October 15th is the worldwide Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (as October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month). Those of us who have lost a child remember him or her every day, but today is a day for the world at large to remember our little ones who left us too soon. Each year, there is a "Wave of Light" where people all around the world light a candle at 7:00pm their local time in memory, thus creating a continuous wave of candle light.
On this day, bereaved parents wear their grief a bit more publicly, not to solicit your pity, but in an effort to weaken the stigma around discussing this type of loss. Whether we held our babies for a few days or hours or not until after they had already died, they were real people who lived and mattered to us and our families. As we wear conversation-starting photo buttons like mine or pink and blue awareness ribbons, we hope to enable those bereaved parents without support to discuss their grief, not hide it or minimize it, and make others who have (fortunately) not experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss more comfortable with the subject.
Some links you might find helpful:
- Tips for family and friends.
- Suggestions for grieving parents.
- Information for new and expectant parents.
- "Calling All Angels" by Suzanne Pullen
- "The Knitting" by...well...me
- Some beautiful memorial jewelry by La Belle Dame
- The Preemie Project (bereavement page)
- Wrapped in Care (shawls for bereaved moms)
- Our son Paul's memorial page
Whether you choose to light a candle or not today, please take a moment or two to acknowledge and remember these babies (and any others you know of):
- Edwin, Jr.
- Walter, Jr.