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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Walk to Remember - Support for the Loss of an Infant September 28th at Heritage Landing

The unimaginable.  It's so hard to even begin to think of the difficulty that parents have to face in the event of the loss of an infant, a stillborn pregnancy or a miscarriage.  Strictly from an editorial stand point, it was a fear so great for me that combined with a couple other factors, I stayed away from having kids of my own.  More often than not, along comes a happy and healthy baby, but what happens when the worst case scenario plays out?

The truth is, there is really no quick answer as much as there is no right or wrong answer and the reality of that is, it's even harder for those who are suffering that loss to manage because we're all accustomed to getting an answer...processing the thoughts and moving on.  It's not going to happen in this case.  Combine that with the usual support system of family and friends who surround us...who usually know how to offer some words of comfort or maybe a little something to uplift us....they are all searching for answers too, and trying to find the words to fill the void.  It's no place anyone would want to be and no one can ever be an expert on the situation, because a loss like this is so overly traumatic that it's unique to every situation and again, there is no "one answer".

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While there may not be experts, there are others who have shared this grief and who have gone on to take their sorrow, anger, questions, rage, and hopelessness and reshape them.  There are some who once they have healed the best they can, they take what they have learned and they share that with others who are experiencing the same and together they find at the very least, that they are not alone.

Such is the case with Chris and Missy Near.  They lost two kids as they were trying to build their family and through their experience, it was one simple question that led them to a change in their lives to help others cope with grief and loss because they understood all that went along with it.  Chris was wandering the halls of the hospital when he saw a door tag like signified that the patient in that room too lost a baby and his knock on the door to ask if he could talk set into motion a system of support that is still going today.

While the group meetings are not as popular as they once were, the Near Family still supports those who have lost a child.  Their mission is to help with the grief, offer some support to those who have lost and those who are around them looking for a way to help console.  Their outreach is there anytime it's needed and they still host one larger event yearly to help anyone suffering the loss of a child to see that they are not alone.

The Walk to Remember is going to be at Heritage Landing on Saturday September 28th at 10:30a.  It's a chance for parents to get together and see that they are not alone, that they do have memories worth cherishing and that hope can return after the pain subsides.  Chris and Missy joined me at Hackley Park to tell their story and talk about the event.  Take a listen.

Touching.  We first met Chris and Missy back in 2016 as they were preparing for that years walk and to know that they are still at it...still striving to make a difference for those who's path they know all too us, that's a miracle.  We have truly incredible people here in Muskegon who are willing to help other heal and share the grief.  They do it without much fanfare...they don't expect a lot in return, they just know that the overall healing we all need, comes from within and being willing to give back that healing helps continue theirs. 

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