In October of 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month and he made the following statement:
When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.
So much of this specific kind of grief journey is done in secret, quiet places and this month offers a chance to publicly raise your hand and say “I have a baby in heaven. Their life mattered. And it matters still.” We stay quiet not because we don’t love or miss or desire to honor the life lost; no, we stay quiet because sometimes it’s just too hard to put a coherent sentence together; often we can barely make sense of our own feelings, much less communicate them to others. And if we’re being honest we keep the grief quiet because we never want to make someone else feel uncomfortable and we rarely ever know if our messy emotions are appropriate.
I wish I could look you in the eye and tell you it’s ok to grieve out loud. It’s ok to feel messy and undone. You don’t have to keep your grief quiet. I wish I could tell you that formulating beautifully articulate sentences about how you’re doing is going to take awhile, so go ahead and feel the freedom to rattle on and on until the right words eventually come.
October is a gift to those of us grieving, because it offers freedom from what’s appropriate or not appropriate, from expectations and social norms and what others think of us. Freedom to say out loud what we often just say in our hearts. A precious excuse to tell the world of the baby you love and miss and the hurt that makes you long for Jesus’ return.
6 Ways to Commemorate Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month
- LIGHT A CANDLE: October 15th is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. On this day light a candle at 7pm to honor babies in heaven and keep it burning for an hour. If you keep it burning for at least an hour there will be a continual wave of light across the world all day. You can find specific events that are taking place in your area on October 15th here.
- PARTICIPATE IN AN EVENT: You can find specific events in your area that you could participate in with friends and family, such as remembrance walks or butterfly releases. See what events are being hosted in your area by clicking here.
- SHARE YOUR STORY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Grab one of the images here and share them on social media. Use them as an opportunity to share your story of life and loss with others.
- RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS: Do a random act of kindness in honor of your baby. Getting our eyes off of our own pain and looking for ways to bring light and hope to others will forever be on the of the best medicines to a hurting heart. “We rise by lifting others.” Robert Ingersoll. You can find lots of fun and doable random acts of kindness ideas here.
- SEND A CARD: Chances are you know someone who has also experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Send them a note letting them know that you are thinking of them and that you remember their loss. Reminding another mama that their baby is never forgotten is one of the sweetest ways to honor your own baby. Print one of these cards that were created just for this occasion. Printing instructions for printable files below.
- SEND AN AADENSAGE BIRTHDAY PROJECT PRINT: Created to remind parents that their baby is never forgotten and forever loved, this special project is in honor of my son’s birthday in October and I love that it beautifully coincides with Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. You can read all about this special project and send a print to someone you love or get one for yourself here.
- Click on button above
- Save to your computer
- Print on heavy cardstock
- Cut in half on gray line (there are two cards on a page!)
- Fold cards half
- Write a note on the inside, put in an envelope & send!
SHAREABLE PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS AWARENESS IMAGES
PRINTABLE PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS AWARENESS CARD
SEND AN AADENSAGE BIRTHDAY PROJECT PRINT
PRINTABLE CARD INSTRUCTIONS