Annual walk recognizes baby steps never taken

A Wabash Valley service is working to ensure no baby is forgotten and grieving parents get support.

Posted: Oct. 14, 2018 6:01 PM
Updated: Oct. 15, 2018 10:11 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - One million pregnancies in the United States end with the death of a child each year. A Wabash Valley service is working to ensure no baby is forgotten and grieving parents get support.

Families gather one afternoon in October to grieve for the little lives who never had a chance to grow up. The annual event is called the Walk to Remember. It happened Sunday at Deming Park in Terre Haute.

Families at the walk have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or lost a baby shortly after birth.

Jennifer Roberts traveled from Paris, Illinois for the service. She suffered a stillbirth nearly two decades ago.

She says, "You never forget. You just learn to live with the memories you did have."

Roberts says the walk allows her to celebrate her son, Trevor, who would have turned nineteen this month.

“I still, nineteen years later, have good days and bad days. Some days I wake up and you feel all the same feelings that you did that day all over again."

The ceremony is organized by RTS Bereavement Services. It's a Union Hospital program to support hurting families.

RTS Bereavement Services Coordinator Sue Hoopengarner says, "It's difficult. I know every time I get a call it's never good but for me, I know it's nothing like it is for the parents and if I can make this experience the very best that it can be for them, that's my goal."

The service is also a reminder to those who have not experienced this kind of loss to be sensitive to the needs of parents in mourning.

Hoopengarner says, "Just to tell them that you care and I don't know what this is like for you rather than say oh well, you're young, you can have another baby or be thankful for the children you have. People are not replaceable."

Even though the pain never goes away, Roberts says it does get better with time.

"Pray a lot. That definitely helps. I think God helped me through some rough times. And, lean on your friends and family. That's what they're there for."

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett was at the event and proclaimed this month Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

For more information about RTS Bereavement Services click here.

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