Easter Eggs for Heaven honors children gone but not forgotten

Easter eggs have been hidden around Manistee and Benzie counties, each containing the name of a child who has passed away. (Courtesy Photo)

MANISTEE — One of the most devastating experiences for a family to endure is the loss of a child.

As life goes on for others, families are left facing the challenges that grief brings, and many find solace in ensuring that their child will continue to be remembered and honored.

In Manistee County, community members recently came together to ensure families have an opportunity to celebrate their child’s memory over the Easter holiday.

Amber Tyler, along with her sister Danielle, began the Easter Eggs for Heaven to honor children who have passed.

Those who find the hidden eggs are asked to post on the Easter Eggs for Heaven page on Facebook. (Courtesy Photo)

“This is the first year we started the event,” said Tyler. “My son Jaxon passed away five years ago, and I’ve always been trying to find ways to honor him and tell people about him.”

Families were invited to submit a name to be placed inside an Easter egg as a memorial, and participants met to hide the eggs throughout Manistee and Benzie counties. Those who find the eggs are asked to take a picture, submit it to the Easter Eggs for Heaven group on Facebook with “#eastereggs4heaven” as a caption.

The event not only honors the children who have passed, Tyler said it also spreads awareness about the loss of a child, whether it was by miscarriage, stillbirth, childhood illnesses, accident or any other tragedy.

“I am a part of a few grieving mom groups, and I wanted to honor their kids as well,” she said. “Some of them struggle with their losses because nobody likes to talk about it, and it’s a taboo subject. I want to make them and their angels special.”

Many community members showed their support by donating Easter eggs or helping to hide them, and eggs were passed out and hidden at a variety of local businesses.

There were 450 names submitted, and several eggs have already been found and posted to the Easter Eggs for Heaven Facebook page.

“One of the loss groups I’m in, there are thousands of moms and the majority have multiple losses,” said Tyler. “Even with the numbers we got I felt like it wasn’t enough, I didn’t want to leave someone out.”

Tyler is hoping more families can get involved in other local memorial events.

“If they are around Manistee County there is a Walk to Remember event in October each year, as October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month,” she explained. “The last couple of years we’ve struggled with the event due to lack of support, so we are hoping to get that set up and going again.

“It also doesn’t stop at just young kids, it is the same grief for adult children,” she continued. “We want to plan more events to involve more people.”

For those who share the common thread of grieving a lost child of any age, Tyler said it is important to end the stigma of talking about it.

“It’s about breaking the silence. This is a real thing many people face,” she said. “Whether they are parents, grandparents, siblings or extended family, we deal with the loss every day, and it doesn’t matter how many years have passed. We want to hear our child’s name and we want to talk about them.”

The Easter Eggs for Heaven page can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/649383972169613 .

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