This is my son Joey last year, lighting candles at the 2nd Annual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Event in Castle Rock, Colorado. It was a beautiful evening of sharing and remembering babies all over the front range and throughout the US. We remembered over 50 babies last year.
When Kelli and I decided we would host an event together every year that warm 2013 summer, we had no idea how this event might go or grow. It started out so small in 2013. We had about 40 babies and children to remember that first year. All of about 15 people attended the actual event as we shuttled into the front office of Kelli’s store and gathered in a circle holding our candles.
Last year we had a room to meet in and we all gathered there with chairs and some music. Families shared stories and talked about their babies and children then went out to the deck to light the candles you see above. One candle went out and Joey made sure to relight the candle. It was a baby, someone’s baby whom he wanted to be sure was remembered.
This year, I have spent several weeks planning for this event. Scheduling, contacting media, writing names, buying candles and other items for this event and being overwhelmed this morning as I see the overflowing inbox of additional names of babies and children people want to remember and share tonight. While I am super excited, this is also a very sad evening. All these babies and children parents didn’t get to hold or hold long enough. It’s never enough.
A fleeting moment, a flicker on an ultrasound that diminished too quickly, a kick or punch which faded away, a breath that emptied too soon.
No matter how early a baby was born via miscarriage or stillbirth, that child mattered to someone. That child matters today and will matter every day. Tonight we honor those babies and children. Yes, it’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, which President Ronald Reagan proclaimed in 1988 but October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Today is the day we remember, together. In the worldwide Wave of Light. #waveoflight.
No matter where you are, stop at 7pm and light that candle. Light the candle for one of your own children or babies who has gone too soon or one of the many families touched by baby or child loss. I guarantee you know someone who has experienced this. They might be so silent about it but it hurts so many inside.
It’s tonight at 7pm. Don’t forget!