Buddy Shuh – At about 8 a.m. on March 8th of 2006, my phone rang. It was Children’s Hospital in Detroit. They told me that it was time, and that I probably needed to hurry. You see, they knew that my wife and I wanted to be present when our five month old daughter passed away.
We made it in time. When we entered the NICU, it was the first time we had seen our daughter free of tubes and wires in months. My wife sat in the rocking chair and held her. I hugged them both. And we said goodbye to our daughter.
Later that day, the pain was compounded. As I sat across from the funeral director, I cannot tell you how horrible I felt as he told me how much money I needed for my daughter’s funeral. (I want to interject here that they were definitely not going to make any money. They were being exceptionally kind. But these things do cost money) I did not have any money at that time. That moment almost crushed me.
Then the most amazing thing happened! Family, friends, and church members called each other and started taking up a collection! Within two days, we had all the funds we needed to pay for the funeral. It was overwhelming, and I vowed that if I ever had the chance, I would help those in a similar situation.
That chance came. When I was on the show Biggest Loser, I shared about my daughter. It was part of my weight gain story, because I gained 100 pounds after my daughter’s death. In the episode where I talked about my daughter, a woman named Sarah Slack was watching in the state of Washington.
Sarah’s story is similar to mine. She lost her son, and needed help to bury him. She started a non-profit called the TEARS Foundation. This organization raises money to pay for infant funerals when people cannot afford them. (Most young families that lose a baby are saving for a crib, not a casket)
Sarah was able to find me through a mutual acquaintance, and we began talking about starting a Michigan chapter of TEARS. Two years ago, my wife and I officially launched this state-wide chapter!
This year, we have INCREDIBLE NEWS. The state of Michigan has been selected to be the fourth state to receive the Angel of Hope Monument. Three pieces of granite that cost $30,000 have been donated to help people honor their children that they have lost.
The middle part of the monument has an angel carved into it, as well as the Angel of Hope poem, written by a bereaved mom specifically for this monument. The two side pieces are carved into butterfly wings, and people can have their baby’s name etched into them.
There is a cost involved if you or someone you know wants to have a baby’s name added to the monument.
You can pay a one-time fee of $250 or you can sign up to have $20 automatically withdrawn from your account for a minimum of a year. If you are interested in this, you can sign up online at: http://www.the-tearsfoundation.org/page.php?id=31. Go to that URL and then click on the Michigan link to fill out the form.
Of course you are curious as to where this monument will be placed. It will be right here in Wayne!! This monument will be placed on the property of Harry J Will Funeral Home right on Michigan Avenue. The official unveiling of the monument will be on 10/10/2015 at 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend this event!
Please help me in getting the word out about this monument! If you know someone who could benefit from adding their child’s name to the monument, please have them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.