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
emceed by Surae Chinn and Dan Pope from 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 IT'S BEEN EXTENDED TO MIDNIGHT SEPTEMBER 11)

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. 

Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted using US-sourced gold filled and sterling silver. Gold filled is a durable, high-quality alternative to solid gold, and contains 100 times more real gold than than gold-plated products. It won't irritate sensitive skin and, with care, holds up beautifully to daily wear.
Each piece is individually hand stamped, assembled, polished, and packaged right here in Draper, Utah by Mary and her small team. Their attention to detail ensures that you'll receive the highest quality product, made with love.

Character Count limits:

*With One Star plus name: 9 characters (right alignment)

*With One Star plus date: 8 characters INCLUDING periods
(right alignment)

*With Two Stars plus name: 6 characters
(right alignment)

*Seven Stars is the maximum (centered)

*Available in Roman Numerals too!

*Only One Side is Stamped*

Necklaces come in your choice of three colors:
14kt gold filled,
14kt rose gold filled,
or sterling silver
No plating.

17", 18", and 19" long chains with spring clasp


Visit Made by Mary for more details

Mini rings, memorial hand & feet pins, key fobs and bears

Second printing of the Share shirts

(available for pick up at the November Support Meetings)

We are trying to eliminate as many bank fees as possible and would love it if you would consider using Venmo when making any purchases or donations to Share Parents of Utah.  

Our Venmo account is:

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. 

An additional thank you goes out to Plan It Rentals for helping us with our sound system.

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*

September 2016 Newsletter

Participating in a grief support group can benefit your well-being

We are forever changed by the experience of loss and no two people experience the sorrow of loss in the same way. Individuals often feel alone in grief. Isolation can feel protective, but it can also prevent the opportunity to grow through grief. Group work is one way that grief is transformed into possibility. It is important to know that we have an opportunity to continue to love those we’ve lost and to learn to love ourselves more in the process of grief. Participation in groups helps this process. There is a powerful sense of understanding and compassion that comes from being part of a group. Groups counter a sense of isolation by offering a connection to others with similar experiences, thoughts and feelings. In addition, in a support group setting, there are ways to ask for what we need, find out how others can be companions as a support in this journey and learn about unresolved issues that extend the grief process.
Grief groups, bereavement groups, and groups for those who have lost a loved one are offered in many communities. Sometimes they are focused on a particular type of loss (sudden, cancer) or members are grouped by age. There are groups for loss of a pet, parent, spouse, child, sibling or friend. These groups can be found through hospice, hospitals, places of worship or through funeral directors. Much work is being done to make the services of trained professionals available to reach those in need. If you can’t find one in your area, check the internet or ask friends. Sometimes groups are led by lay people in the community and sometimes by grief counselors, life coaches, social workers or clergy. A well trained, caring facilitator offers the structure necessary for successful group interaction. What is most important is for it to be a right fit for you. Ask questions beforehand, try it out, believe life beyond than grief is possible.

Cartoon with check mark
Cartoon with x mark


Do cry when you want to and cry if you want to

The physical release of crying can help express your pain. When we are children, crying over something important to a 5 year old, for example a broken doll, is shunned. Often, a parent will say it’s only a doll. A youth who cries over a lost game or missed ball will be told, “It’s ok. It’s only a game.” We are conditioned to hide our emotions and hold in feelings that may need to be expressed. Disappointment, shame, sadness and fear of recurring losses get pushed down and hidden.
When in a group of others who have experienced significant loss, no one will tell you to stop crying. No one should say anything to stop your tears. In fact, in a group setting, no one should even offer a tissue as this might stifle the freedom to emote. Like a good belly laugh, crying has something to offer.
While the fear of embarrassment when crying is often present, there is also no judgement of those who do not cry. Groups are intent on support, holding each member where and as they are in that space. While we are familiar with allowing tears, it is important not to feel judged when we just don’t cry. Group members are always encouraged to approach each other with, simply, acceptance.

Do give yourself time to grieve

The stages of grief (as originally defined by Kubler-Ross) denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, were never meant to have a particular order or timeline. In fact, many forget that these stages were created from work with those who were themselves dying. When one has lost a significant person in their life, there certainly can be no denying its reality. Yes, there can be the feeling of they should be walking through the front door or I was just about to call_____(my departed one). Unlike, the denial of an illness, this feeling is more of the time needed to accept reality.
Society is so full of wanting everyone to be “ok” that we find ourselves afraid to show emotion. This is the time to allow yourself to feel every emotion and to embrace the fact that you can feel them. Sometimes wanting to be a part of a group will come in a week, a month, a year or more. Only you can make that decision. When the question arises, “Are there others who feel as I do?” “Can anyone understand this loss?” Then you will know you are ready.
What is important is to decide for yourself when to move through your feelings and when to hold on to them. When you are ready to be supported and held through the process of learning to live again, it will be time to join a supportive group.

Do let others know what you need or don’t need

“I am numb. I feel nothing. How can I know what I need?” Those feelings are some of what people new to a loss will say. During that time, it may just be someone to answer the phone or someone to sit with you and not ask questions. Whatever seems right, even if it’s please call again another time, do your best to say what you need.
When someone asks, “What can I do?” the mourner often responds with “that’s ok”, or “I’m fine.” This is the time when someone else’s casserole or baked goods will provide much more than nutrition. It can provide an internal sustenance knowing that there are still those who care for you.

Do find ways to bring your lost loved one on the journey

Continue to talk to or about your loved one. They did not leave your emotional life because they have left the physical one. Your memories include them; take them along as you share with the group and others.
In a group, often an activity is scheduled in advance. You are asked to bring along a photo of your loved one at a happy time. Each group member tells their story. Everyone is anxious to listen to understand what has been lost. Its very impactful on each member to get to know the other’s loved ones. Storytelling brings them into the room and there they remain as we embrace their lives. After all, that is why they are so missed, not because they died but because they lived.

Do find a group that shares your need to live

After a long illness or any loss, your life will change dramatically. No longer is there the person who needed so much care or attention. In a group there is a chance to embrace the uniqueness of your grief and listen to others share theirs. During this process, what arises will be the need all share for more. There are always more questions to be answered and a wish for more time with those we’ve lost. Eventually, there will be a wish for more for you. More time to learn to live again; perhaps to do something that this relationship, illness, or responsibilities prevented you from doing.
Choosing to live life and carry on old desires while creating new dreams will help focus your energy towards the more you were meant to have. This may be the time to find out what more there is for you. Dream big, share those dreams and together your group can foster action to attain new dreams.


Do not stop living

Mourners ask themselves: “How can I go on?” “How” is the unanswerable question but for most, the truth is we do go on. Not being alone, not feeling as if you are the only one to ever lose the most important person in your life does make a difference. No, no loss is the same, and yet the challenge to continue to live often is.
It might seem like you are always walking up hill, you might have a fear that nothing will ever be good again, you might even fear for your own health or peace of mind. What is true is that it will never be the same. And it is also true that there is a need, a duty, an obligation to yourself to live and to live well.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength.” In grief support groups everyone is encouraged to be courageous and live.

Do not let others tell you what you need

“You should sell your house.” “You should start dating.” “Why don’t you join a gym, get a new haircut, take a cruise, eat more, eat less, call me more, call your family, etc., etc.” The list of unrequested kindly misguided suggestions is endless. Grief is the time to tell others what you need. In a group setting, hearing others that may be less empowered or others that offer the ability to embrace this power may be the catalyst to your growth. Wherever you fall in the spectrum, honor your needs. When well-intended others ask you about moving on or seem afraid to say the name of your loved one, a part of you is negated. In groups, we all share our history and stories about those we’ve lost.

Do not rush yourself to move on

The loss of a loved one is always unique, as is the time it takes to grow from the experience. What can make a difference is knowing that there is an opportunity to work together with others in grief in a safe environment of non-judgment. There, you have freedom to express joy and sadness, triumph and failure. Try it out, try it on, you will know when you are ready. One day, you will just realize that the sun is out or the flowers are in bloom. Something you never thought you’d see again.

Do not allow well intended catch phrases bring you down

Grief groups will not offer blatant meaningless and sometimes hurtful catch phrases. Being a member of a group that has experienced significant loss gives you a space to be free from those words which feel so empty.
Phrases like “I know how you feel” or “things happen for a reason” can be debilitating. There are so many - “it was his time, he’s not suffering anymore, the Lord only gives us what we can handle, she’s in a better place, and thank goodness you still have your_________ (health, children, sister, father, etc).” Although these words come with intentions of helping, often they are not. They are ways for those speaking with you to make themselves feel more comfortable around you. It is not because people don’t want to be helpful it is because they are uncomfortable around the grief. They want you to feel well, to find answers, and to be your old self again. A support group is embraced by the security of being on this journey together.

Do not get stuck in unresolved issues

An important focus that can be addressed in grief groups is unresolved issues. We have relationships with those we’ve lost. They were real people in our lives. Perhaps there was a last argument, a missed phone call, or a question regarding medical treatment. ‘What ifs’ become overpowering and hold us in the loss. The group will work together in accepting the missed opportunities and embracing those obtained.
For example, after her husband’s death, Mrs. H found out that her husband had lost $10,000 in a bad investment. She wanted to scream when thinking about how many times they had argued about getting advice before investing. Yet, when the group’s facilitator asked what Mrs. H most admired about her husband, her answer was that he loved adventure and they had taken spontaneous and exciting vacations together. Something powerful opened here, Mrs.H began to love all the good in her husband and others in the group were given the opportunity to visit their own unresolved issues. The safety of the group and the encouragement to share provided a space for releasing unresolved issues.

Jumping cartoon
Groups that are created to support and provide community for those dealing with grief make an important impact. There is one constant in the journey of someone who has lost a loved one: something big has changed. Many things will never be the same and no one knows what you are going through. Groups help find a way to live and to live well. The success of a group member depends on a caring and well trained facilitator and a group that is committed to non-judgement and support, and the ability to feel safe and welcome.
Embracing your loved one and bringing the stories along with you is a gift for yourself and the other members of the group. Knowing that you now have an opportunity to do something for yourself will open the doors to possibilities that are only available now.

More expert advice about Coping with Death and Grief
Photo Credits: Provided by Beth Bucheister; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -


September Workshops

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.

Please note that our Workshop on September 14 is full.  We are no longer accepting RSVP's for this date.

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

Couple's Communication w/Heidi & Natalie
with special guest Dr. Jake Andreason
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
7:30-9:00 PM
Jordan Valley Hospital