Angel Gowns helping local families cope with loss


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local group is in need of dedicated volunteer seamstresses for a very special mission — creating gowns for little angels.

Sometimes it can be very difficult to discuss the wonderful work they do, but a local mother of two boys decided to share her very personal story with NEWS10 ABC.

Sitting in her Galway home workshop, Lois Armer has the difficult task of ripping into big elaborate wedding gowns, adorned with bead work and filled with memories of a bride on her special day.

“I just want to say it’s hard for these girls to give up these gowns. We know it’s a sacrifice on their part, and we do appreciate it,” Armer said.

Armer isn’t just any seamstress.

“I really wanted to do it.  I just really wanted to contribute,” she added.

Her hands are usually hard at work creating Angel Gowns.

“I want it to be perfect for these little babies,” she reflected. “I think how awful this must be for the parents.”

It’s a loss Lori-Jean Tremblay is ready to open up about.

“It was painful. We couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I was numb. I didn’t know what to think, what to do. I didn’t want to be around anybody. I didn’t want to see anybody. It was very emotional, very painful to know we had lost a child.”

The mom of two is now opening up about her experience four years later so other moms do not feel alone.  Born to be an angel, during her second pregnancy, her son had already left this earth at just 18 weeks.

“We are people of a lot of faith. We have a lot of faith in God that he will help us through,” Tremblay explained.

While grieving in the hospital, they decided to name their son Angel.

“We’re in the hospital making all these life changing decisions – where we are going to bury him – and Albany Med had come to us with another kind of choice,” she remembered.

An Angel Gown, made for Angel, to help bring the tiniest bit of comfort.

“We didn’t have to worry about it. They said they had a gown for us he could wear as his last outfit if we chose. We found just a little bit of healing, little bit of comfort, little bit of peace,” Tremblay remembered. “We realized people out there are beautiful human beings. They want to do good. They want to help people. They helped us without ever knowing us. We were complete strangers.”

“I feel like they are my babies because I’m dressing them,” Armer said as she sat in the work space working on a gown.

Armer can spend hours working on a gown fixing every last detail.  She cuts hearts out of the same cloth as the gown so parents can keep a piece, and sometimes stitches on a small cross to embellish the gown.

“We all know these babies are going to be with our Lord,” she added.

Each gown she makes is unique, but each is made with love.

“I always try to put a heart on each,” she said.

Armer and a team of seamstresses have made more than 2,600 gowns in the four-and-a-half years since the group started in the Capital Region. They’ve added a few new volunteers along the way.

“He knows there is a brother in Heaven, it brought our family closer together,” explained Tremblay.

She and her two sons, Brayden and Nathaniel, now deliver the finished gowns to the hospital helping other families heal after losing an angel.

If you’d like to learn more about Angel Gowns-Capital Region, NY you can visit their Facebook page.

The group says they are looking for dedicated seamstresses to volunteer their time, and they also have a running Amazon Wishlist of items their volunteer seamstresses can always use if you’d like to help.

October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, a reason Tremblay wanted to share her story with NEWS10. She said it’s important to value these little lives and help women suffering through loss not feel alone.

You can find local resources HERE.

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