“His life was pure love:” Local mother turns to music for Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Month

RICHLAND, Wash. — October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and the 15th is the designated day to honor those lost young ones.

For Kalina Bryan and her husband, it was Noah Michael at 24 weeks and Shiloh at 10 weeks.

“I noticed that there was no movement so we went to the hospital and found that in the ultrasound there was no heartbeat or anything,” Bryan said.

She was ultimately able to deliver the child which is a memory she’ll cherish forever. To help her deal with the loss, she turned to music.

“I just went through a really dark place and found that writing music is a way that helps me cope and get my thoughts out and be able to share that,” Bryan said.

She and her husband performed their tribute song Friday evening at the fourth annual “Gone Too Soon” remembrance ceremony at Events at Sunset in front of dozens of families from across the region also grieving the loss of young loved ones.

Gone Too Soon is Chaplaincy Healthcare’s grief program co-facilitated by Trios labor and delivery nurse, Aggie Mowry.

“Families that have experienced pregnancy or infant loss experience a really unique grief,” Mowry said. “It’s pretty isolating because people are not used to talking to someone who had a pregnancy loss. They’re afraid to say the wrong thing and so they often don’t say anything at all which isolates the family.”

Because the support group is the only one of the sort in the area, women and families from not only the Tri-Cities but places like Yakima and Walla Walla come together.

“Being able to talk to other women who have gone through a lot of the same or similar situations and knowing that they give you encouragement and just understand what to you’re going through it’s so important,” Bryan said. “The support group has been one of the life-saving things for me.”

Bryan said she recommends “seeking help” if you or someone you know is going through a loss.

“It’s something you shouldn’t go through on your own. Your family is a great support tool and this group is another great one. You don’t have to know anybody to show up and it feels like home when you come in there, the women are always so welcoming,” Bryan said. “Be open to talk about and share your story with other people.”

Studies show that one out of every four women is affected by this kind of loss.

“I think that’s so important and these children are a special part of our lives and it’s really nice to be able to share their short lives. Even though you never maybe got to meet them in person or anything but being able to have their memory live on is something really special,” Bryan said.

Mowry added that events like Friday’s are opportunities “to look around and say, ‘I’m not alone.'”

Participants were handed green and white balloons and told to either decorate or write the name of the lost child for it to be then released into the sky in a special ceremony.

“While the baby was inside it only knew love. It sat below my heart and it could feel my heartbeat and feel that excitement that we had for him and that’s all his life was. Just pure love,” Bryan said. “What was so sweet to me to know is that while his life was super short and he didn’t get to see us on the outside, he knew the excitement that we had for him on the inside. All he knew was love and that’s it.”

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