Our healing ministry for mind, body and spirit includes compassionate and professional support to families who experience the loss of a child. Our hope is to assist families and friends to understand the grieving process and to encourage support of one another as they begin a most challenging journey.
Components of our bereavement support services include the following:
- Families are provided time to be with and nurture their child.
- End-of-life support is provided to families through the presence of healthcare professionals such as social workers, nurses, chaplains, child life specialists and other professionals who are trained in bereavement support.
- Spiritual support is offered by a chaplain who is available to perform rituals such as blessings or baptisms. The chaplain may also contact appropriate local clergy upon the family's request.
- We seek to encourage the involvement of various communities of faith, and will assist in any way possible to obtain spiritual and emotional support from their church or faith group.
- Families are provided brochures, booklets, and community resources.
- For families experiencing perinatal loss, we provide materials specific to the death of an infant.
- "Holiday help" brochures are made available at the annual remembrance ceremonies.
- We provide a memory box to families to assist them in creating memories of their child. The box includes items such as a decorative container for a lock of hair, an angel coin for a parent's pocket, clay and an ink pad/paper to make footprints or handprints, and wildflower seeds which can be planted in memory of their child.
- Also included are a homemade blanket or quilt and a journal to encourage the expression of thoughts and feelings in the days to come.
- A professional photography program, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" may be contacted.
- Throughout the first year following the death, families are offered support by way of cards sent at holidays and other days especially significant to them (i.e. the anniversary of their child's death).
- Families are informed about and encouraged to attend appropriate support groups.
- Families receive invitations to remembrance events which may be of interest to them.
- Perinatal Support Group - meets the first and third Mondays of each month from 7 to 8:30 pm at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4171 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, 32207 (approximately 2 miles south of San Marco Square).
- Pediatric Support Group - meets the first Thursday of each month from 7 to 8:30 pm at First Christian Church, 11924 San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin
- An Annual Remembrance Ceremony, designed for families and staff, is held at the Baptist Downtown campus toward the end of the year. For information, contact Linda Rosengren at 904.202.2240.
- The annual Walk to Remember, specifically for families who have experienced perinatal death, is a memorial walk which occurs each October at Jacksonville's riverfront. The 2013 Walk to Remember will be held on Sunday, October 6, beginning at 2 pm on the Northbank Riverwalk Artist Square.
Baptist Health Spiritual Care