Memorial garden to raise awareness towards SUIDs
NORFOLK, Neb. — After beginning a tree memorial at Skyview Park and moving to Warren Cook Park, a memorial garden is in the works at Winter Park.
The partnership between the city of Norfolk and the Briggs and Barrett Project is a way to raise awareness towards a cause many families suffer through.
“[It] allows other families that have maybe had that loss to talk about it and know that their loss is not forgotten,” said Executive Director of Briggs and Barrett Brittany Melby-Heimes. “SIDS and SUIDs isn’t something that a lot of people want to talk about or, for generations, we haven’t talked about it.”
The CDC says SUIDS (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death) is the umbrella term that describes all sudden infant deaths, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) falls under that umbrella as one of the many different causes of infant death. SIDS is the sudden death of a child, often associated with sleeping.
According to the CDC, from 2016-2020 in Nebraska, 91 cases of SIDs occurred every 100,000 births.
Norfolk Assistant Parks and Recreation Director PJ Evans said it’s an honor to be a part of the building of a memorial that impacts families in the region.
“Being able to expand off of that and bringing awareness…” Evans said. “They’ve saved that many more lives, so I think that’s the whole reason behind all of this.”
The new garden will feature the Briggs and Barrett logo within the garden that will contain memorial bricks in remembrance of families who have suffered an infant death.
Melby-Heimes said she is grateful for the city working to memorialize the lives of Briggs and Barrett, two infants who passed from SIDS and their mothers who began the organization.
“Having a place that people can go and reflect and hearing the story and the history behind Briggs and Barrett Project and what we do every day,” Melby-Heimes said. “I think that is such a benefit to Norfolk to have that as a permanent structure in Norfolk.”
Both Melby-Heimes and Evans are looking forward to the park to be finished and said they are working with local businesses in the community to help build the memorial garden.