For more than three decades, hundreds of folks have gathered for the Walk to Remember.
“This is an opportunity for parents who have experienced the loss of a baby to come together and honor and pay tribute to their babies who are not with them today,” says Sue Hoopengarner, Union Hospital RTS Bereavement Services coordinator.
Each year Union Hospital’s RTS Bereavement Services helps bring those families together. October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month across the United States. This kind of tragedy for expecting or new parents is more common than you might think.
25 percent of pregnancies end in loss. That’s something Sue Hoopengarner hopes this walk can help heal.
“They can get support from each other. You look out here at all these people that have also walked in their shoes. Just to know you’re not alone” said Hoopengarner.
Heidi Plunkett hasn’t been alone in her loss for years. She lost a son in 2012 and has attended every Walk to Remember since. “For me, it’s just another time to remember the lost and be here for other parents and other family members that lost children as their own as well.”
Every parent who has suffered a loss will honor their child differently. Plunkett says it’s important to find what works for you. “Each family has to find their own purpose or own meaning to keep their lost and memory.”
Seeing a crowd united, hearing them share their stories and feeling a sense of relief is all Hoopengarner can hope. “I really enjoy doing this, to do something for them to honor their babies.”
1 out of 100 babies are stillborn and 1 out of 110 babies die in the newborn period. If you are interested in participating in the event in the future, you are asked to call Union Hospital’s Bereavement Services.