Over 100 families gathered at on a recent Sunday afternoon, shed tears and remembered children lost due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and infant loss.
As a part of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, the memorial service was presented by SHARE Atlanta, a nonprofit that supports families as they learn how to cope with the grief of losing a baby.
“I needed support to validate that my grief was normal and that I could get through this,” said Marcia McGinnis, who co-founded SHARE Atlanta in 1984."That’s what we do at SHARE for Atlanta-area families facing a grief that is often not publically talked about.”
During the memorial service on Oct. 23rd, families shared poetry and quotes in honor of their loved ones, then read the infants names and released balloons into the sky.
The Angel Memorial Garden at Arlington Memorial Park, where the service was held, was dedicated 10 years ago by SHARE Atlanta to provide a space for grieving families, complete with memorial brick walkway, trees, benches and an angel statue.
“We wanted the Angel Garden to be a place where families could come to grieve,” said Jennifer Greer, a SHARE Atlanta volunteer who was instrumental in the building of the garden in 2001.
“As a mother of three children lost due to miscarriage, the brick pathway gave parents like me, who didn’t have a headstone to visit, a place to come, remember their babies and to heal,” Greer added.
Reaching over 1000 families annually, SHARE Atlanta leads support groups, facilitates trainings for medical professionals and participates in ongoing advocacy activities. Their monthly women’s pregnancy and infant loss support group meets monthly at McGinnis’ Dunwoody home.
“Though no one wants to be in the situation to need SHARE Atlanta, events like the memorial service continue to build community and support grieving families,” said McGinnis.
For more information on SHARE Atlanta, visit www.shareatlanta.org.