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Issue 16-106 — August 6, 2016
Starshine Galaxy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help sustain the memories of children who have died. To this end, we support the Tributes to Lost Children Community Page on Facebook as a place to post, share, and comment on activities to honor our departed children and to celebrate their lives. This biweekly Tributes Digest presents highlights from this community page along with other items of interest. Please feel free to forward this on to others you know who might be interested, and direct any comments, questions, or concerns to starmaster@starshinegalaxy.org.

HIGHLIGHTS:
(click on title to link to the original post)

NEW SANDY HOOK SCHOOL –
Two Words on a Wall: Be Kind (August 3) – After the devastating massacre that took the lives of 20 children and six adults in December, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School was razed to the ground. Now, after more than three years of imagination, collaboration and hard work, a new building stands in its place, and it’s set to open its doors to students at the end of August. Although there’s no designated memorial space at the new school, there’s no doubt that the new campus honors those who lost their lives almost four years ago.
TRAGIC ACCIDENT AT DISNEY –
We Can Do Good Work in His Honor (July 25) – Lane Graves was laid to rest on June 21 in his hometown of Elkhorn, Nebraska. The name may not register at first, but you’ve probably heard of Lane. He was the 2-year-old boy who was killed by an alligator at a Disney World resort in early June. In the hopes that they can build a lasting legacy for their son and keep his spirit alive, Lane’s parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, have created a foundation in honor of Lane’s life.
 
WHOPPING COUGH –
We’d Like to Carry on His Legacy (August 2) – California couple Ty’Ree Rodgers and Jonalyn Lema went from being proud, new parents to bereaved parents in less than a month. Their son, Jaxon, was a healthy newborn – he arrived on June 6th, went home three days later, and spent his first days growing and thriving. When Jaxon was 3 weeks old, he was diagnosed with pertussis, or whopping cough. As Jaxon’s condition deteriorated, his organs failed and he was placed on life support. He died soon after. His father is now planning to start a foundation in Jaxon’s name to raise awareness and promote vaccination.
 
FREE PARKING –
Enjoy the Moment, Just Like Jackson Did (August 1) – Jackson Chance spent almost his entire life in the NICU of the children’s hospital in downtown Chicago. When he died just shy of his 10-month birthday, his parents, Carrie and Terry Meghie, wanted to do something to honor his life. From their own experience, the Meghies knew how expensive regular hospital visits are in the city – for example, during the first month of Jackson’s stay in the NICU, his parents spent $2,000 just to park their cars. So, they decided they’d make it possible for every baby in the NICU to have someone with them 24/7. To that end, their organization, the Jackson Chance Foundation, pays for parking and transportation for families of critically ill babies in the NICU.

LOVE ROCKS AROUND THE WORLD –
We Choose Love and Joy! (July 29) – After sisters Anna, 6, and Abigail, 11, were killed in an apparent hit-and-run as they played in a pile of leaves in front of their house, their parents, Tom Robinson and Susan Dieter-Robinson, made a conscious decision to continue their lives – and honor their daughters – with love and joy. They began making and giving away love rocks, or smooth stones embellished with hearts that are meant to be a token of love and appreciation. Love Rocks have since become an international movement.
BUILDING A PLAYGROUND –
It’s the Perfect Way to Honor Our Daughters (August 5) – Following up the story about Anna and Abby Robinson – the young sisters who died after they had been hit by a car while playing in a leaf pile in front of their home. In addition to starting the Love Rocks movement, their parents, Tom and Susan, have also been working on another heartfelt project to honor their daughters, called Anna and Abby’s Yard. The playground is something of a dream tribute – “Our girls loved to play outside, climb, swing and be active,” Susan says. Building a playground in their honor “for people to gather and celebrate love and joy which we feel is a perfect way to honor our daughters.”
 
FRIDAY THE 13TH BABY –
Noah Was Like a Shooting Star (July 26) – “Noah Samuel Willis was born to great fanfare and anticipation on April 13, 2012, carrying on the family tradition of being born on a Friday the 13th, just like his ‘Opa’. His loving parents, Samuel and Christina Willis couldn’t have been more proud, but that was nothing compared to barely controlled excitement of his big sister Lauren.” So begins the beautifully written obituary to Noah Willis, who died from brain cancer at the age of three and a half. Since his passing, Noah’s parents have been hard at work raising money and awareness to support better treatments and a cure for pediatric brain tumors.
 
ORLANDO VICTIM –
Love Always Trumps Hate (July 28) – On the third night of the Democratic National Convention, bereaved mom Christine Leinonen spoke about her son, Christopher, who was gunned down in the Orlando nightclub massacre. She said: “Christopher was my only child. As I used to tell him, ‘you can’t do better than perfect.’ He had so many friends … All his life, he brought people together. In high school, he won the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award for starting the Gay-Straight Alliance. Christopher’s paternal grandparents met and fell in love in a Japanese internment camp, so it was in his DNA that love always trumps hate.”
THREADS OF LOVE –
Threads of Love to Honor Lost Babies (July 27) – In the midst of raising five children and working as a school bus driver, Sissy Davis found herself wanting to stop simply “warming the pew” and give more of herself to others. After learning about a need for handmade internment gowns for stillborn babies, Sissy got busy sewing. Eventually, she founded Threads of Love – a non-profit organization with local chapters all over the world. In addition to making burial gowns for stillborn babies or babies who’ve died shortly after birth, Threads of Love also provides handmade clothes for premature babies.
DO YOU HAVE TRIBUTE INFORMATION TO SHARE?
Post it here:
Click to access sign-up form.
The complete netbook version of Tributes to Lost Children – a snapshot of how 147 families have honored their children who have passed away – is publicly available for FREE. Click on the cover image above to navigate to this powerful, heart-warming compilation of tribute stories.
Based on results of the Tributes Survey, three general motivations anchor bereaved families in their tribute activities. See the organizing Tributes Framework that serves as the backbone of the new book Tributes to Lost Children.
Copyright © 2016 Starshine Galaxy Foundation, All rights reserved.


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