Published on October 04, 2013

Genesis Spiritual Care to have Open Arms Remembrance Service

“Genesis Spiritual Care will host Open Arms,” the third annual remembrance service for families who have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.

The service will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, on the Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street campus in Medical Office Building 2, lower level Conference Center.

Oct. 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Everyone at the Open Arms service will be invited to light a candle at 7 p.m. and keep it burning for at least an hour, as part of a worldwide effort to light candles in all time zones and provide a continuous wave of light in loving memory of these children.

“Many families have experienced the loss of a child due to a miscarriage or stillbirth, or in early infancy,” said Genesis Chaplain Carol Kelly. “Although the loss is far more common than people think, it’s often not talked about and families are left to grieve in silence.

“We hope the ‘Open Arms’ service will accomplish what its name intended -- to surround these families with open arms of love and understanding and to give them the opportunity to remember and grieve for their loved one.”

Among the speakers will be Lynn Kennedy of Eldridge, Iowa, who honors the memory of her son, Wesley, who came into the world stillborn on Oct. 19, 2001. He was born on his due date, without a heartbeat. He weighed 9 pounds, 13 ounces, with a full head of blonde, curly hair. Doctors found no reason for his death.

Kennedy is active in SHARE of the Quad Cities, a support group for those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life. The SHARE group meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m., the third Thursday of each month, in the Adler 1 Conference Room, located in the lower level of Genesis Heart Institute.

“I want to give back to those who also have experienced a loss. It helps me to heal, and I feel it supports others in their healing journey,” Kennedy concluded. “Every loss is significant. We all hurt in the same way and support each other.”

For more information about the Open Arms Remembrance Service, call (563) 421-7970.

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