National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness in Beulah
By Kathy Tandberg
A balloon release will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in the parking lot of Immanuel Baptist Church, Beulah, in recognition of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
The event will begin with a short time of sharing and prayers followed by the release of balloons that will carry special notes written by loved ones as they float away high into the sky over Beulah.
This will be the fourth annual remembrance in Mercer and Oliver counties, a time when people gather to recognize their babies, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, a time officially set aside by the U.S. Congress each year on Oct. 15.
The event began locally in 2010 when Lorisa Newman, who had a miscarriage in 2005 and then lost a stillborn baby girl in 2006, shared her story of loss with a friend.
Newman later connected with the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance group after learning of other area mothers who had also suffered such a loss.
The first public balloon release was held in Beulah in 2011 to be able to include other families who have had a similar loss and would like to participate.
Newman said it was because she realized that the need for it was far more common that most people know. Since then she’s lost count of how many women she knows who have had miscarriages.
She added that participating in the balloon release has helped her, her husband, and their family make it a special day as they all remember the two children they’ve lost.
“For me it’s a way to say we’ll never forget you. I want people to know it’s OK to talk about them. They’re part of our family, here or not,” Newman said.
Newman is very open to talking to others about stillbirth if it will help them through their loss. She said that having a support system in place helps with the loss of a child.