I don't know what I did on October 15, 2009. The day wasn't significant to me. I wish it had been. I wish I knew the importance of the day without having to be personally affected. But I didn't. Not until a year later after we had lost our son Cale and were in the thick of grief, did I come to learn about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. And every year since then, the day has had special meaning.
It's a special day because it means that as a community, of bereaved and non-bereaved, we can come together to honor the lives of those who left us far too soon. Each year we ask our family and friends to join us and light a candle - not just for our boy, but for all those who are missed. The thought is that if everyone lights a candle at 7pm, in all time zones, there will be a worldwide wave of light. It's a lovely thought and even lovelier image. We ask that you light this one candle on this one day, but know that when you do it's every day we miss them. It's every day we ache for them and wonder what life would be like had we never had to lose them in the first place. And know that when you light that candle, it means so much.
It means you haven't forgotten Cale.
It means you still hold him in your heart. And that you miss him too, despite never knowing him.
It means you acknowledge the profound tragedy that was his loss, but also the profound importance that is his life.
It means you acknowledge all forms of pregnancy loss.
It means that you are grieving yourself. For your own loss or that of someone close to you. Or that you're grieving along with us, something that is rare and touching.
It means that you are thankful for the gift of life and grateful for the pregnancies and the children you've been blessed with.
It means that you aren't too shy to reach out.
It means that little actions make a big difference.
It means . . . so much.
So thank you, in advance, for lighting a candle today and honoring all the babies who are loved and missed every day.