Service a Remembrance of Little Angels
Faribault Daily News
By Pauline Schreiber
December 5, 2008

Bells will ring when angels' names are read in the Chapel- of the Good Shepherd on Shattuck campus Sunday.

The Infants Remembered In Silence special holiday service helps LeaAnn and Kevin Cory get through the holidays. The Faribault couple lost their son, Nathan, in stillbirth seven years ago.

"Attending the service is so nice because you are surrounded by people who know what you've went through because they have too," Kevin said.

The service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday. It is designed for parents, family and friends who have experienced or been touched by a death of a child in pregnancy, at birth or in early childhood, said Diana Sundwall, executive director and founder of IRIS.

Names of all children registered with IRIS by Saturday will be read at the service. Handbells will chime after each name is read, followed by the ringing of the chapel bell, Sundwall said.

Parents and family members of the children registered are encouraged to attend Sunday's service and to light a candle at the altar of the chapel as the names are read, Sundwall said.

"If someone can't make it, however, I will light a candle for that child," she said.

The Corys have come to the service every year since their daughter, Alexandra, was born five years ago. The youngster's grandparents have taken care of her while they have gone to the service. This year the little girl is helping decorate half of a window in the Shattuck chapel in her brother's memory before Sunday's service. Other parents have the option of doing so, too.

"The loss is a part of your life and something you don't ever get over," LeaAnn said. "This service allows us to remember our son."

A lot of tears flow during the service, Kevin said.

"What is so nice is that you can be free to show your pain at this service," he said.

As time goes on after the loss of a child, Kevin said, "you get better at hiding your pain. It never goes away, though. It's not something you get over. Those who come to the service know that."

The service is open to all, regardless of whether they register a child's name to be read, Sundwall said.

"Sometimes people need to check out the service first before participating in it," she said. "We welcome that."