Wave of Light Events in Springfield and St. Louis Honor Infant Children Lost


Springfield and St. Louis, Missouri: In observation of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, On Angels’ Wings helped organize two Wave of Light events in Missouri on October 15, 2022. Lost & Found Grief Center and On Angels’ Wings — two Springfield, Missouri non-profits focused on assisting grieving families — co-hosted an event on Drury University’s campus for families in the Ozarks. In St. Louis, On Angels’ Wings hosted a small Wave of Light gathering at Queeny Park (Ballwin, MO).

Wave of Light is an international event. Communities around the globe gathered and lit candles at 7 p.m. local time in honor of their infant children who have died, creating a “wave of light” across time zones.

“It is an absolute honor to create a safe space for On Angels’ Wings recipient families and the communities we serve to remember the infant children they have lost,” says Michelle Cramer, founder and executive director of On Angels’ Wings. “No one should have to endure this pain, but the reality is many do. Giving them an opportunity to have their child’s name said out loud, to have the importance of their child’s life acknowledged, and to have their grief validated is a priority for OAW.”

The Ozarks Wave of Light event in Springfield was provided at no cost to the community, due to generous funding from Hospice Foundation of the Ozarks. Joe Dillstrom (joedillstrom.com) provided live music to help the families honor their children. Volunteers from Lost & Found, On Angels’ Wings, and Cox NICU helped families light their candles as their children’s names were read.

Attendees had the opportunity for their child’s name to be read at the event.  “Being able to participate in the Wave of Light and have my Martha’s name shared aloud was such a special time,” says Taleah Johnston, whose daughter had anencephaly and lived for less than two hours after birth. “I loved how she was remembered [through this event]; that she’s not just a statistic, but a sweet child that is so missed and so loved.”

Courtney Cornish, an OAW recipient whose daughter, Adalyn, passed at birth, says the event gave her an opportunity to honor her child in a way she doesn’t often get the chance to. “Though we talk about our daughter often, I don’t normally get to write her name like we did on her candle [that evening],” Cornish says. “That meant a lot to me.”

“The journey through loss can be very isolating,” says Maggie Dyke, OAW recipient and member of the Board of Directors, whose daughter, Elliot, was stillborn several years ago. “Being with those who have gone through similar experiences and remembering and honoring our babies together means the world. I am so thankful to On Angels’ Wings for remembering our daughter and continually being there for our family.”

The St. Louis Wave of Light was led by On Angels’ Wings volunteer photographer, Jessica Glunt, owner of Glass Elephant Photography. Because of an in-kind donation from Glunt, and funding from On Angels’ Wings, this event was also provided at no cost to the community.

As a photographer, I usually have a very fleeting encounter with these families, and the Wave of Light was a lovely and unique way to connect with them again,” Glunt says. “Although I never forget the children I photograph, I was thankful for an opportunity to try to show these families that the memory of their loved ones is carried by their community and lives on in others all around them.”

Also in attendance at the St. Louis event was Jada Callicut, founder and executive director of The Londyn Foundation. This was the first Wave of Light event On Angels’ Wings has hosted in St. Louis. In partnership with The Londyn Foundation, the organizations intend to make the event bigger in order to reach more community members next year.


On Angels’ Wings is a Missouri non-profit organization that seeks to improve the mental health and wellness of families with medically fragile children (regardless of race, ethnicity, class status or orientation) through therapeutic photography and grief recovery services, free of charge. oawphoto.org

Lost & Found Grief Center is a Missouri non-profit organization that strives to improve lives in our community by providing help, hope, and healing through professional grief support services. Lost & Found works with the bereaved to provide education and support as they travel their journey of grief to find a new normal facing life without their deceased loved one. lostandfoundozarks.com

Hospice Foundation of the Ozarks is a Missouri non-profit organization that awards grants to organizations which are involved in end-of-life services and education. The Foundation supports hospice, palliative care, advance directives, grief and bereavement services, educational programs and other activities which nurture informed personal choices and respect for diverse cultural identities in the end-of-life experience. hospiceozarks.org

The Londyn Foundation is a Missouri non-profit organization that provides support for families who have suffered pregnancy and infant loss, with the goal of  turning their pain into purpose, one family at at time. thelondynfoundation.org

Ozarks Wave of Light 2022 Images

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