Last night DH and I were part of a beautiful evening to honor the child we lost. We are part of a group known as HEAL (Helping Endure A Loss) and they held their annual tree lighting ceremony last night. First off, let me say that the lady who runs the organization is an angel. She had a son who was born sleeping over 25 years ago and has started this group to help others through the most awful time in their life. The group is open to anyone who has experienced a miscarriage, neonatal death, infant loss, etc.
Registration began at 6:30 but when we arrived, the church was packed. If I ventured a guess, I would say there were close to 500 people there! What an amazing event! If you had RSVP'd, which we did, there were Christmas ornament personalized with your babies name as well as a small gift bag for each family. Each person's story was different but for one night we came together to honor our children and tell the world that they matter and have forever changed our lives.
Each child's name was read and the parents came forward, lit a candle and then placed their ornament on a gorgeous Christmas tree. At the end of the reading, the tree was illuminated and it was absolutely splendid! I've got pictures that I promise I'll post (hopefully later today).
My family went with us to show their support, it was so nice to have them there with us. There were siblings, grandparents and friends who came out to stand arm in arm with their loved ones as they honored the children that we lost too soon.
What an amazing event that in the middle of this Holiday Season that can be so tough, we found some comfort, some peace and some "validation" in these losses that so few people can understand.
The courage of one woman to start an organiztion such as this one to help others through their grief is absolutely amazing. Not all of us will do something of that magnitude, but it goes to show that if we're willing to do something we never know the difference we can make in someone's life.
I wish you could have all been there with us last night and I pray that you find something that brings you some comfort this Holiday Season!