October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and specifically, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. In honor of this special month that means so much to me, I want to dedicate this post to Share’s Walk of Remembrance and the Wave of Light. It’s so important to remind everyone suffering, silently or loudly, that you are not alone. In fact, there’s a whole group of bloggers who are participating in this special month, so please check out the full list of the blog tour on Ever Upward.
Losing a pregnancy or infant changes you. The grief can create a world of darkness around you. All encompassing. Swirling questions, feelings of hopelessness, making it difficult to see out of. If you have walked in these shoes of grief before, I am so incredibly sorry. There are no words to explain the pain and sorrow involved if you haven’t walked the path. (for more on my thoughts on the days following a miscarriage, click here) We have been there too, and our hearts ache along side of you.
While grief brings darkness, light on the other hand offers hope. Sight. A glimpse of what’s ahead. It is powerful and it breaks through the darkness, just enough to remind you what it’s like outside the darkness.
One of my favorite things about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (October 15th) is the Wave of Light. It takes a community to create this wave – those who are grieving and those who are supporting those who are grieving – and it remembers the too-short lives of lost babies and infants. It offers support and compassion in helping to break the darkness of grief that surrounds moms and dads, whose arms are empty.
You have the chance to offer light, to offer hope, to share in the compassion-giving and remind grieving families there is light outside of the darkness.
On October 15th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, in all time zones across the world, you can light a candle to remember the babies who have been lost from miscarriages, ectopic and molar pregnancies, born stillborn or lost to infant death. Because of the time zone differences, the lighting of these candles creates a “wave of light” across the world. It’s a beautiful, moving, and touching tribute to the families who have suffered. It’s not an image that will likely ever be seen, but if you are home on the 15th, even if it’s not at 7 pm, I ask you to light a candle for those who have lost their precious babies.
As these candles burn brightly, they offer a flame, a fire, the chance to light another fire and to bring more light into a dark and hopeless world of grief.
Support is like that. It offers light into a world of grief. It remembers. It gives hope that light is coming. It helps suffering families realize it’s possible to see. And while this Wave of Light offers a visible light and memory, we as believers also have the light of Jesus to cling to in seasons of darkness.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (ESV)
He is our true light – our candle in the darkness – the one who helps us see, gives us hope, brightens our circumstances and soul.
To those who are grieving or have suffered a loss – we see you and we remember. Each life, no matter how short, was meaningful and special. It doesn’t matter if it was 1 year, 10 months, 10 weeks, or 3 days.
Now, to our own precious babies lost, oh darlings, I love you and remember you always. I will never forget those days when I knew I was carrying your little lives inside of me. Rarely does a day go by when I don’t think about you. I still have the onsies me and your dad picked out for you. I imagine what it would have been like to be your mama, to raise you to love Jesus and be nice to your sister Cali. Sometimes when I hear a child’s giggle, I try to imagine what your laughs might have sounded like. Would you have been logical and level headed like your daddy? Would you have been emotional and talkative like your mommy? I wish I knew all these answers, and while I don’t, I know you get to spend every single day with your Maker and Father who loves you even more than we do. (Hard to imagine!) So precious babies, know my momma heart is with you. You are never forgotten and the short lives you had are treasured. I can’t wait for the day our family is reunited in heaven and we can gather you in our arms. We love you.
So I ask you friends, light a candle on Saturday night, even and especially if you have not lost a baby. The support and opportunity to spread love and care means more than you will ever know. I’d love to see any pictures you take of your candle burning – feel free to email them to me at trialsbringjoy (at) gmail (dot) com. Or share your photos to social media using #WaveofLight and #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness. In my experience, this demonstration of support offers hope to women who likely have never shared their loss, but grieve just the same.
This month is a beautiful month of remembrance and I am so thankful it exists.