A New Provincial Organization Hopes to Change Conversation Around Child Loss

Posted on Monday, September 11, 2017 10:47 AM

Losing a child can be the most devastating moment in a parent's life.

Any child's death is tragic, but Gardens of Grace founder Paula Harmon says parents who lose children in the womb don't receive the same level of compassion.

Her organization is working to change that.

"When you lose a child that early, the public perceptions are a little different. People don't talk about it, or they say you can have other children. Or some people may even say, it wasn't even born yet so why are you upset?"

Harmon wants all levels of government to recognize pregnancy and infant loss awareness day on October 15.

Paula Harmon founded Gardens of Grace after the province failed to pass a bill last year that would have recognized the day and also called for officials to look at what bereavement care is available.

Harmon is working to have municipalities across the province acknowledge the day through proclamations or by lighting civic buildings pink and blue.

Already, Halifax has agreed to the colours on city hall, and municipal governments across the province are issuing those proclamations.

She says her organization has a number of goals to provide comfort to parents who have experienced a loss.

"It's important for parents to be able to acknowledge publicly that their children existed. It may upset the parents, but they want people to know that they are thinking of the child. Gardens will help them do that."

Harmon hopes to have an area dedicated in public parks for families where the organization's signature flower would be on display.