By: Joy Boresi
“I’m very sorry, but I see your baby’s heart, and it’s not beating.”
Those were the words that turned my and my husband’s world upside down. We had tried for years to become pregnant, and the day we found out we were expecting was one of the happiest days of our lives. My pregnancy was a blissful time – we enjoyed baby showers, setting up the nursery, and the joy of feeling our baby kick and move.
Hearing those words just four days before my due date, when I had gone to the hospital with labor pains, simply devastated us. The next day, May 2, 2007, I delivered a beautiful baby girl, Corynn Hannah.
We were blessed with caring, compassionate nurses who took pictures for us and provided us with a packet of information and resources to help us with our grief.
Inside that folder was a brochure about Share. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what Share, or any organization, could do to help me – they couldn’t bring my baby back. I was reading every book and pamphlet about grief and losing a child that I could get my hands on; I wanted answers, a map to guide me on this journey I never expected to take. Several books recommended going to a support group, so my husband and I decided we would go to the next support group meeting. I remember how hard it was walking through that door and saying anything beyond our names.
We were immediately met with kind, empathetic people who reassured us that we were not alone. We began attending meetings regularly, and soon learned about the upcoming Share Walk.
Although a few months earlier I didn’t know if I wanted to go to a Share meeting, I definitely knew I wanted to go to the Share Walk! We invited our friends and family to join us, and were fortunate enough to have an outpouring of support. “Corynn’s Crowd” was born.
Our first Share Walk was incredibly moving and emotional.
Seeing our little girl’s name on the t-shirt and in the program and hearing her name during the ceremony continued to validate her brief life in front of hundreds of people. The beautiful poem and song moved us to tears – tears we were not embarrassed to shed, as we knew we were surrounded by understanding people. Many hugs and kind smiles of support were shared that day, between people who knew each other and people who only knew why you were there. For my husband and I, it was a chance for our family and friends to come together to celebrate and honor Corynn.
We have not missed a Share Walk since our first one in 2007.
In the past 10 years, just as our lives have changed, so has the Share Walk. The size of Corynn’s Crowd has changed over the years, and we have had some very important additions. Our rainbow baby, Katelyn, joined the team in 2009. In 2011, we knew Corynn was smiling upon us as we shared the news with her “crowd” at the Share Walk that we were expecting twins. Her three younger siblings now enjoy the Creation Station at the Share Walk, where they have the opportunity to make crafts for themselves in honor of their angel sister. The addition of three living children to our family has certainly made our lives busier, which is another reason the Share Walk is so important to us.
The day of the Share Walk is Corynn’s day, a time to pause, focus on her and how much she means to us. It has almost as much significance as her birthday.
The locations have changed from The Muny, to Tower Grove Park, to Creve Coeur Lake Park, to the current location at Frontier Park. However, no matter where we walk, we all walk with the same purpose, to honor our precious babies. We’ve released balloons, blew bubbles, and watched in awe as the doves sailed over us. This year, we plan to proudly hold our pinwheels high as we hear Corynn’s name.
The people at the National Share office always find a special way for us to symbolically connect to our babies, and let them know they always live on in our hearts.
We look forward to the Share Walk this year, and every year, as a time to gather with family, reconnect with our Share friends, to let bereaved parents know that they are not alone, and to publicly show all the babies who left this world too soon that they are forever remembered, cherished, and loved.
Learn more about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and Share’s activities for October Awareness.