Rock Goodbye Angel
Third annual candlelight remembrance event
Where: River Forks Park and Campground, 3500 Keith Bridge Road, Gainesville
When: 5:30-7 p.m. Saturday
Contact: 770-331-1281 or www.RockGoodbyeAngel.org
The grief felt by families who have lost a baby is different.
“When you lose a baby, it’s weird. Everyday people treat it like it’s not a big deal,” Sarah Oakley said.
“You’re not grieving the same way. You’re grieving what you never got to have.”
Last December, Oakley’s son arrived as a stillbirth. She remembers being given a Rock Goodbye Angel pamphlet at the hospital.
“I just knew immediately I needed the group and wanted to go to that group. I just needed a lot of help,” Oakley said.
Oakley had already witnessed how the group helped bereaved families at its annual candlelight remembrance event, where she went to support a friend a few months earlier.
“I was just so moved by the event. I thought it was a great event that could turn something so tragic into something so beautiful,” Oakley said.
Rock Goodbye Angle will hold its third annual candlelight remembrance event at River Forks Park and Campground on Saturday night. October is Pregnancy and Early Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Families can light a candle in memory of a child lost too soon. If a family cannot attend but would like to honor its baby, Rock Goodbye Angel will light a candle in remembrance for them.
Oakley said she, her family and three children, are looking forward to the opportunity to honor the son and brother they never got a chance to know.
There is no charge to attend and candles are provided. The event is hosted by Jackson EMC, The Woodmen of the World and American Telecenters.
Rock Goodbye Angel founder Angela Ewers said the event typically draws around 100 people. She said the size of the crowd is an “odd mixed blessing” by showing families that they are not alone in their grief.
“It validates the reality that there are people who have experienced pregnancy and child loss. It gives people the opportunity to fellowship and grieve with others who have had a similar loss,” Ewers said.
The group has weekly peer-led support chapters in Gainesville, Gwinnett County and Dahlonega. Each chapter will hold a special meeting on Monday, the National Day of Remembrance.
Oakley still attends her weekly Monday night support group and has made lasting friendships through the group.
“Although the circumstances are sad that brought us together, it’s a great opportunity to talk about something the normal world has no idea about,” Oakley said.