Memphis organization hosts Remembrance Ceremony in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Published: Oct. 13, 2023 at 7:14 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and unfortunately about 1 in 4 women are affected by pregnancy and infant loss.

Collierville mom Maureen Piantedosi wants to raise awareness about the issue and let other families know, they are not alone.

Maureen and her husband Mike lost their baby girl, Nora in 2019.

She was stillborn at 28 weeks.

“This is one of my most prized possessions. It’s just a little imprint of her hands,” Piantedosi said as she showed Nora’s engraved handprints.

Though it’s been four years, those tiny hands leave a huge hole in the family’s hearts.

“It wasn’t until he turned the screen to me that I saw she wasn’t moving and there was no heartbeat that I realized that she was gone,” said Piantedosi.

Maureen and her family do all they can to keep Nora’s legacy alive.

She’s with them in family photos, keepsakes around the house, and even teddy bears.

“They’ll put weight in the bear that matches the weight of your baby so you have something to hold onto,” said Piantedosi.

She says she is grateful for the support of women like Emily Long who too, knows this pain all too well.

“Did not expect for anything to go wrong, and why would it? It was a great pregnancy,” Long said.

Emily and her husband lost their baby girl Helen James at 38 weeks.

She created the Helen James Foundation in her honor to raise money for cuddle cots, which preserve a baby’s body for up to five days.

“We could get her out and hold her and love on her and spend time with her and dress her and do all the things that we were not going get to do,” Long said.

Long, Piantedosi and hundreds of others will come together on October 15 and watch the Hernando-DeSoto bridge illuminate pink and blue for a Remembrance Ceremony to honor those families that have lost children at any time during pregnancy or early life.

“There’s music and there’s time of reflection and there’s time for people to come up and say their baby’s name or just talk about their journey,” Long said.

Piantedosi says the goal is to let people know – you are not alone.

“Even just being with other people -- you don’t even have to talk. Just being with those people can be really impactful, or saying your baby’s name or writing it out. I think it can be very therapeutic,” she said.

The Remembrance Ceremony is October 15 at 6 p.m. at the Tennessee Welcome Center on Riverside Drive.

Everyone is welcome to join.

For a list of support groups and resources, check out the list below:

Methodist Bereavement Services

Call Mark Smith at 901-516-1604 for more details.

In His Arms Grief Support Group

They meet every third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Methodist Germantown Main Hospital located at 7691 Poplar Ave. Memphis, Tenn. 38138.

You can follow the signs to the meeting room. Here is the number, 901-516-6907.

Compassionate Friends

They have a group that meets on the first Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Hope Church located at 8500 Walnut Rd. Memphis, Tenn. 38018.

Email or call Gwen (901) 315-1526 or Betsy (901) 826-8750 for more details.

Kemmons Wilson Family Center For Good Grief

They have monthly Grief Support Groups for Adults at 1520 West Poplar Ave Collierville, Tenn. 38017. Call (901) 861-5656 for more details

World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church

WOOMC Grief Support Group Recovery meets on the first and third Mondays from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. It’s located on 6655 Winchester Rd. Room 290 Memphis, Tenn. 38115

Healing Ministry and Bereavement Ministry - 901-844-3859

Threads of Hope: A Family Life Group

Attendees can meet at Le Bonheur Hospital on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. in the Education Center.

Call (901) 287-6734, contact Sarita Wilson-Guffin at 901-287-6734 or for more information.

Appleseeds, Inc.

They meet at 2924 Walnut Grove Road Ste 4 Memphis, Tenn. 38111.

Call 901-209-1093, or click here for more information.

The Rooted Bridge

Parental support and maternal mental healthcare

Visit here for more information

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