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Candlelight Ceremony For Lost Infants

There will be a candlelight remembrance in honor of all babies lost to stillbirth, miscarriage, or in infancy, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Emancipation Garden in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Healing Hearts Perinatal Loss Support Group of St. Thomas, which is putting on the remembrance, invites all parents, family members and friends who have lost an infant to come out, remember their lost loved one, and talk with people who share that pain.

"We are just going to have a little ceremony and a prayer at 6:30, and at 7 p.m. we will light the candles in memory of all the little babies we have lost," said Cecily Mercer of Healing Hearts. "It’s the first time so we aren’t expecting huge crowds, but I know there are people out there who have been through this and it would be nice to bring some out Tuesday," she said.

"People suffer in silence and they don’t talk about it. But it’s a part of your life and will be a part forever, so come, sit down and talk about it."

Mercer and several others established Healing Hearts in January 2013 to provide support and comfort to parents in St. Thomas who are dealing with the difficulty of losing a baby through stillbirth, miscarriage, or infant loss.

"My daughter was stillborn last July 31st after a full pregnancy and it was a very disturbing experience, to say it mildly," Mercer said, Monday. "Coming home from the hospital to a house where you just set up a baby room and there is no baby in your arms, there is nothing that can prepare you for that experience," she said. "With an experience like that, you need someone to talk to, in person … who has had a similar experience," she added.

She recalled a friend who had a similar loss 20 years ago, and "I stopped by Dorsch beach and talked to her in a car for two hours," she said. The two started the support group at the hospital in January, after realizing how useful it had been to be able to talk.

"Since then we have bonded like sisters, shared stories. We share the same pain. We are able to learn from each other and learn about the grieving process," Mercer said.

The candlelight ceremony Oct. 15 coincides with National Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day, proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. For more information on the group or this event, please call 514-4724 or email healingheartsonebyone@gmail.com. For more information on Pregnancy and Loss Remembrance Day, please visit the national website at www.october15th.com.

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