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HEALTH WATCH: The Share Group for Pregnancy and Infant Loss
Losing a loved one is never easy, not matter the time of year.
But for families who've lost children, the holidays are a particularly painful time.
Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel takes us to a place where parents can hopefully find some comfort.
O a recent foggy Friday night -- a group of grieving families gathered at Bayview Memorial Park.
In a hundred other cities -- others came together as they do each year on the same date in December at the feet of Angel of Hope statues.
Dennis and Alison Lazear had this one placed in Pensacola in honor of their stillborn daughter Lyndsey. They lost her in 1986.
"We did get to hold her and kiss her and have one picture of her in the world."
The Angel of Hope statues are scattered across the country -- a place for families to pray, lay a flower, think.
"Every birthday we're out here. Her birthday is in May and we come out here every birthday and sit with her and do what we need to do."
Sacred Heart Hospital's Lori Farmer leads the local chapter of the Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss group.
It's a personal ministry for the Advanced Practice Nurse.
"I lost my first pregnancy and that was many years ago."
The Angel of Hope statue is based on the angel statue in the book "The Christmas Box" by Richard Paul Evans.
Farmer says having a physical place for parents to visit -- has great value especially during the holidays.
"Those hopes and dreams and all those things you wanted to happen for your child are not there and Christmastime is a heart wrenching, gut wrenching time for families."
Rose Cunningham is a 30 year veteran Labor and Delivery Nurse at Sacred Heart.
Years ago she saw the need to reach out to grieving mothers and fathers. She touches base with them throughout the year. A sober but significant calling.
"If they don't want to talk I just sit there. If they want to talk, I'm a great listener."
A box sits behind the statue -- families leave items here.
Graduation invitations, cards, a teddy bear.
Coming here is still tough -- but Dennis enjoys seeing the momentos.
"It makes me happy that people use the environment to take care of themselves."
If he comes in the day -- and someone's here Dennis keeps driving content to see others drawing strength from what started as his daughters memorial and is now a shared place of a kind of peace.
"It is difficult, it will never not be difficult but it gets easier to handle."
The Share Group for Pregnancy and Infant Loss meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6-8 pm at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church.
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