Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is a very sad memorial day for me and for millions of other women and men around the United States and Canada. Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance movement began in 1988 when then president Ronald Reagan designated October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. The movement has gained momentum in the 2000's as more and more women and men realize that this is not an isolated group of women. The awareness campaign, originated in the USA, has spread through Canada as well. Unfortunately it is not a world-wide remembrance campaign. In the future I personally hope that that changes.

I have a personal reason for hoping that this changes. I am the mother of a child lost to miscarriage in September 2005.  I am also the mother of a son who was born still into Heaven. Travis Omar was born silently into Heaven on September 21, 2008. That night my heart was shattered, and although time has passed and wounds have healed, there is a still a piece that will always be missing.

After having my own stillbirth, I was astonished to find out how common it was in my circle of friends and family. I have had several family members who suffered stillbirths and who had been silent up until that point. I feel that it is because the subject of miscarriage and stillbirth and infant loss are taboo subjects that most feel are better ignored. That is not the case. You do not ignore when a 90 year old passes away, you should not ignore when a baby, no matter the age, whether still in the womb or not passes away. That baby is still a human being and does not deserve to be forgotten.

Although there is no international guidelines on the day of remembrances, there IS an  international movement called the International Wave of Light that asks for everyones participation that speaks to remembering the babies that have been lost. The International Wave of Light invites participants from around the world to light a candle in remembrance of all babies who have been lost in miscarriage, stillbirth, or in infancy, in their respective time zones starting at 7pm on October 15, and to leave the candle burning for at least an hour. This will ensure a continuous wave of light for 24 hours in remembrance. Will you be lighting a candle? I know that I will.

Even if you cannot light a candle, please say a short prayer or think of someone you know who has suffered a loss of a child. Maybe give them a call to let them know that you are thinking of them today. And if you are fortunate to never have experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, and/or infant loss, say a prayer of thanks and give your children an extra hug to day.


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