When we think about the Bible verse from Matthew “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” we are met with reassurance that our Savior will always be with us. Parents who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss can relate to this verse. Even though our babies can no longer be rocked in our arms, some never given the opportunity, they are with us until the very end of the age.
During my time working with hospice, I would ask men and women during the assessment preceding their final days about their family and their children. Most of the time, these mothers and fathers would not hesitate to mention their miscarried children or children lost in infancy, and their resounding response would be how they carried that loss their whole life and the joy they have knowing they will soon be reunited with their children in heaven, some whose face they have yet to see.
Lake Murray Presbyterian Church (LMPC) does a phenomenal job caring for and protecting the children of our church and the children that live in the Chapin community. I am proud to announce LMPC will now take a step further and will begin caring for families who have lost children in pregnancy and infant loss. This particular loss impacts an estimated 1 in 4 or more of all pregnancies. These losses are often grieved privately and in a variety of ways by those impacted by this type loss. Pregnancy and infant loss not only impacts the parents, but also siblings, grandparents, and friends to name a few. On January 24, 2016, LMPC will honor these important lives during both 8:30 and 10:30 worship for our first annual PAIL Sunday. Based on the template set forth by Kristi Bothur, founder of Namoi’s Circle, LMPC’s PAIL Sunday is our way of gently saying, we honor any child lost in pregnancy or infancy that has touched the lives of our church and community members. Please invite friends in our community to this service, who could benefit from this gesture.
The LMPC PAIL Ministry will begin a four week small group session for families and individuals impacted by this type loss on Sunday afternoons, beginning on February 21, 2016 from 3:30-5:00pm in a private room at our church. These group sessions will be scripture, topic and discussion focused with a Healing and Wholeness service to conclude the group. Anyone impacted by this loss is welcome to attend. Free child care and light refreshments will be provided. Our address is 2721 Dutch Fork Road, Chapin, SC 29036. Follow the yellow balloons. The topics for each week will be:
- 2/21/16 - Missing Joy: The Year of Firsts
- 2/28/16 - Understanding Your Grief and Your New Normal - Virginia Satir based
- 3/6/16 - Marriage and Relationship Strain
- 3/13/16 - The Road to Healing (Healing and Wholeness Service)
- Hospital support to include handmade offerings from the church so families have something to take home with them
- PAIL Devotional Book penned by individuals affected by a pregnancy or infant loss
- Following families for a year post loss at key grief points
- Individual counseling referrals as needed
ERIN KAY, LMSW
PAIL is a non-profit, self-help organization that serves as a safe haven of comfort and hope for others who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant in their life. Through support groups, community outreach and various grief resources, PAIL is devoted to fostering awareness and healing in a nurturing and Christian atmosphere.