Though they will never stop grieving their daughter Faith Noelle Garcia, Joe and Lisa Garcia, of Lake Dallas, have been able to find some comfort from participating in the Children’s Park of Tyler’s annual Day of Remembrance.
On Saturday, the couple joined hundreds of others in the park to commemorate the lives of children who have died.
For the Garcias, who have attended the event for the last three years and traveled about two hours to attend this year’s ceremony, the Day of Remembrance was a way for them to once again gather with others who are grieving the loss of children and pay tribute to their Faith - who was stillborn.
“Honestly it’s kind of hard for me because I’d rather have my daughter,” Mrs. Garcia said. “…This is one of the only things I can do for her.”
Jennifer Carson, founder and executive director of the Children’s Park, said the ceremony provides a safe place for families who have experienced the loss of a child to come together, remember their children and grieve.
“I believe (God) wants us to know in the midst of our darkest moments he is with us,” she said. “The beauty of this place is you can come where you are.
“Allowing ourselves to feel is what drives us into a relationship with God and with others, where our emptiness can be filled,” she added. “Grief can pull us in a direction of isolation, but we can never heal if we’re alone.”
The 15th annual Day of Remembrance ceremony featured a roll call of the names of about 130 children who were honored at the event, a butterfly release, music, prayer and more. Anyone who has been touched by the loss of a child was welcome to attend.
Mrs. Carson encouraged attendees to be kind to themselves as they travel along their grief journeys, adding that relying on God and one another can help get them through the pain.
“He has a purpose and a plan for each of our lives and our losses are a part of that,” she said. “You are never intended to travel this journey alone.”