Miscarriage memorial spot brings together parents to remember their lost children

Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 00:07:52-04

"We always talked about having a house full of children. Maybe a combination of our kids and foster kids, or adoption which might still be a path we take," said Kristen Mayer. 

Kyle and Kristen Mayer imagine their home full of noise and little footprints following behind them.

"I think the only place we differed on that was maybe how many kids," said Kyle. "I think Kyle would be okay with 4, but I'd be okay with 12," said Kristen. 

A dream met with devastating reality. They lost their son Elijah at 20 weeks in the pregnancy. Exactly a year later, they lost their daughter Caroline at 20 weeks. 

"You're in shock when you lose a child unexpectedly like that and having to figure out all the burial details, and everything was difficult," said Mayer. 

They're not alone. According to data, miscarriage affects 1 in every four pregnancies. 

"After losing a child that's a big enough burden on your shoulders let alone going out picking a cemetery space for them," said funeral director of Alsips and Persons funeral chapel Scott Glover. 

Glover says since a fetus isn't classified as a baby until 20 weeks, parents facing early pregnancy losses have limited options in current cemeteries. 

"We have had numerous families that have lost babies before 20 weeks and just let the hospitals dispose of them because they didn't know a place like this existed," said Glover. 

Thanks to collaboration with the city of Nampa, Alsips and Davids Hope, there's now a spot to lay these infants to rest. This is the first soon to be scattering garden in the city of Nampa. 

"When you lose a child, it feels like it's unnatural, it shouldn't happen. So to have a place where other people have buried their infants, and the community has set it up for the situation, it's a normal part of life experience, and it's something you can get through," said Mayer. 

The temporary memorial spot open to all people, regardless of religion or other circumstances. 

"This is just the same as someone who loses a child who got to take that first breath, because its just as much a child to those families and I'm sad I won't be able to meet those children my friends have lost, but we can come here and remember them together," said memorial attendee and family friend Rachel Cossel. 

Families in attendance at the dedication say the spot serves as a way to bring life to their children who never took a breath. 

"There is a sense of community with people who have lost infants, so to have them together in an infant loss area I think honors the unique grief of having to bury someone so tiny," said Mayer. 

The Mayer family still counts their blessings. They enjoy taking their daughter to gymnastics and preschool.

"Julia was our first born; she's very fun and sweet. She knows she has a brother and sister in heaven and we talk about how we miss them."  

And now they have a place to take her to visit with the other members of their family. 

"If we did not have that place I don't know if we would have the same closure we have at this point," said Mayer.