Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Services give closure when babies, kids die

In January, The Gazette shared the stories of two families struggling to overcome the death of their preemie babies.

Many women responded to the story, sharing similar tales of loss, including a woman who still grieved for babies miscarried more than 40 years ago.

Local health care professionals and families have worked to make sure such losses are recognized, which is why Memorial Health System hosts a yearly memorial service.

"You have to have closure to grief," says Sheila Duran, perinatal care manager in the Memorial Health System. "You're never going to get over it, but there has to be a point where you close the most sensitive part and move on with your life."

LaKeisha Belcher, a 33-year-old nurse, learned that last spring. She and her husband, Chris, had been trying to conceive for 11 years. In February 2007, she learned she was pregnant. She lost the baby at eight weeks.

"It really helped get my emotions out," Belcher said of last year's memorial service. "I cried so hard. Especially when the children got up there and sang - something about their soft voices."

"There's a lot of people out there that are grieving just like we are. I still grieve for that baby. Even though it was an eight-week miscarriage."

Memorial is hosting two memorial services April 27 at the Memorial Administrative Center, 2420 E. Pikes Peak Ave.: a perinatal loss service (honoring miscarriages, stillborns and babies who died shortly after birth) at 1 p.m., and a pediatric service at 4 p.m. The services last about an hour. For more information, call 365-5516.

Source: http://www.gazette.com/articles/babies_35486___article.html/closure_kids.html

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