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Katy England Katy England
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Empty Arms remembrance walk

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BANGOR Many people have experienced the terrible loss of losing a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or in the first months of loss. On Oct. 13, a local support group is hosting a walk to help mothers, fathers, friends and family remember those brief lives.

'Empty Arms is hosting a one-mile walk. It's a chance for anyone family and friends to come together and remember the babies they lost,' said Tara Smith of Empty Arms.

The walk is being held at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor. Smith said that there is a $15 minimum donation to participate. The money goes to the Empty Arms support group, which offers assistance to those who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or in the first few months of life.

'We have a lot of different outreach. We have a peer companion program, one-to-one support for people who have lost a child and monthly meetings on the third Thursday of every month at Husson University,' said Smith. 'Anybody can come. We provide information and awareness to the community and family and friends and employers to explain the needs of parents [who experienced such a loss].'

Remembering the loss is important, and many mothers and fathers may not know that there is such help out there.

'When I personally lost a baby, I was in the fifth month, and I had no idea what a group like this would mean to me,' she said. 'When I was in the hospital, within hours, someone came to me and told me about this group. To actually talk to other people who really do know exactly what you're going through it just means a lot to know you have people who understand your situation.'

The walk is a way to take a painful moment and acknowledge the loss. Many people do not know how to approach someone who has lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or in the first few months of life.

'The event is a really good event for family and friends to show support. [Many people] don't know how to help or what to say,' said Smith. 'This is a great opportunity to come and walk and show your support and [let parents know] that they remember they had a baby that they lost.'

The first 100 registrants get a free T-shirt, and refreshments will be available. Smith said that there will be hearts on which parents can write the name of their lost baby and wear for the walk, and rocks for parents to write their baby's name for the remembrance wall.

For more information about Empty Arms or about the remembrance walk, call 973-9045 or visit www.empty-arms.org.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The print version of this article incorrectly states the minimum donation as $50. The minimum donation to participate in the Empty Arms remembrance walk is $15.

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