Davenport, Iowa (KWQC) - Families who’ve suffered a loss of a child came together at Oakdale Memorial Gardens on Saturday to remember their babies.
Genesis Spiritual Care hosted a graveside remembrance at Oakdale's Babyland on Saturday for families who've experience pregnancy and infant loss. (KWQC)
Genesis Spiritual Care hosted their 9th annual Open Arms ceremony to support families who’ve experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
“We know that it’s a really difficult time and sometimes it’s not talked about much afterwards,” said Genesis Chaplain Carol Kelly. “It’s important for families to recognize the losses, to celebrate the child that didn’t live a full life and to grieve that loss.”
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. A mom at the ceremony told TV6 that the most supportive thing people can do is talk about it.
Brea Keys, a mother of an angel baby, has three boys. She lost her daughter when she was 15 weeks pregnant this April.
“She was very little. She was 75 grams and 15 centimeters -- just a peanut,” Keys said. “I have her footprint and handprint tattooed on me.”
Keys said her family named their baby daughter Grayson Axel Keys.
Kennedy said Genesis encourages moms to do whatever they need to to be able to grieve through it.
“I think talking about the loss is helpful, saying the child’s name is often beneficial to mothers and families and to just acknowledge that there was a life lost too soon,” she said.”
Keys said she came to the ceremony to keep her daughter’s spirit alive.
“The more I talk about her the more I know she is here,” Keys said. “My boys talk about her all the time. Her urn sits next to my bed. They’ll come in and talk to her, give her a hug or whatever they need to do to get through their day.”
Kennedy said people used to keep quiet about pregnancy and infant loss. She said she’s glad that people are beginning to talk about it more now.
“I think mothers in former years didn’t even see the babies,” Kennedy said. “Now they are allowed to hold the babies if they’re able to.”
Keys said the ceremony was a helpful reminder for her to know that she is not alone.
“Other people have had maybe a different type of journey but the same journey,” she said. “In my daughter’s case, we didn’t know why she passed. She just didn’t have a heartbeat one day.”
Keys said her daughter, Grayson, was due the day before pregnancy and infant loss awareness day, which is October 15th.
Pregnancy loss is not uncommon. Approximately one in four women will experience a miscarriage --- usually during their first trimester.
The Genesis Spiritual Care department said they are happy to meet with any families looking for support during the time of their loss.