A look back at Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

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For the first time it was acknowledged and honoured in Sault Ste. Marie. Some particular memorable events were held throughout the month to honour those babies who were taken too soon;

Photo credit: Jonathon Moffatt
Photo credit: Jonathon Moffatt

·         October 1st, Algoma’s Water Tower Inn water tower was illuminated with pink and blue lights.

·         October 11th, during the city council meeting, a proclamation was read by Mayor Christian Provenzano, officially proclaiming October 15th, 2016 as Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day in Sault Ste. Marie.

·         October 15th, #BreakTheSilence Craft and Vendor Show was organized by Jodie Lind. The show highlighted local artists and vendors and raised $1,510.71 for the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network (PAIL Network).

·         October 15th, the community of Sault Ste. Marie, gathered at Clergue Park to remember the babies who have gone before us. This was the first time a public awareness & remembrance event for Pregnancy & Infant Loss was held in Sault Ste. Marie. Words of hope were spoken, as tears fell and thoughts of remembrance filled the rainy night.

Brohart Family Photography
Brohart Family Photography

The community shared in a global remembrance celebration as candles were lit for the Wave of Light at 7pm. The intention of the wave of light is to have candles lit for one hour at 7 pm across all time zones, leading to a continuous Wave of Light that spreads across the globe in memory of babies who have passed away.  Using a beautiful tree at the event location, candles were suspended from branches, resulting in a beautiful and impressive display and addition to the wave of light. Brohart Family Photography

Those in attendance heard from 3 remarkable women that evening;

·         Riley O’Neil, a maternity nurse at Sault Area Hospital, whose kind words of some of her toughest days at work brought even the strongest person to tears.

·         Wendy Lethbridge, a local seamstress with Forever Loved Angel Gowns, who volunteers her time to create angel gowns from donated wedding dresses and gowns.

·         Jennifer Aelick, a brave mother who shared her heartfelt story about her son whom she lost 9 years ago.

As the rain fell, and the music played, those in attendance concluded the evening by spreading beautiful rose petals onto the flowing river.

A promise was made that night –to ensure the conversation did not end surrounding Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness in Sault Ste. Marie.  Donations received throughout the month of October have been used to purchase items to help the Sault Area Hospital maternity nurses provide memory boxes to bereaved parents.

On average the City of Sault Ste. Marie welcomes 915 new born babies every year. However, between 20 and 30 families have these moments of joy stolen from them and they grieve the loss of their son or daughter. A group of community members are actively working toward assembling a PAIL Network peer-led support group locally.

Thank you, to the many amazing local businesses and organizations, whom without, these events would not have been possible.

 

Our Supporters:

–          Algoma’s Water Tower Inn

–          Brohart Family Photography

–          Canadian Red Cross

–          Classic Signs

–          Di-Cuts

–          Flowers by Rutledge

–          Flowers with Flair

–          Indian Friendship Centre

–          Metro Flower Counter

–          Northwood Funeral Home

–          O’Sullivan Funeral Home

–          Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre

–          Shabby Motley

–          Showstoppers

–          Staples

–          Stonehouse Wines

–          Stones Office Plus

–          Superior Chrysler

–          Tamara’s Trends

–          The City of Sault Ste. Marie