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Recovering From Sudden Infant Loss

Touching Lives, Healing Hearts And Giving Hope Is This Nonprofit's Mission

Infant deaths. Bereaved parents. "Though I had been a maternity nurse, I had no preparation to deal with grief, at least I didn't think I had any insights into their pain," shared Sister Jane Marie Lamb, who, as a result, founded Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support in 1977.

Share is a voluntary, non-denominational, nonprofit organization that serves families whose lives are affected by the tragic loss of a baby due to pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life.

From the St. Charles-based headquarters and through more than 75 chapters in 29 states, the group continues to execute Sister Jane Marie's vision and legacy by providing support for bereaved families in their darkest times.

Sarah Lawrenz, Share executive director, says every child's life is precious. "The hopes and dreams for children are filled with anticipation and joy. Suddenly, those dreams of parents who lose a child are completely shattered, and the world around them shaken. Parents find it difficult trying to make it alone. We as caregivers are privileged to journey with families as they put the pieces back together."

Share's proactive programs seek to surround parents with compassionate support, should it be needed. For example, Sarah says the nonprofit's staffers over the last two years have trained 765 medical professionals and caregivers to provide improved care for families who have experienced the loss of a baby. 

Four times each year, Share's local partner, Baue Funeral Home, holds a burial free of charge for families who have lost their baby before 20 weeks. Sarah says Share also hosts several remembrance events throughout the year, recognizing families' ongoing need to honor their babies. 

Share just organized a guest speaker session on July 28 in St. Charles with registered dietitian Rachel Rajano, who provided cooking tips for supporting both mind and body. 

A Journaling speaker is scheduled for Aug. 10 from 6-8 p.m. at Spencer Road Library Community Commons in St. Peters. Sierra Dean, a bereaved mother and owner of Dean Diaries Publishing, will explain how to use guided journals, as well as the benefits of journaling through grief. Guests can register online. 

An upcoming event in which to participate or lend support is the 21th Annual Share Walk for Remembrance & Hope. It will be held Oct. 15 at Frontier Park in St. Charles. Registration deadline is Aug. 21. Participants can join virtually or in-person. More than 3,000 people are expected to gather.

This annual event provides families who've experienced the death of their baby an opportunity to openly acknowledge and remember among family, friends and the bereavement community, says Sarah Purcell, Share marketing director. "The event also allows families to walk the steps their precious children will never get to take. Families are welcome to bring flowers to place at the base of the Baby Memorial Wall where babies’ names will be printed," she adds. 

Sarah says everyone who registers by Aug. 21 will receive a T-shirt with their baby’s name on the back.  

For specific questions not addressed on the group's website about the walk, email Sarah at Sponsors and volunteers are welcome and needed for the event.

Financial donations can be made online, taken over the phone or mailed into the National Share office, 402 Jackson St., St. Charles, MO  63301.