October is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. And October 15th is the annual wave of light where candles across the world burn in memory of lost babies. I cry even as I write this because no matter how many years go between me and a loss, or how many losses get piled on, the truth is that it still hurts. While acceptance comes, peace is not always swift to follow.
There’s been an October 15th decal on the back of my car for many years now. It stays there year round and in some ways it gives me comfort. I was surprised to see someone with the same decal while I was at a gas station this weekend. I so wanted to reach out to this person and tell them that it touched my heart to see someone else remembering – someone else not afraid to say that they lost and loved a baby.
I will always be the mother to angels, they are not something I care to sweep under a rug or forget about. While I never got to sweep the hair off their temples or kiss their tiny foreheads, I had dreams and hopes for them that I never got to see fulfilled. I had lists of names that went unused and baby items packed away or placed in a memory book. With their passing my spirit was temporarily broken, my heart markedly changed.
Miscarriage is a loss that haunts one’s soul. Seized by what ifs and what could have been it is very easy to lose oneself to the past and forget what we have in a future. Through other’s remembrance of our babies and their recognition that this wasn’t all a dream, we can start to heal. I believe that people are often scared to mention my losses to me, but I always remember either way and I’d prefer the recognition to having the loss forgotten.
If you know someone who’s lost a child, let them know you remember and that you reserve this month, or at least this day as a day of remembrance. They may cry, but they are not doing so entirely out of pain and grief. They’ll likely be quite touched and comforted to know that someone out there remembers their baby – the one they never got to bring home.
This month I remember dates – February 2006; April 28, 2006; December 14, 2006; June 2009; and September 2014. I will remember that I was supposed to bring home a baby November 11, 2006 – that I carried my baby for thirteen weeks and then he was gone. My eyes will often be distant and vacant this month and on those days. I will remember that I would’ve been finding out my baby’s sex the week before Christmas this year. I was so excited to wrap up a pink or blue outfit and reveal it on Christmas day. I’m angry that these hopes and dreams were stolen from me and despite my best efforts, I am often bitter.
This month, light a candle, say a prayer, just offer a silent hug. Accept that we can be sad, yet hopeful. We can miss what should have been and still have happiness in what will be.