Although Monica Khirallah, of Dallas, doesn’t have any stories to share about her son Daniel’s personality or achievements, keeping his memory alive is important to her.
Khirallah lost her son several years ago after she experienced a late-term miscarriage.
While a relative, Seth Porter, has been honored at the Compassionate Friends of Tyler’s butterfly release for several years, this year her family members also registered her son to be honored.
At the Saturday morning ceremony at The Children’s Park of Tyler, Khirallah was one the dozens to hear the names of their children be read aloud.
“We barely held our children for a few seconds before they were taken from us, so their name was all we have left,” she said about mothers who have had similar experiences to hers. “So just being able to hear their name makes us feel really good.”
Saturday's event featured a prayer, several poems, songs and a reading of the names of children of various ages who have died.
The mission of the Compassionate Friends is to help families move toward the positive resolution of grief after the loss of a child, of any age, and to provide information to help others be supportive.
Many of the attendees were the parents or family members of the children whose lives were celebrated.
The group has monthly meetings, which are held at 6:30 p.m. every third Monday of the month at 17555 Texas Highway 155 S. in Flint.
“It kind of brings everybody together in the community who has lost a child,” said Heather Ogg, facilitator with the Compassionate Friends of Tyler.
“For me, when I lost my son (Tanner Douglas) I started coming to the meetings two weeks after he passed away.
“It’s nice to be able to be around people who (understand what you're going through) without you having to say anything,” she said.
She said she hoped attendees at Saturday’s event were able to hear or experience something that helps them along their grief journey.
“Losing a child is very painful and it can get to a point where you feel like, 'How do I move on?'” Ogg said. “Hopefully from this event and other events they’ll be able to find hope in the future and in moving forward without their children.
“Grief is a never-ending process,” she added. “You’re always going to have a missing piece of you from the loss of your child, but if you grieve and you feel the feelings and don’t suppress them, it helps you work through (tough moments),” she added.