Columbia MOPS remember lost lives of infants

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COLUMBIA - Columbia's MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers, is hosting a service Tuesday night to remember infants lost through miscarriage, still birth and infant death.

Community Outreach Coordinator Katie Groner said she found support from the group when she relocated to Columbia.

"When you're a stay at home parent, it can be very isolating," Groner said. "It's just a way to connect with other moms and people who are often in the same situation as you staying home."

Groner said a lot people who are in the Columbia chapter aren't originally from the area.

"They don't have long term friends or family here, so it just becomes this close knit group," Groner said. "They just become your family. It's an incredible way to form friendships and bonds."

Tuesday's pregnancy and infant loss remembrance ceremony will be at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. Groner said it will be an opportunity for family and family friends to get support. 

"So often we just kind of move on past events like that, and they can sometimes get forgotten," Groner said. "October is actually infant loss awareness month, and you can just come together and remember some lives that you carry with you always."

Co-coordinator of MOPS, Christi Payne, has dealt with this loss personally.

"Last year when I went to the ceremony, it was just wonderful to get together with the ladies that have gone through the same experience," Payne said. "Just to know that I'm not alone out there. And if we can support each other and other women who have had the same experience, it makes me feel good."

Groner explained the short service would include luminary lighting for each child, a few songs, and just a general place of remembrance and support.

This is Groner's first year helping to plan the event, and said the service is a little different than it has been in the past. The group is also at a new church this year.

"We're just interested in reaching out and supporting moms on a deeper level," Groner said.