Wednesday October 21st, 2020 4:43PM

Nonprofit celebrate families with lost infants in annual vigil

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Every year, Gainesville families gather by the lake to remember the children they have lost before or shortly after birth with a “wave of light.” Each mother or family may place a candle in memory of their child on a heart-shaped raft and watching a piece of their own hearts float in the sunset on Lake Lanier.

Rock Goodbye Angel organizes the Wave of Light candlelight vigil every year, giving a safe place for families to grieve miscarriages, stillbirths and early infant death. One in four American women will suffer a miscarriage in her lifetime; 25,000 babies are stillborn each year. Sometimes mothers will struggle alone, but often this means one in four fathers, older siblings, grandparents and others try to find their place in grief as well.

"[It's] a very unique kind of grief," said Angela Ewers, founder and director of Rock Goodbye Angel. "It's grieving a future as opposed to grieving a past. But it's something that required education and learning and fellowship."

In addition to miscarriage and stillbirth, other medical problems and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Ewers said roughly one million babies are lost each year.

"That means there's close to two million parents of these babies in all walks of life that are grieving," Ewers said. "We just don't think about that, when you look around every day - in the grocery store, at church, at school - there are probably a lot of moms and dads that have had this happen to them."

Ewers said RGA, which is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Gainesville, currently offers virtual support groups, Mother’s and Father’s Day events, as well serving as an outlet for education and fellowship. And, Ewers said as the pandemic has progressed, they’ve been able to reach people outside of the normal boundaries.

In 1984, Ronald Regan declared October 15 National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and October a month recognizing the same loss. Ewers said they hold the Wave of Light candlelight vigil every year, along with thousands of others across the country. This year, everyone is invited to join RGA at Longwood Park in Gainesville – or virtually, on their Facebook page - at 6:30 p.m. for the annual candlelight vigil and remembrance opportunity.

"We will light candles and we put them all on this big, floating heart, and we push it out into the water and just let it float for an hour," said Ewers. "So between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. it will be out there, and we'll just honor and remember that we all loved and lost."

"It's a great event not only to acknowledge, but also see the amount of people who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. It's the validation that we are not alone."

Coming up, RGA is hosting its annual 5k run to raise money for their organization. While the annual vigil is free and open to the public, the non-profit also sponsors support groups for mothers, fathers and families.

"Rock Goodbye Angel just wants people to know it's ok to talk about it, that this grief is not something that you have to hold inside of you," said Ewers. "And I always tell people, it's not a matter of if we grieve, it's a matter of when and how."

More information about Rock Goodbye Angel, their activities and their support groups can be found on their website and on their Facebook page.

Rock Goodbye Angel 2020 Wave of Light

Thursday, October 15, 2020
6:30 p.m.
Longwood Park in Gainesville
Socially Distant and Streaming on Facebook

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: gainesville, rock goodbye angel, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Free meals for all Georgia school children extended for the remainder of the school year
All school kids in the state of Georgia will now receive free breakfast and lunch through June 30th, thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
9:15PM ( 6 hours ago )
Governor Kemp allocates COVID funds to strengthen unemployment losses
Governor Kemp announced Wednesday that he will commit up to 1.5 billion in federal relief funds to back unemployment benefits. According to Governor Kemp’s office, this funding will prevent layoffs, save tax dollars, and avoid raising state and federal unemployment taxes.
8:14PM ( 7 hours ago )
Habersham County, its cities continue to deal with storm cleanup, assessment
A local state of emergency order remains in place in Habersham County as officials continue to assess the damage caused by torrential rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Delta.
7:32PM ( 8 hours ago )
Local/State News
Gainesville Fire Chief Yarbrough honored for 35-year career with the department
Gainesville Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough received a surprise recognition at the Gainesville City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6 for his 35-year career with the department.
3:00PM ( 4 days ago )
Good News Clinics receives grant for continued heart treatment
Good News Clinics in Gainesville has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation for the continued heart treatment of low-income Hall County families.
2:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Gainesville Department of Water Resources reports Tuesday sludge spill
The Gainesville Department of Water Resources has stopped a sludge spill at the Flat Creek Water Reclamation Facility.
By Regan Spinks
11:38AM ( 1 week ago )
Kemp talks COVID-19 updates, small business reopenings during North Georgia tour
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said this afternoon that having 200,000 rapid COVID-19 tests coming to the state is a “game-changer” during a stop at the the Dawsonville Pool Room as part of a North Georgia tour.
5:20PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Local farmers talk about impact of COVID-19 on season
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has certainly effected the local economy- even the local farmers market.
4:00PM ( 2 weeks ago )