Remembering children gone too soon

Sunday walk to honor babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death

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ROCKY MOUNT — The “Walk of Remembrance for Steps Never Taken” is a local celebration of life that was established to honor all children lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death.

The fifth annual walk will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday and will begin at the pond behind the Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center on the Nash Health Care campus, 2460 Curtis Ellis Drive.

Each year, many families suffer from the loss of a baby, and they often grieve in silence. Parents whose child was stillborn or who only lived a short while, will always remember those birthdays, and some will even celebrate them. Women, who have suffered the loss of a baby by miscarriage, and fathers will grieve on due dates. Well-meaning friends and extended family sometimes try to console parents but comments often center on “getting over” the loss.

The Walk of Remembrance is truly different. It is about celebrating life.

“The lives of these children, however brief they may have been, are precious and dear, and should never be forgotten,” organizers said in a news release.

The naming ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. followed by the short, symbolic walk for “the footsteps never taken.”

Organizers say this event helps participants more fully appreciate their loved ones and to share their love in tangible ways with family, friends and all people.

“The staff members at Nash Women’s Center understand how important it is to celebrate and honor these precious lives,” the news release states. “Many of the staff will be joining with the walkers and they invite anyone in our community who has a special place in their heart for these children and their families to join with them.”

Refreshments will be served upon return from the walk. Special music will be provided by Ekklasia during registration and fellowship time.

For those who have lost a baby and would like to participate, it doesn’t matter if the loss occurred yesterday or 50 years ago, at Nash Health Care or at any other hospital. This event is open to the public and there will be no one requesting donations from anyone attending the ceremony or participating in the walk.

Organizers for Walk of Remembrance advise arriving around 2:30 because it will take a few minutes to walk to designated areas and to register. Purple bows will be in place to indicate the most convenient parking areas.

To have your baby’s name and birth date displayed at the walk, email information to registered nurse Karen Joyner at kjjoyner@nhcs.org.