of change to come. Since that time, Wings of Hope has been blessed by the generosity of community members. We have been able to grow from those stark white lines to the beautiful walkway, carving, benches, and surrounding trees and flowers.
More than that, though, we have been able to keep growing in community awareness and involvement. But we still have so far to go.
We can't go back and undo the loss. As much as we pray, beg, and plead, we can't change the road we traveled when we heard those words - "There is no heartbeat". But we can make a difference for all of the families who we know will unfortunately be the 1 in 4 who endure the loss of a child in pregnancy - and Wings of Hope needs your help!
Unfortunately, we too often hear of stories from moms and dads who said they wish they would have known... The information often comes too late, if at all, for what to expect and how to do things such as collect the remains of your child, arrange for the remains to go to the mortuary if chosen, collect keepsake information of your child, and more.
We are in the preliminary stages of putting together care packages for these families, hopefully to be distributed by medical staff, midwives, and caregivers. Examples of items we are considering adding to these packages include:
Every situation is different, and not all moms will have remains, want to consider this option, or feel comfortable doing things such as take measurements. What we want to do is let moms know that they can if they want to take these steps. We don't want to keep hearing stories of I wish I would have known...
Please help us by sharing what you wish you would have known... what resources you wish were available in a do-over.
We can't turn back the clocks on our own losses, but we can help make sure that the next mom who endures this loss has the tools and resources she needs.
Comment here on our blog, on Facebook, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.