New Edward Wings of Hope Angel Garden a healing place for parents who've lost a baby.
Garden helps heal moms who lost babies
June 17, 2010
By KRISTEN KUCHARSKI For Sun-Times Media
Peace, serenity and emotion filled the air as the butterflies were released to fly freely in the skies above.
Several families embraced each other's comfort as they dedicated the new Wings of Hope Angel Garden at Edward Hospital in Naperville. These families have been bonded together by tragedy. They have each been affected in some way by the loss of a baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in early infancy. The new garden is a means to healing where they can commemorate their child's life.
The loss of an infant in the first few months of life, whether during pregnancy or shortly after birth, can be a significant pain to endure. A group by the name of SHARE meets monthly at Edward Hospital to provide support to those families.
"Four moms of the local SHARE group wanted desperately to find a way to give back to SHARE for all the support they have offered each of them after the losses of their children in late 2004 and early 2005," said Carrie Wrona, who lost her son in October 2004. Wrona, along with Laura Morgan, Stephanie Fiore and Amanda Albaugh, came up with the idea of an annual walk to raise money for the foundation.
"We also needed to do something positive with our grief and decided to beautify the existing garden that surrounded the Angel Statue on the Edward campus," Wrona said. "We had no idea the garden would turn out so magnificent. It's unbelievable." Many donors, including Edward employees and medical staff, Clarence David and Company, Hitchcock Design, Power Construction, and DuPage Valley Anesthesiologists played a large factor in making the garden a reality.
"I cannot express enough how the Wings of Hope Angel Garden was not the work of just four moms, but the work of so many members of the SHARE group and the foundation. Hope is what got us through our grief, hence the name of the new garden," Wrona said.
The focal point is the Wings of Hope Angel statue, which is poised elegantly on engraved paver bricks that honor each deceased baby by name and date. The purchase of engraved pavers is an additional way to not only support the garden but to permanently etch the special place every child has in each family's heart.
According to Wrona, the release of the butterflies represents "earthly angels to some people." Each family can also honor their child with a glass etching of a butterfly embossed with their child's name as a part of the garden. This project has been in the works for about five years with an annual "Walk to Remember" to raise funds to support the ongoing maintenance of the garden.
Stephanie Fiore lost her daughter when she was only three days old. "I didn't even know it was possible to have a full-term pregnancy, a healthy baby at birth, and then lose her suddenly," said Fiore as tears filled her eyes. "You always hear of how helping others can help you heal, and it's so true. Helping to create this garden is a great way to help other families find personal solace and peace."
Many families seemed drawn to the engraving above the reflection pool, "Budded on earth ... to bloom in heaven"; a statement that seem to define the meaning of the new garden.
To make donations or participate in an upcoming walk to sustain the Wings of Hope Angel Garden, visit www.napervillewalktoremember.org.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services