The grief from losing a baby before or shortly after birth can be overwhelming. UnityPoint Health – Trinity is helping these parents and family members honor their babies’ memories and move through the grieving process with the Butterfly Blessings Memorial Gathering on Saturday, June 24 from 2 – 3 p.m. inside the Jardine Auditorium at UnityPoint Health – Rock Island, 2701 17th Street in Rock Island. This is the first time the gathering has been held since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is organized by staff in the Spiritual Care and Labor and Delivery departments. The ceremony includes remarks from family members who have lost a baby, music, prayer and a candle lighting ritual where names of all the babies are read.

“There’s a misconception that if a parent or family member hasn’t really known the child, the child won’t be missed as much. This simply just isn’t true,” says Courtney Richardson, chaplain at UnityPoint Health – Trinity. “This gathering is our attempt to remember the precious lives which were cut short and to honor the grief of those left behind. The grief process is something that everyone experiences differently,” says Richardson. “Those who have experienced this type of loss have found that remembering the children, especially in the company of others who have had a similar loss, helps in healing the pain.”

The event is free and open to anyone in the community who has experienced the loss of a child at or shortly after birth. Registration is strongly suggested but is not required. For more information about the memorial gathering or to register, call Spiritual Care at (309) 779-2989 or email For more information on services at UnityPoint Health-Trinity, click here.