For the Cumberland Times-News
CRESAPTOWN — Light blue and pink themes, cartoon animals, toy trucks and rubber ducks — the choices for décor in an infant’s room are abundant. Parents are given nearly nine months to plan for the arrival of the proverbial bundle of joy. Although in approximately one out of 150 births, the devastating news arrives — they will not go home with their bundle of joy. Instead, they are sent home with a bundle of emotion that accompanies a stillbirth.
In other circumstances, for women who are pregnant, 15 to 20 percent of those pregnancies will end in miscarriage. At this point, parents feel an overwhelming loss.
Some parents feel the joy of hearing their infant’s first cry or even watching them take their first step before things take a turn for the worse and death comes all too soon for a young life. An infant’s death can cause feelings of loneliness, leaving parents empty-handed.
In any of these situations, parents realize a hole in their hearts that never heals; they become better at coping with the loss, but the hole remains. “A loss is a loss, at any pregnancy gestation or age,” said Jennifer Bone.
After suffering two miscarriages and a stillbirth, John and Jennifer Bone realized something had to be done to break the silence of these quiet births that some people still do not recognize. Three years ago, they began an event called Remembering Angels to recognize the community’s “little” losses.
Recognized by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, the month of October was designated Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The ribbon that signifies this cause is colored light blue and pink.
“We gather for a short time each year in the month of October to remember our little angels,” Jennifer Bone said. The community event is free and open to the public.
John Bone added, “Many people have participated over the last two years, in spite of some wet weather last year. I’d love to see it continue to grow, not because more little ones die, but I see this as a step in the healing process for those who attend.”
The event includes the opportunity to write a note to an angel on wildflower seed paper. That seed paper will be placed inside a balloon and released. When the balloon falls, wildflowers will be planted via the seed paper. Luminaries will be lit in memory of each angel and the names read.
“This event is not only for parents who’ve lost a child. Families, friends, health care workers and other professionals are welcomed,” said Jennifer Bone.
The event, slated for Oct. 12, will again be held at Liberty Field along U.S. Route 220 in Cresaptown, across from the Center for Career and Technical Education. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. with the event beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“Come out and remember your little angel,” John Bone said.