October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. October 15 is celebrated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The day serves as a special day that allows the bereaved parents of little ones to come together and celebrate the short life and existence of their child. Many do special things to recreate the memory of the one gone too soon, from burning candles to releasing balloons to getting special tattoos done and many more creative ways to celebrate their child and their connection with them.
Infant loss and pregnancy loss are almost taboo subjects and we need to endeavor during this month to raise awareness, to break the taboo and give a voice to the ones who are / have gone through loss. The loss of a loved one is hard in any situation and all the more tougher when the one separated from you is a tiny little angel whom you had been awaiting for a long while but held for just a short while or maybe didn’t even get to hold.
The emotional turmoil of losing a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or as an infant is no less severe than losing a child or a loved one at a later age and stage in life. They were created by us and were the essence and joy of our existence for many months and were a part and parcel of our everyday life and our future dreams. To no longer have them in our life creates a void that nothing seems to be able to fill. The emptiness, the tears, the fears, the doubts, the pain, the anger, the shock, the denial, the grief take turns coming in front of you.
I lost my firstborn twin son Jacob in April 2009 on the third day. They were born in the 31st week and his organs were not developed fully. He could not breathe properly and was shifted to a specialty children’s hospital. After almost three days in the ventilator, he passed away. I could spend very less time with him as I was with my daughter and I could not even attend his funeral. But that does not negate the fact that he is remembered every day and will always be missed. His twin sister Cathy is a constant beautiful reminder of their existence and his temporary separation.
The love we have for our child will never go away, even if they are not physically present with us. This is the awareness that we need to raise. The sorrow and grief at the loss of a child is not something that is proportional to the time that they spent with us. Living without the child is our new normal, but we cannot forget them. Don’t ask us to; don’t rush us to. They have a very special place of their own in our hearts and our lives, so please don’t try to take that away from us.
The child had their unique identity and left an indelible mark on the lives of the mother, the father, the brother, the sister, the grandparents, the uncles and aunts, the cousins and many more. But not many will be able to show it. Yes, life still goes on but the life that is gone too soon also did matter, does matter and will continue to matter to the ones deeply affected by this temporary separation.
I hope and pray that more and more people become sensitive to the parents and loved ones who are separated from their little angels in heaven and understand their emotions that have been bottled up inside them, especially survival guilt. Many feel that they cannot continue living in the world without their little ones. They need friendly conversations, friends to check up on them and give them their own time and space to grieve their child and find peace. Talk to them about their child, don’t try to sweep it under the rug. They will feel better and it will be therapeutic for them. Understand where they are in the journey, be more aware of their trials, and just be there for them. Help them open up.
I believe that we will meet our angel in heaven soon. Like David said, they can’t come back to us but we will go to them. GOD is the only one who can give us peace and hope and filled the void of my son’s loss. You can read more about my journey through death and grief and finding comfort and hope in HIM in my short book, My Angel in Heaven.
On this Pregnancy and Infant Loss remembrance day, my article – Reach out to a Vilomah Remembering Their Loved Ones – was featured on Raising World Children at http://raisingworldchildren.com/2017/10/14/reach-vilomah-infancy-pregnancy-loss/
Here are some excerpts:
We forget that there are some of us who long for a hug, a kiss, the noise, the love, the mess, but do not get it.They dream of holding a little one in their arms, or holding their hands, or teaching them something, but they can’t. They would sacrifice everything in a moment just to hear a sweet voice saying ‘Momma’.
But some dreams do not come true or were about to come true but at the last moment. The beautiful dream was shattered and the bubble burst and you are left with nothing but memories, tears, silent houses, deafening thoughts, empty arms, lifeless cradles…
Fathers and siblings too feel the pain and the grief, even if they don’t express it and handle it differently. The family as a whole had built a dream around the little one and the loss reverberates across each member of the household. It is difficult for the other children to understand and come to terms with why their baby brother or sister is not coming home to them… Why they are not getting their promised playmates… Why their parents and other family members are so sad all the time…
I wish more people would be empathetic towards vilomahs or parents who have lost their children and not want them to ‘get over it’ within a specific period. Everyone goes through their own healing process and needs love and support.
Reach out to someone who has gone through such a difficult time, talk to them about their child, about their feelings, show them that you care. Let them give a voice to the sorrow, the pain and the love that they have kept bottled up inside them. You might be surprised to know that they are eager to share about their angel in heaven and that they remember them every day.
Check out my Amazon #1 bestselling books: