Issue 16-107 — August 20, 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

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Chase Is Our CEO in the Sky (August 8) –  Chase Kowalski’s mom, Rebecca, says “Our son would be active from the moment his eyes opened to the moment his head hit the pillow. There was no stopping Chase. He did everything you could imagine …” After he was killed in the Sandy Hook Massacre, Chase’s parents founded CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, an organization dedicated to turning “tragedy into triumph” by healing and strengthening families and communities. Part of that work includes teaching others to heal themselves through physical activity.
A Walk to Remember (August 16) – On July 10th, The Compassionate Friends held its annual Walk to Remember in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event, which takes place on the final day of the organization’s national conference for bereaved parents, was “created as a symbolic way to show the love we carry for the children we mourn.” As many as 1,400 people have participated, walking hand-in-hand while recollecting memories of their children. While this is one of the largest, Walks to Remember are organized in many different locations.
Madison’s Dad Worked to Keep Kids Safe (August 15) – Madison was 14 months old when she was killed instantly by a large SUV that backed over her in the driveway of her daycare. After her death, Madison’s dad, Aaron Chatten, worked tirelessly to help make the world a safer place for children. He started the Madison Faith Chatten Foundation to educate parents about the dangers children face around vehicles. He also spent countless hours talking to legislators in an effort to get them to take action, and he was instrumental in the passage of important child safety legislation in 2008.
Wherever You Go, Take Me with You! (August 11) – When a bereaved parent tells a story about a child who has died, the child’s life returns to the foreground, and death and its circumstances fade into the background. Carmen Stanger’s remembrance of her daughter Maddie, who took her own life at the age of 15, feels this way – it acknowledges grief, but it’s all about Maddie. “From the time she was a toddler,” Carmen writes, “whenever we had to be apart, we would hug each other tight, touch one another on our hearts, and say, ‘Wherever you go, you take me with you!’ after we had said our good-byes. It was something a little special that she and I alone shared.”
A Place of Hope for a Happier, Healthier Life (August 18) – Rhea and Barry McVicker founded Nick’s Place, a one-of-a-kind affordable recovery house for young men in their 20s, after the death of their 22-year-old son. Nick struggled with addiction and alcoholism since he was a teen, and the disease was ultimately responsible for his death. “Nick was a smart, handsome young man with his whole life ahead of him,” says Rhea. After her son’s death, Rhea envisioned a place where young men struggling with the disease of addiction could get help together. “It is certainly not without its challenges,” says Rhea, “but the rewards are worth it. I am forever grateful that Nick's life and death has provided so much opportunity to the lives of other young men.”
In Loving Memory of Claire Alexis (August 12) – In 2005, Claire Alexis Sachse was born premature at 26 weeks, weighing only one pound, two ounces. After undergoing extensive surgeries and spending a total of 252 days struggling for her life in the NICU, she passed away. To celebrate what would have been her first birthday, Claire Alexis’s parents, Kathleen and Brett Sachse, returned to the hospital with 65 stuffed ponies – one for each baby in the NICU. Each pony came with a note, explaining that once “… we told our daughter that if she got better, her daddy would buy her a pony. This pony comes to your NICU baby in hopes that he or she will get well soon.”
Dear Kate: I Was So Lucky to Be Your Mother (August 10) – Telling stories is one of the most intimate and immediate ways to honor someone who has died – stories have the power to keep memories alive, and they often help connect the past to the present. We’ve already shared a story about Nancy Comiskey, whose daughter Kate was killed in a car accident involving an impaired driver. A year after Kate’s death, Nancy wrote “Kate’s Story.” And, a decade later, she wrote another story – about grief, about healing, and about remembering Kate.
Post it here:
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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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