“I carried you every second of your life and I will love you every second of mine,” may be felt by mothers who have lost a child from a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillborn baby, premature baby, a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome baby, or other infant/toddler health complications bringing a baby to premature death in the first few days, weeks, or months of life.
“Too many families grieve in silence, sometimes never coming to terms with their loss. Our goal is to help others relate to our loss, know what to say, do, or not say, not do, and to help families live with their loss, not ‘get over’ their loss,” states the website of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (www.october15th.com).
Coping with the loss of a baby can be traumatic for the mother, father, and other family members looking forward to the new life only to lose it too soon. This can lead to grief, anger, guilt, depression, anxiety, loneliness, lack of concentration, disappointment, fear, and broken relationships.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October to be Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It was designed to recognize the grief of parents having the tragic premature loss of a baby.
October 15th is now the date of World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. An International Wave of Light occurs on this date to honor all babies gone too soon. People are encouraged to light a candle or lantern at 7 p.m. and leave it for at least one hour to create a continuous “wave of light” across all time zones around the world.
Area residents who have experienced the premature loss of a child may come to AllianceHealth Woodward on October 15th to remember their deceased babies. They are encouraged to bring other family members and friends with them.
“This year will be the third year for a celebration of lost lives at AllianceHealth of Woodward,” said Ashley Eckels, obstetric nurse.
“People will meet in the hospital cafeteria at 6 p.m. for refreshments, a slide show of photos and/or names of those lost, then a presentation by Mark and Jada Haney from Leedey, Oklahoma and conclude with a lighting of candles in memory of each lost life being honored,” said Eckels.
Mark and Jada Haney will share the tragic experience of losing their son and the challenges they faced in living with that painful loss. To help others deal with the loss of a child, the Haneys wrote a book, Hope Beyond Brokenness: Finding Healing After the Loss of a Child. They will share their experiences with those in attendance for this annual event celebrating lives lost.
“Last year 15 candles were lighted,” Eckels said. “Instead of just mothers and fathers who lost a child coming to the event, other family members have been coming, too. Some come every year.
“It used to be taboo to talk about losing a child, especially by miscarriage. That kept people from going through the grieving process. This annual event can help a whole family grieve the loss of a child.”
For those wanting a memorial slide with the name and/or gender of their lost baby or a photo of their lost baby, may email them as soon as possible to Eckels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social distancing will be requested and face masks are highly recommended for the 2020 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial.
Those unable to attend in person can see a livestream on Facebook. To access this on Facebook type, “A Night of Remembrance,” in the Search Facebook bubble. Make sure it takes you to the site of AllianceHealth Woodward since this is an international event and may have multiple Facebook sites related to this annual gathering.
For more information people contact the maternity ward of the hospital to speak with Eckels or another obstetric nurse at (580) 254-8663.