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Service to help those who have lost an infant grieve, recover
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Candlelight service
What: Rock Goodbye Angel support group remembers those affected by miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or perinatal loss
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Duckett Mill boat ramp, Duckett Mill Road off Dawsonville Highway
More info:

Angela Ewerf’s daughter, Emily, was a stillbirth. Ewerf also experienced two miscarriages. Now she is hoping to help others who have experienced the same kind of loss.

A local support group she started, Rock Goodbye Angel, will be remembering those experiences with a candlelight service Thursday night.

“We want people to know they’re not alone in their grief,” said Ewerf, who also has two living children. “I found that there wasn’t a community source to grieve or meet other moms that were having a hard time.”

The support group is an extension of care that parents receive at the hospital, Ewerf said. Northeast Georgia Medical

Center, for instance, has a bereavement team that coordinates efforts of hospital staff to help families cope.

Ewerf said parents and relatives who have experienced the death of an infant — through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or perinatal loss — are invited to attend.

The event will include a brief ceremony, music and a time for reflection. Families will write who they are honoring on a plate and, one by one, release the plates into the water.

Ewerf said losses such as these are a different kind of sorrow than losing a longtime relative or friend.

“A lot of families don’t know how to pick the pieces back up,” Ewerf said. “Part of it is finding a new normal.”

Rock Goodbye Angel meets once a week, she said, and can provide parents with various resources and a sympathetic ear.

The support group also encourages parents to create memories with those they have lost. They can provide items such as bathing kits, blankets and bonnets.

“We want to be a resource to encourage parents to say ‘hello’ before they have to say ‘goodbye’ by making memories,” she said.

Parents will be able to publicly grieve their loss with friends and others at the ceremony, Ewerf said. She said the group also invites caregivers and doctors who want to reconnect with families affected by loss.

The service will begin at 7 p.m., followed by refreshments at Lanier Hills Church, located at 3129 Duckett Mill Road.

Ewerf said October has been designated Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

“I want people to understand there is a month and day dedicated for families to remember and look forward to every year instead of dreading,” she said.