October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this is a road many of our heart families are forced to walk. Our co-founder, Melissa Hooper, lost her son Dylan on June 30, 2008, at the age of 3. Because of her personal experience, we started the annual Dylan’s Dragon Walk as an event to honor our heart angel families.
In 2016, a group of heart angel moms came together to form the Bereavement Team. This team was created to support families whose Heart Warriors have become Heart Angels. It is staffed by Heart Angel family members, so each event is created by someone who understands full well what it takes to live life after the loss of a child, more specifically, a heart kiddo!
The Help-A-Heart Bereavement Team honors our sweet littles with cards of empathy for their families when they earn their wings, a memorial keepsake print tailored just for each special kiddo, as well as remembrance cards on their “angel-versarry”.
Help-A-Heart Angel Families Support Group has a closed Facebook group that we would invite any Angel Family to become a part of. It is here that you can find all the information about our gatherings throughout the year.
The Help-A-Heart Bereavement Team gathers 4 times a year in the Des Moines area. When we are together, it is a safe place to speak about our Angels, ask hard questions that others may not understand, and most of all, to be in the company of others who just “get it.” And we eat – everyone loves to eat right?
Our largest annual event is Dylan’s Dragon Walk. Each Spring, we gather to walk in remembrance of our Heart Angels. It is a time set aside just for our littles – to remember, to savor speaking their names, to carve out a few hours on this special day that is just about them. And for us, who don’t have anymore memories to make with our Heart Angel, days like these are important.
Help-A-Heart’s Bereavement Team also has a lending library of books that are specifically for families of kiddos who now live in Heaven. It includes titles for parents, as well as siblings, and we encourage you to reach out if you would like to borrow from it! The titles were hand picked by the Bereavement Team members as resources that they themselves found useful in their grief journeys.
We hope that you will choose to join us in celebrating, remembering, and honoring all of our Heart Angels!
If you have any questions, would like to be added to the Facebook group or want to reach out on a more personal level, please feel free to contact Adriann Warren Anderson via Facebook or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.