Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Supporting Families in Pain
|"Forever Loved" candle created by Ronda Sternhagen of Grundy Center|
When you lose your parents you are called an orphan. When you lose a spouse you are called a widow or widower. When a parent loses a child there is no word to describe them or the loss they’ve suffered.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. In October 1988 President Ronald Regan proclaimed October as Infant Loss Awareness Month. “This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is meant also to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, still birth, birth defects, SIDS and other causes.”
According to a 2004 National Vital Statistics Report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the year 2000 15.6% of all pregnancies in the U. S. ended in miscarriage or stillbirth. The CDC also reports that in 2003 the number of live births in the U.S. was 4,093,000. Of these, 27,500 ended in the death of the infant before the age of one.
Robyn Bear, founder of www.october15th.com, recognized the need grieving families have to honor their loss and remember their child in love. Knowing October is Infant Loss Awareness month, she chose a date in the middle of the month to establish as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Robyn envisions a day when all grieving families can come together and be surrounded by the love and support of family and friends. She hopes this day can be a time for communities to seek greater understanding of the pain of these losses and learn how to reach out to those who are grieving the death of an infant. This is a day to reflect on the loss, but also a day to embrace the love of children whose lives were very short, yet very meaningful.
Everyone is invited to participate in the October 15th Wave of Light. All persons in every time zone are encouraged to light a candle at 7 p.m. that evening and leave it lit for at least one hour. This will create a continuous wave of light around the entire world.
If you, or someone you know, has suffered this kind of loss, please honor the memory of their precious child/children by lighting a candle on Monday evening. Better still, send them a card or short note just letting them know you are thinking of them on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
To learn more, visit www.october15th.com.