Parents who have lost a child, of any age and by any cause, are invited to participate in the Parents of Loss Walk on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The event is free.

The group will meet at 6 p.m. at the angel statue on the Altru Hospital grounds near Columbia Road and 13th Avenue South.

Participants will walk to Sertoma Park, just west of the hospital, where “they can commemorate their child in any way they feel is appropriate,” said Mark Ewens, a group member.

The Parents of Loss support group meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at 24th Avenue and Cherry Street. The meetings are open to everyone, and there are no dues or fees to join.

The group includes parents who have lost children who ranged in age from infancy to well into adulthood, he said.

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“Unfortunately, because of the opioid crisis, we’ve seen an increase in numbers,” Ewens said.

In the first year after a child’s death, parents tend to “cocoon themselves and fall inward,” he said. “They don’t realize that others are out there who are in the same boat. We want them to realize they’re not alone.”

For more information on the Parents of Loss group, call Ewens at 701-215-2886 or visit its Facebook page, Parents of Loss.