On October 15, 2015, families from across the front range and Wyoming, were brought together to honor and remember their babies and children who are no longer living. In celebration of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Dragonflies For Ruby held a Candlelight Vigil and Remembrance Event in Castle Rock, Colorado in conjunction with Rock A My Baby Family Enrichment Center. Photographer Ashley Henry was present to capture all the candles and special moments of the evening.
This year, the event had grown so much, volunteers were needed to help with all the preparations and cost of the event. I cannot thank those volunteers enough for helping. We wrote names on each of the tags and placed those tags carefully on the candles. The candles were laid out lovingly by more volunteers which took several hours to place.
There were several unexpected happenings that evening. First, it was how everyone who attended was brought together and loved on by all there. It didn’t matter how early the loss, what type of loss, or how old their child was; the families here understood and loved. People they didn’t even know or had ever met, were embraced and surrounded by with loving arms.
As the event coordinator, it gets easy to become lost in all the preparations. It is also difficult to remember your own children when you are holding up those who have come to attend. There were no silent moments for me to remember my own children who had gone too soon, but I didn’t even realize it until later. It was wonderful to have the support of my family there to help remember and light their candles.
In the past, I have always had a large candle at the top of the heart. It was Ruby’s candle. This year, I did not bring it. I wanted all babies and children to have similar sized candles. I didn’t want Ruby’s to be any bigger as if she meant more than any other baby or child. When Ashley (the photographer) could not find her candle and I explained why, she mentioned that Ruby is who started this whole event and the organization. I had never thought of it that way and I was so glad that Ashley was able to remind me. It was then, that I missed having her candle there but her place was still at the top of the heart.
All our children mattered that evening and it was evident in the faces and hearts of those who attended. Donations poured in like never before. All my prayers for how I was going to afford the event were answered. I had enough to share with Ashley and support her and I hope next year, we will have some funding to support others who help with the event.
We did some different things this year that I hope to keep as a tradition. First was the large candle with all the babies and children’s names on them. I was so happy to have found a way to keep those who we remembered and had remembered at past events, present with us. It was easy enough to make so I will do this again next year.
We also added some LED balloons. We wrote names on the balloons. Everyone seemed to really love this addition. I will be sure to have the balloons next year blown up with helium that has additive in it so they float longer. Even though I had them filled at 5pm, a few were already struggling at 8pm.
I really liked the idea of reading the names as the candles were placed. It helped the event move more smoothly. I know that next year we will be in a different location but I think we will still be able to incorporate this. I also hope that next year we have another person to read some of the names. I had four pages of names this year compared to one over the last two years.
I was so honored to read each name; some were harder than others. I will close this post with the message I sent to all those who attended the event.
I want to take a moment and share my thoughts with you about the event. I apologize it has taken me this long to share with you. The morning after the event, I flew to Oklahoma to help my mother who had surgery. She has horses and she is unable to tend to them for a few months. I did not anticipate that they would have little access to the internet so that has delayed what I wanted to share.
I cannot thank you all enough for coming out and sharing your babies and children. I did not realize how important this event really was to so many of you. I know that sounds weird, as I am a bereaved parent as well and I have found events like this healing but as the organizer, I think I get a bit lost in all the planning that takes place for the event.
Needless to say, I was blown away by all of your responses at the event and on this page. Without you sharing, we would not have been able to honor all our babies and children. As we move throughout our daily lives, it becomes more and more difficult to incorporate our children who are no longer with us. Events like this help us take a moment to remember. We may hurt, we may cry, but we are remembering.
We know that society tells us we need to move on, to forget. We cannot forget and we do not move on. We love. Each step we take is one of survival because we hurt and long to hold someone we cannot. We can however, hold them in our hearts and share them with others.
All of us at the event understood that. We came together. We knew what the pain feels like and it didn’t matter when we lost our baby or child, we all held each other that evening.
While I hope this event grows, I do hope to maintain that love and support we had for each other that Thursday night. This is being human and it was so heartwarming to see all of us come together in such a way. Thank you all for that.
Each year, we will expand and if you want to help with the event, I would love to have you. I also want to thank you ALL for your generous donations. My heart is so full. You all have helped to sustain Dragonflies For Ruby, the event, and the support which can be provided to families enduring loss.
We had families from up and down the front range attend as well as a family from Wyoming. I cannot believe they came down here for this event and I hope to help them get an event started in Wyoming next year!!
So, as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month comes to an end, know that your babies and children are loved, missed, and remembered. You can light a candle each morning or evening to keep them present in your home or purchase a special candle holder. There are many ways you can keep your children’s memories alive within your home. I am honored to have the candle with all our babies and children’s names on it.
If you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. You will certainly get an email next year about the event. Thank you again and I hope to see ALL of you next year!
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