“Butterfly’s Embrace” ceremony helps grieving families

JACKSON, Tenn. – Families across West Tennessee who have experienced the loss of a baby came together Sunday afternoon for the Butterfly’s Embrace memorial service.

“It could be a baby–very early during pregnancy, all the way through, a very unfortunate time at delivery when the baby doesn’t survive, and we’re here today to honor and remember those babies,” said Leigh Ann Sutton, Pre-natal Bereavement Coordinator for Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

“A small service, a memorial walk, and if the weather allows, we will have a butterfly release as well just to remember these precious babies,” said Deena Kail, Executive Director for the West Tennessee Women’s Center.

The ceremony is named after the hospital’s unique program, designed to help families who have lost a baby.

“It’s an ongoing 13 month bereavement program that follows our families each month after they experience a loss,” Kail said.

The program and the counseling that comes with it is essential for grieving families. That includes Brittany Patterson, who says the program has helped her through these trying times.

“They’ve been wonderful. They’ve helped us through our stay. They helped lay Lane to rest and everything. They helped with counseling and all this stuff,” said Patterson.

Organizers say around 100 families attended this year’s ceremony. It culminated in the butterfly release, meant to symbolize the transformation of grief into something positive.

“Just take it day by day. That’s all you can do. Cry it out and pray,” Patterson said.

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