Colorado Woman Turns Wedding Dresses Into Infant Burial 'Angel Gowns': 'A Little Piece of Clothing Can Give So Much Closure'
"If you can ease the pain of a family that has just experienced deep loss, it's all worth it," Sandi Fasano tells PEOPLE
Sandi Fasano is giving closure to mourning families in the sweetest way possible.
The 66-year-old Evergreen, Colorado, native has sewn over 80 infant burial frocks, which she calls ‘angel gowns,’ from recycled wedding dresses since she began Front Range Angel Gowns four months ago.
The company, which is in the process of becoming an official non-profit, accepts wedding dress donations, which Fasano crafts into beautiful ensembles (free-of-charge) for families that have suffered the loss of a baby before, during or shortly after birth.
“These sweet brides are donating their dresses filled with beautiful memories,” Fasano tells PEOPLE. “Hopefully some of that happiness is passed along in the angel gowns.”
The great-grandmother says she recognized the need for infant burial gowns when her own family experienced the loss of a baby.
“My children have had early loss, and as a parent you can’t really do anything to make it better,” she says. “This was the one thing I could do to honor the memory of a baby that was lost in our family.”
Decorated with intricate lace patterns, the gowns are given to hospitals, mortuaries and clinics throughout the state of Colorado for families in need.
“There’s such a demand for infant burial clothing and nobody talks about it,” she says. “I shudder thinking that some parents have to go to toy stores to get gowns for their babies.”
Fasano explains that in the past, if a woman miscarried or had a stillborn, the baby was “whisked away,” and the parents were never able to see their child.
“Times are changing though, and now a young family is able to mourn a baby,” she says. “But so often a hospital doesn t have anything to dress the child in except a swaddle blanket. The angel gowns provide something a family can dress their baby in and enjoy a few minutes with the child.
“They are able to dress the baby for the first, last and only time,” she adds.
Fasano, who doesn’t accept cash donations for her gowns, constructs the burial garbs herself and says she can make anywhere from eight to 36 from a single wedding dress.
“If you can ease the pain of a family that has just experienced deep loss, it’s all worth it,” says Fasano. “A little piece of clothing can give so much closure.”