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Brandon Regional Hospital Observes Eighth Annual Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Ceremony

Brandon Regional Hospital September 26, 2014

Brandon, FL – Brandon Regional Hospital will join people and organizations around the world on October 15, 2014 in a candlelight observance for its eighth annual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Ceremony. The ceremony will take place in Adam’s Garden on the northeast corner of the hospital campus, at the corner of Oakfield Drive and Parsons Avenue,beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“We extend an invitation to all individuals and families who have experienced the loss of an infant through miscarriage, stillbirth or early newborn death,” said Laurie Van Damme, BN, RNC-OB, SANE-A, Coordinator of the hospital’s Perinatal Bereavement Program. “Losing a baby before or shortly after birth is unlike any other type of loss. Oftentimes these families experience birth and death all in the same day—sometimes in the same breath. They have few memories left behind to comfort them in their time of sorrow, and so their journey through the grief is often a lonely and complicated one,” Van Damme says.

“It’s important to these particular families that their babies be remembered; that’s one of the reasons we put each and every baby’s name on a plaque inside Adam’s Garden. It’s a way to honor every life that ended before it began,” adds Van Damme. “This year is a very special one. We are blessed and honored to have the Mulrennan Middle School band perform a song commissioned by their band director, Mr. Michael Vail, in memory of his own daughter whose name can also be found in Adam’s Garden.”

The hospital’s Perinatal Bereavement Team and Women’s Services staff will meet participants in Adam’s Garden at 6:30pm. The ceremony will include: a few words from hospital staff and members of local clergy, an invitation to parents to share their story if they desire, live musical performances, and lighting of the candles at 7:00p.m.. This will be followed by a moment of silence.

The theme of this year’s ceremony is to WHITE-OUT BABY LOSS, and as such, participants are encouraged to wear white in unity with hundreds of others experiencing pregnancy loss to help raise awareness in the community. Each year more than one million babies die from miscarriage and stillbirth. Families who have experienced perinatal loss often express feeling isolated and alone, like no one understands their pain. Wearing white is also a visual declaration of the innocence of each life represented and remembered that night. The annual remembrance ceremony is open to the public and ALL ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND. Although white attire is preferred, it is not required.

Families wishing to have their baby’s name included on a plaque inside the garden before the ceremony should contact the bereavement program prior to September 30th, 2014. Those who would like a picture of their baby included in a video montage that will be shown during the ceremony are encouraged to send a photograph to ceremonybabies@gmail.com.

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