Garden of Hope Honors Tiny Lives Lost
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Garden of Hope Honors Tiny Lives Lost

Grieving families who have experienced pregnancy or newborn loss at Kettering Medical Center can find support and healing in the Garden of Hope. The garden provides a “quiet, private place where you can go and just be,” says Susan Faulkner, director of donor services for Kettering Medical Center Foundation.

Designed to memorialize losses of every kind, the garden’s greenery, water feature, sculpture, and bench create a sanctuary. Larry Kositsin, network director of spiritual services, explains how the garden features provide a tangible way to understand healing: “the tree can help us understand God’s steadiness, the flowers can help us understand renewal, and the birds help us understand freedom.”

According to Susan the garden has gone beyond comforting patients, “it has also been good for employees who have experience loss by offering closure for losses from over 40 years ago.”

Open for visits year-round, the garden also hosts services each spring and fall for family and friends to commemorate the loss of a baby. Parents who experience the loss of a baby under 20 weeks can remember their baby with a small glass stone and losses over 20 weeks are memorialized with an engraved brick paver at no cost to the parents.

For many, “the garden gives the parents’ baby a place to be remembered,” says Kettering RN Nancy Tallyn, who leads the Newborn Bereavement Program, providing support for families who experience loss.

The Garden of Hope helps to ground the experience of loss by providing a place where “parents can go that is concrete, where they can say ‘my baby existed’,” says Kettering Medical Center Chaplain Richa Stevens who serves on the Newborn Loss Bereavement committee.

The garden is made possible by the generosity of Drs. Todd and Annette (Bombyrs) Boyd, along with other donors like Scarff’s Nursery which donated landscaping.

If you would like to make a donation to the Garden of Hope, contact Susan Faulkner, director of donor services for the Kettering Medical Center Foundation at susan.faulker@khnetwork.org.

May 15, 2014