PAY­ING TRIBUTE TO LOST BABIES

To hon­our the mem­ory of all an­gel babies, the Wave of Light Cer­e­mony will take place Tues­day at the Omineca Arts Cen­tre from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page - CHRIS­TINE HINZMANN Staff Re­porter chinz­[email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca

Af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing four mis­car­riages, one lo­cal mother fi­nally gave birth to a healthy baby boy on Jan. 7, 2018.

On May 6, four short months later, Shayla Mena put lit­tle Xavier down for a nap. He never woke up.

To hon­our the mem­ory of all an­gel babies, the Wave of Light Cer­e­mony will take place Tues­day at the Omineca Arts Cen­tre from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Wave of Light is a global event that takes place on Preg­nancy and In­fant Loss Aware­ness Day, Oct. 15, where peo­ple around the world are in­vited to light a can­dle in mem­ory of their lost lit­tle ones at 7 p.m. in all time zones for one hour, cre­at­ing a wave of light across the world.

The event is for all those who are af­fected by the loss of an in­fant, in­clud­ing mom and dad, grand­moth­ers and grand­fa­thers and all other fam­ily mem­bers and friends. Dur­ing the lo­cal event, there will be a slideshow of those babies who have been lost. Mena is the or­ga­nizer of the lo­cal event along with her sis­ter Natasha Muir and Xavier is their in­spi­ra­tion.

Hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced such loss, Mena knows how im­por­tant it is to seek help and sup­port dur­ing these dif­fi­cult times. Mena said she’s ex­pe­ri­enced many losses dur­ing her life­time but los­ing Xavier has been the most dif­fi­cult. “Af­ter I lost my son, I just re­al­ized preg­nancy and in­fant loss aren’t con­sid­ered taboo sub­jects as much as they used to be but sup­port sys­tems for that kind of loss are not re­ally ad­ver­tised,” Mena said. “So that’s why I’m try­ing to raise more aware­ness and show peo­ple there is more sup­port out there.”

The Wave of Light is some­thing Mena finds very heal­ing, she added.

“It’s also a re­ally good space to be able to share our sto­ries with­out hav­ing to worry abut how oth­ers are go­ing to re­act be­cause it can be very awk­ward be­ing an in­fant loss par­ent or preg­nancy loss par­ent,” she said. “It’s def­i­nitely a hard sub­ject to bring up but hav­ing a place to share your story I find is a very im­por­tant part of the griev­ing process. I find a lot of peo­ple try to avoid talk­ing about their chil­dren in front of me be­cause they are wor­ried about up­set­ting me, which can be a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion be­cause some days I’m fine and then other days it hits me but for the most part I like to talk about my son as much as I can and I think that’s al­ways the way it is for a griev­ing par­ent - at least for my­self - one of my great­est fears is that my son will be for­got­ten so I try to keep his mem­ory alive as much as I can.” Mena has asked Ann Bo­zoki to ap­pear as a guest speaker dur­ing the event as she is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Com­pas­sion­ate Friends Group in Prince Ge­orge. “Dur­ing the event we will do a slideshow with names, dates and photos and I will read out the names as we light the can­dles,” Mena said. “It seems to help peo­ple to hear their an­gel baby’s name be­ing spo­ken.” Or­ga­niz­ers of the event will pro­vide care pack­ages for those par­ents who have lost a baby, which in­clude a re­source list of pro­grams to help with the griev­ing process.

HANDOUT PHOTO Shayla Mena is one of the or­ga­niz­ers of the Wave of Light cer­e­mony held Tues­day at the Omineca Art Cen­tre. Mena lost her son Xavier last year when he was four months old. The Wave of Light cer­e­mony is a memo­rial for all those who have lost their an­gel babies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.