Saturday, August 27, 2016

All are welcome to attend our 21st Annual 

Walk for Remembrance and Hope

"Love Lights the Way"

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Registration begins at 1:00 PM
Program begins at 1:30 PM

International Peace Gardens
1060 Dalton Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Come and enjoy each others company, 
incredible music by Wilford Prater 
and a memorial walk around the gorgeous gardens.

The short walk will be followed by
an honorary name reading MC'd by abc4Utah
and a moving dove release graciously sponsored by

Custom Share Shirts/Hoodies

It is a TWO (2) step process:

1) Shirts may be ordered here
2) Once you have your order number you submit your baby's name(s) here
    (I filled out this form twice for my twins using the same order number)
(Ordering Begins August 26 and Ends Midnight September 9)

We are offering high quality, tri-blend shirts and zip-hoodies
in women's, men's and children's sizes.
They are currently available for pre-order and pick-up at the Walk.

Items for sale at the Walk:

We will be taking pre-orders for one-of-a-kind, personalized Christmas ornaments to take home and/or place on the Share Parents of Utah "Love Lights The Way" tree at the 2016 Festival of Trees
Limited quantities available - Ordering is available AT the Walk and then for a few weeks following the Walk.

An exclusive piece by "Made by Mary".  
It is a high-quality necklace created in honor of our angel babies and is exclusive only to our friends with Share Parents of Utah.  A portion of sales from this piece will be 
donated by Made by Mary to Share Parents of Utah. 
Details on how to order will be here shortly and available at the Walk.
Ordering is available AT the Walk and then for three months following the Walk.
Plan your holiday gifting NOW!  Makes a memorable gift for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Anniversaries, etc.

Mini rings, memorial hand & feet pins and bears

Second printing of the Share shirts

(available October 31, 2016)

Visit the following booths:

Ben and Lindsay Dougal are fundraising to place another Cuddle Cot in one of our local, area hospitals.  They will be accepting monetary donations in addition to selling memorial pins.  More information can be found on our website's donate tab or on the website set up by Theo's parents.

Each household will be invited to personalize, place along the walking path (unlit) and then take home their very own luminary bag with candle to use on October 15 for the 
International Wave of Light Ceremony

Frequently asked questions:

Is there a cost to attend? No, there is no cost to attend and participate in the Walk!  You are welcome to purchase t-shirts, hoodies, and other memorabilia, and all proceeds from these sales help to fund the Walk as well as fund other services Share Parents of Utah provides to the families we serve.  

How long is the Walk? The memorial walk utilizes the sidewalk that goes around the beautiful gardens and lasts about 10-15 minutes at a slow/moderate paced walk.

Will seating be provided during the musical portion of the program?  No.  We invite you to bring your own chairs and blankets to relax on during this portion of the event.  Get to know your fellow bereaved parent(s) and feel safe knowing you are surrounded by those who understand, care and will listen.  

Will the event be held if it's raining?  YES!  The event will be held rain or shine, so be prepared with an umbrella if the weather is rainy. 

This is my first year at the Walk, what can I expect?  When you first arrive at the Walk, there is a registration table set up where you can write your baby/babies names on a card to be read later at the name reading.  You can also pick up your pre-ordered t-shirt at that time as well.  When the program starts, there will be a musical number, followed by name reading, dove release and then the walk itself.  At the end of the memorial walk, you will be able to pick up your memorial luminary.  After the service is over, you can bring a note or a small memento for your baby that is sealed in a vault donated by Larkin Sunset Lawn located just off Foothill Drive and 1300 South, and is opened once a year.  Refreshments will also be provided.  The entire service lasts about an hour.

Do I need to bring anything to the Walk?  You may want to bring a camp/folding chair and /or blanket if you would like.  You may also bring a card, note, or small memento for your baby to be put in the memorial vault at the end of the service.  

Who can come with me to the Walk?  Everyone is welcome to attend!  Bring your family, friends, or anyone else who you think might benefit from attending this wonderful event. 

Please note that the 
Department of Public Services, Salt Lake City Corporations
has stipulated that all patrons of our walk 
park on Montague and Fremont Avenues,
 as well any bordering streets, as according to law, 
with the exception of 900 West. 

You will find the locations of these streets 
on the North and South ends of the park 
and on the yellow highlighted portions of the map below.
Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.  

Handicap parking is available for those patrons with proper placards. 

Upcoming Events

Don't miss interviews with Share Parents of Utah on the following news outlets:

September 12-abc4 4 PM News
September 23-abc4 Midday News 11 AM
September 27-KUTV channel 2's Fresh Living at 11 AM
The entire month of October-Utah Channel 6, Xfinity On Demand and

 Join us at the upcoming 
4th Annual Shopping Extravaganza 
at the Outlets at Traverse Mountain 
on October 8, 2016 from 10 AM - 4 PM

Ticket required~Exclusive Discounts
Prizes&Giveaways~Live Music
Swag Bags~Lunch&Dessert provided

This is one of the BIGGEST fundraising events for our non-profit group as $15 from each ticket sold comes back to us!

$20 tickets may be purchased from any 
Share Parents of Utah volunteer 
or by calling Melannie at 801-864-1040.

If you order online, make sure you indicate that this ticket should benefit 
Share Parents of Utah

Participate in the Wave of Light Ceremony
on October 15, 2016
and share your photos with us on our Facebook page!
You are invited to pick up your personalized paper luminary and candle at our Annual Walk on October 1, 2016
(one per household)


Come see our Share Parents of Utah 
"Love Lights the Way" tree at the
Annual Festival of Trees
Wednesday, November 30 through Saturday, December 3, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day
(do not forget to purchase your own personal ornament as well as one to place on the tree)


Don't miss our 
Third Annual Valentine's Gala
February 9, 2017
at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
(more details/tickets to come)
Dr. Matt Townsend will be speaking on the unique relationship experiences that can occur while healing after the loss of our loved one(s)
and photographer John Lloyd will capture the evening 
and provide a free, downloadable keepsake photo of you and your companion.
*This Is A Formal Event*


Monday, August 1, 2016

Helping Others Help You

By: Molly Hickey
(Taken from National Share's July/August Newsletter)

Sipping coffee and sitting across from a long time friend, we talked about the weather, her kids, our jobs, and our husbands. With each break in the conversation, I hoped she would ask about Joseph and Grace. I hoped she'd ask about how I am navigating the grieving process, ask how it felt to be back at work when I was supposed to be on maternity leave, ask what it feels like to celebrate Mother's Day with my children in heaven instead of on earth. But she didn't. And I lacked the words to bring it up. I know this friend loved me, and cared about how I was doing, but she lacked the words, too.

After our twins were stillborn, my husband and I felt more connected than ever. In the span of a few short days, we had fumbled through so much: hearing the fatal diagnosis, enduring labor and birth; holding, meeting, and blessing our beautiful babies; planning a funeral. We had shared a powerful experience and our love for each other had instantly grown deeper and stronger. I connected to Ryan, but disconnected from everyone else.

As always in life, some people responded to our loss with beauty and grace, knowing just what to say. Others, armed with great intentions, didn't know what to do. For the first time in my life I felt like I was on a different page from those around me. My close friends, my siblings, my parents didn't seem to "get it". Frustration fueled feelings of loneliness. Dwelling in this place didn't ease my grief or support my healing, but made it worse.

After much prayer and reflection, I realized I needed to focus inwardly. This was a tough situation, one with no perfect protocol. It was uncharted territory for me, my family and friends. Instead of thinking "what can people do for me?", I challenged myself to ask "What can I do to help others support me?"


I wanted people to read my mind and was angry when they couldn't. I didn't know what I was feeling, or what I needed but I expected other people to know. I was desperate for others to talk about my babies, when people assumed they shouldn't bring them up. I felt like I shouldn't have to spell it out for people, but it was only once I was honest that I was able to be supported by others in a helpful way. Clearly explaining my feelings and offering specific examples of what would be helpful was invaluable.


It is always easier to get along with someone when you remember why you are grateful for them. One of the beautiful lessons I had learned from Joseph and Grace was how precious each life is, including the lives of my friends and family. I needed to be grateful for what they had done for me, not just in this chapter, but throughout my whole life.

I also needed to be grateful for the efforts of many. Instead of focusing on what I didn't have, or wasn't getting from others, I could be grateful for what I did have... a loving husband, a compassionate doctor, an understanding boss, a thoughtful nurse who took photos of my children. They deserved my gratitude.


I began to think about how I had supported others in the past. A friend's father had died and although I paid my respects, I had not known what to say. I didn't follow up with her in the coming weeks or months. I didn't mention her father when we talked. Maybe that is what she needed. Even with the best intentions, I realized I had, many times, fallen short of supporting others- not out of a lack of compassion, but a lack of awareness. I needed to have patience with those around me as we all learn through this experience.

Bring it up

Most people are very willing to talk and listen when I make the first move. Try saying something simple like “I've been thinking a lot about Joseph and Grace lately."

Set the tone

Before getting together with a friend, send a quick text or email saying either “I am really looking forward to getting together. I could really use a fun night out and a few laughs.” or ” I am really looking forward to getting together. After a long week, I could really use a chance to talk to you about how I’ve been feeling lately.”

Be specific

It isn't fair to have expectations of people without communicating with them. Try saying "Making meals and helping me with housework would be so helpful and allow me more time to rest and relax." or " Getting together one night a week to talk would be really helpful", "It is really touching when you remember birthdays and anniversaries. "

Show Gratitude

Write a note to all the people who have supported you, nurses, co-workers, friends etc. Or try keeping a list of that you can be grateful for during this phase of your life.

Take the Lead

Begin some traditions or organize events to honor your children and include others. Try have a memorial service, plan an annual birthday party where you collect toys to donate, or arrange a service project in your child's honor. Sometimes in life it becomes necessary for us to help others help us. By striving to display honesty, gratitude and patience towards others, I was able to manage my ever-changing emotions. I finally understood that I could better honor and love Joseph and Grace by loving others. 

The Nature of Grief w/Melannie & Stacey
NO RSVP required
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
7:00-8:30 PM
South Jordan Library

The Nature of Grief w/Heidi & Carma
NO RSVP required
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
7:30-9:00 PM
Jordan Valley Hospital

Do not miss this opportunity to heal and grieve as a couple.

Because of the nature of the activity we have planned, 

September's workshops will be open to TEN (10) couples each.  

RSVP to to hold your spot.

Couple's Communication 
w/Melannie, Natalie & Carma
and special guest Dr. Jake Andreason
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
7:00-8:30 PM 
South Jordan Library

Couple's Communication 
w/Heidi & Natalie
and special guest Dr. Jake Andreason
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Jordan Valley Hospital

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Child’s Perspective

As a way of introducing myself first, my name is Jake Andreason. I have been a member of Share Parents of Utah since about April of 2015, and recently have had the opportunity to help out with a few of the workshops offered. My background is in mental health having worked as a therapist for several years. I am licensed in Utah as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and I am the current clinical director for an outpatient mental health clinic in South Jordan. All that being said though, I am not coming to you strictly as a professional. My wife and I lost our baby boy a little over a year ago, and that is what brought me to work with Share Parents of Utah. I can relate to a lot of what parents may be going through as I am going through this myself.

What I want to talk to you about today is related to understanding what a child goes through when struggling with grief. Children can experience grief in a very different way than we do. Some of this depends on age, connection to the loss, and the ability to manage emotions as they come up. Younger kids may not fully understand, but can still connect to the emotion(s) going on around them. Older kids may internalize things in a different way. This may vary from just noticing that mom and dad are upset, to fully taking in the loss of a sibling on their own.

The big thing to be aware of is how your child expresses emotion. This can be tricky if your son or daughter doesn’t know how to do this, or may be a little shut down. Younger kids don’t typically understand this in the same way, so what you end up getting are changes in behavior. This may look like an increase in moments of fear, anxiety, or anger. With older kids, teenagers in particular, they may not want to talk or it may go the other way and they have a thousand questions. Grief is never a one way fix though. This means that each person has the right to feel it, and work through it, in their own way.

Helpful Tips      
                  Many kids struggle with grief because they don’t understand what it means. It is helpful to take some time to talk about this. Younger kids do great with books to read through followed by time to ask questions. Older kids may want one-on-one time to talk. It is generally helpful to start with this step though to get a better understanding of how they see grief.

                  After this, we need to find an outlet to express emotion. Grief is a healthy thing for people as long as you don’t get stuck. Younger kids tend to struggle more when trying to talk about feelings. It can be much easier to use outlets like drawing, painting, or playing with toys to process grief. When you have a teenager that doesn’t want to talk, but clearly they look upset, it helps to just have time together with them. Talk about music, movies, or anything else they want. Often times, as they start to feel more connected, they will begin to open up about their thoughts or worries. You can be there for them in this way without having to push them to say something specific to you.

Things to Watch for

                  Again, each child is different with this so as a parent you will know your child best. Generally, what I tend to look for are things like drastic behavior changes. These behavior changes may look like your child shifts from normally being very outgoing to isolating without wanting contact from anyone, or your easygoing child may suddenly become very angry and aggressive. This will generally impact your child’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis and you may start to see issues with school, friends, or family.
In these moments, you also tend to get a struggle with expressing emotion to the point of shutting down or avoiding. This is a worry if it gets deeper as the emotion can be consuming if there isn’t a way to get it out. Depression and anxiety are common, but if you ever start to hit points of self harm behaviors or statements of suicide stop what you’re doing right away and get help.    
Be Aware of Yourself
                  As important as it is to make sure your kids are okay, also try to remember that you have to be there for yourself. You can’t expect to take care of everyone else around you while avoiding how you are feeling. This is very difficult to do as a parent because we tend to put our kids first for everything. They may also benefit from seeing you do this because you are showing them that it is important to take care of yourself.

Utilize Resources

                  It is important to know that there are several resources available to you. Share Parents of Utah has done a great job of providing a framework of people to connect with. There are options available within this network to find answers to many questions, but professional help is also available for parents, families, and children. The time to look at a professional as an option generally will stand out as behavior starts to really change, or daily functioning is impaired.

                  I am personally going to be going through these particular areas in our July workshops. I am doing one workshop for younger kids (ages 2-10), and one for older (ages 11-18). In these workshops we are going to practice some of these techniques and go over a broad range of areas to watch for with grief. It will be more hands-on to help give examples of ways to help kids move through difficult emotions.  These workshops will be by RSVP only, are open to anyone reading this posting and we will allow up to 10 families to participate on each date.  Information for these workshops can be found on Share Parents of Utah's website under the Support Meetings/Workshops tab. Email to reserve your spot(s) today! I look forward to meeting with you and your family and healing on this journey together.