Every year for infant loss awareness month, the world unites for a moving global ‘wave of light.’ A night where we are encouraged to light a candle to remember the little ones whose parents never had a chance to hold them, those who were born sleeping, and those who arrived but could not stay.
At first glance, remember feels like the wrong word for parents to use, doesn’t it? To remember almost suggests you’ve forgotten. You’ve survived, but you’ve never forgot. You might put on an old top one day and remember that time where it was once a little snug as you desperately tried to keep your bump a secret. You might see or hear your baby’s name when out in public. You might sit there and wonder what he or she would have looked like at one year…five…ten, etc. However long your baby was with you for, he or she was part of you, and always will be. So yeah, remember doesn’t always feel like the right word for parents. But then again, what IS the right word?
People can be so afraid of using or finding the right words that they choose not to talk about loss at all.
Some parents can’t understand why or feel they failed, or did something wrong. So they stay silent.
Some simply can’t find the right words to express how they feel, so they stay silent.
Some worry months or years later that people will think they should be ‘over it by now,’ so they stay silent.
Friends are scared of ‘bringing it up’ or upsetting parents, so they stay silent.
And so all too often, it stays silent.
And that’s exactly why this awareness month, and nights like the wave of light, are so important. It’s a reminder to break the silence. A reminder of how powerful sharing stories can be. Sharing is solidarity. It’s strength.
And it’s not just about sharing. It’s also about asking. It’s about opening up a two way dialogue. It’s reminding wider family and friends to simply ASK. Reminding them to say your baby’s name. To talk about your child. Because they existed. Losing a child doesn’t ever stop you being a mother or father.
So this week, the Babies in Bloom family took time to remember all those little ones who didn’t make it. We shared. We asked. And we supported.
Parents, we see you. We are you. And we’re here for you. Always.
For those who believe in the healing power of sharing, we thought we would share this website that we stumbled across with you: Stillbirth Stories. It’s a powerful collection of honest interviews about loss from the side of parents and clinicians.