As Share ventures into the world of blogging I thought it would be nice to spend some time talking about the roots of Share in Lancaster, PA. Share is a national organization that began in the late 70’s in Missouri. In the early 80’s our founder, Kathy Kuhn, had a still-born baby. Kathy and her husband were devastated and shocked, especially given that they had two other healthy children at home waiting for their new little sister to come through the door. As Kathy tells it, she was blessed to have a physician who was very “progressive” for his time. He had been reading literature on this new organization called Share and was learning that the bereavement process for a child should not simply be a matter of removing the child from the room after the birth and telling the parents to “move on”. This doctor was different and he knew that when Kathy had her loss, that this was a chance for him to put his reading into practice. So, he did what had not been done before…he allowed Kathy to hold her baby. He allowed Kathy and her husband Dave to spend five full minutes with their beautiful little girl. When Kathy asked if they could provide an outfit for the baby to be buried in the doctor responded “let’s not get out of hand”.
OK, so that was almost 40 years ago and much has changed. And, it has changed because of people like Kathy. Kathy started Share because she knew that while her experience was a step in the right direction, there was still much room for improvement. There was a need to help parents find support, there was need to allow parents to bury their children and say goodbye and most importantly there was a need to feel like these parents aren’t so alone. So, Kathy brought Share to Lancaster. A Share Burial plot was established in Millersville where these precious lives could be recognized and Kathy began informal meetings with people who had similar losses.
Because of all of her work, Kathy was recently honored by the Lancaster County Medical Society via the Benjamin Rush Award. For all of us that have suffered a loss in this area and were allowed to honor our child, recognize them, and give them a final resting place, we thank you Kathy!