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Rededication of Memorial Garden at Thompson Park Honoring Perinatal Grief

Published on: October 11, 2023

Date: Tuesday October 24, 2023
Starts at: 1:00 pm
Ends at: 1:30 pm
Location: Thompson Park, located near the pavilion overlook on the same side as the playground area.

After more than a year of gardening work and memories resurfacing, the Baby Memorial Garden at Thompson Park has been renewed. It is now properly marked with a plaque identifying its purpose, which started over 30 years ago.

Samaritan Medical Center will be hosting an informal rededication of the memorial garden on Tuesday, October 24 at 1 p.m., which is open to the public. A special invitation is extended to those families who may be part of its origin, and the Samaritan Caregivers who have helped families through this journey. T

his rededication will take place at the memorial garden, which is located near the pavilion overlook at Thompson Park. October is a fitting time for the rededication, as it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Background information:

Resolve Through Sharing:
This is a special grief program to help healthcare facilities support families who experience loss.  Samaritan uses these resources and had a formal program in the early 1990s within its maternity department.  At the time, Samaritan also hosted a parent support group, called “Empty Arms,” to help these families.  Caregivers at the Car-Freshner Center for Women and Children continue to use Resolve Through Sharing resources and provide support to grieving families.  You can learn more about Resolve Through Sharing here:

Origins of the Memorial Garden:
Samaritan maternity nurses in the 1990s wanted to make sure families had a way to honor children lost during pregnancy or soon after birth. They started a yearly event in Thompson Park called “A Walk to Remember” and built the memorial garden. Participants took part in a short memorial walk, an ecumenical service, and planted tulip bulbs in remembrance of children who had died.

The new plaque, which honors the memorial garden and its origin, reads:

“This memorial garden was created in 1992 by a team of caregivers from the Center for Women and Children at Samaritan Medical Center.  During this time, the Resolve Through Sharing counselor and coordinator training program created a parent support group, Empty Arms, for families who lost babies during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

A memorial Walk to Remember event was held every fall and each family was given a flower bulb to plant in this special garden in memory of their child. After several years of careful tending, it unfortunately lay dormant. It was rediscovered and redesigned in 2021. It includes all the original bulbs that survived, in addition to several more, along with other perennials.

This garden is dedicated to all those who experience this loss. It is a place of solace and remembrance.”

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