Monday, October 15th, was Baby Loss Remembrance Day. My town held a candle lighting vigil in remembrance of all babies lost to miscarriage, SIDS, stillbirth, abortion, ectopic pregnancy, or any other reason. I decided to attend this year in honor of Flynn.
I walked in and my first thought was "What am I doing here? I don't belong!" There were tables set up full of mementos and pictures of sweet baby faces in the arms of loving parents, grandparents, siblings... There were photo albums full of pictures of these beautiful babies. There were blankets, and picture frames and special toys with names inscribed upon them. Because so many of those attending had lost their babies at birth, or a week before their due date, or to SIDS 8 months after they were born. I lost Flynn at 7 weeks 5 days. I have no mementos but a positive pregnancy test. I did not get to see Flynn's face, or kiss his cheek, or hold him in my arms like all of these other grieving parents. I brought a full box of kleenex and used about half of it.
One of my good friends also attended, and she made sure to stick by me through the whole event. At one point I voiced my thoughts to her about feeling out of place, and that I felt very guilty about feeling that way because that was like saying Flynn's life didn't matter as much. Why should I feel out of place? I lost a baby too. How can I say my loss was less significant? Because he was smaller than other babies lost? Because he was less developed? No. He was alive. He was real. He lived inside of me. Tears of joy were shed for him by friends and family when we learned he was growing in me. His little life was celebrated.
The ceremony was beautiful. It was held in an outdoor pavilion in the evening. There were about 70 in attendance and we all gathered around and one by one went around the circle and said the name of the baby we lost and lit a candle in their honor. At the end of the ceremony, the darkness of the night was glowing with all of the candles everyone held. It was the most beautiful, most heart-wrenching sight watching the candlelight dance off the tears streaming down the faces of all those parents. And while it was heart-wrenching, it was also healing. It was healing to hear the names aloud and validate their lives. I highly recommend attending an event in your area if you have lost a baby at any stage. October 15th is National Baby Loss Remembrance Day, and every year across the nation, similar events are held. Check out www.october15th.com to find a similar event in your area.
This is a poem my dear friend, Carla had out at the vigil that made me cry again (of course):
I never held you in my arms,
You didn't have a name,
I didn't get to know you,
but I loved you just the same.
I never knew your laughter,
I never heard you cry,
And yet, we shared my body;
Together, you and I.
And in those brief, but precious days,
My little girl, or boy,
You brought me so much happiness,
My cheeks felt tears of joy.
For I knew that in His wisdom,
Our Father up above,
Saw fit to bless our family with,
You, His gift of LOVE.
Jazlyn- rose quartz