For those who have lost an infant child, interment can often be a difficult and straining decision to navigate. Sunset Cemetery and Moose Jaw Right to Life have joined hands to create a more embracing atmosphere in the Garden of Angels area of the cemetery.
Right to Life, with the support of Sunset Cemetery, have installed a new bench in the area, for those wishing to visit their child’s grave and spend time there.
“We just felt that having a little bench out there, a special memorial area where people could just come and be in quiet and stillness and have a chance to grieve their unborn child, was something that was necessary for the community, to give parents that chance to express their loss in their own way,” said Jean Landry, president of Right To Life in Moose Jaw.
The Garden of Angels is the dedicated site for infant interment at Sunset Cemetery, who have begun offering a program specifically for those who have experienced the loss of a young infant — either recently or in the past.
The Little Angel program provides infant interment at a rate meant to ease the financial burden on those who are already grieving their loss.
Marc L’Hoir, manager of Sunset Cemetery, hopes the program will allow parents consider the decision to put their child to rest with dignity without the influence of outside factors such as cost.
“The idea is just to give them peace of mind that their young one has been taken care of and is in a proper resting place,” said L’Hoir. “The whole idea was not to make it a financial burden to families, to be able to do this.”
Sunset Cemetery has developed special properties in the Garden of Angels, the section on the south side of Sunset Cemetery, and bundled the cost of the plot with the interment and grave marker to make the process more feasible for all families to find closure.
They have also created a family bundle, which includes a full size plot for both infant and parents, including a grave marker and the infant’s interment at no cost.
The Garden of Angels is meant to be a peaceful place to lay a child’s urn to rest, and to allow parents to begin healing from their loss. The bench installed by Right To Life will be dedicated to the memory of the unborn child.
It’s a topic that isn’t often discussed publicly — stillbirth, miscarriages, or infant deaths — and both Landry and L’Hoir wanted to offer the option for both the families and the child.
“This way, those kids will never be forgotten. If the family wants to do something there, they can purchase a property and mark the grave, and everybody deserves that,” said L’Hoir. “It's just to give closure to the family, also, so they're not continually grieving over the death of that young one.”
The official dedication for the bench will take place on Sept. 15 at the Garden of Angels, from 3 to 4 p.m. A handful of official speakers will say a few words, and Right To Life will have flowers available for those wishing to lay them on a grave of their choice.
The dedication is open to the public, and both L’Hoir and Landry hope the bench will be a welcome addition to Sunset Cemetery.
“We really want the public to know that there is this place, to go be in the quiet to grieve or give honour to their unborn child,” said Landry.