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In Honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day - October 15

by Wendy Jacobson

 

Image: "Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day" *

 

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. Despite this proclamation and recognition of the issue, many people who have experienced a miscarriage, stillborn or infant loss suffer alone and in silence. Grandparents, siblings, other family members, and friends often don’t know what to say to bereaved parents. And for many bereaved parents, the premature loss of a little one often paralyzes their grief. 

Since the time President Reagan declared October National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month, the issue has garnered much-needed attention and support. Many resources have become available for parents and families to help them through this unbearable process of grief, and to let them know they are not alone. One such resource is The Still Remembered Project, which provides support and encouragement to parents and families who are mourning loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.

The Still Remembered Project hosts a monthly peer group for bereaved mothers. The moms get together to connect with each other. They also distribute memory boxes to local hospitals. Memory boxes provide a concrete way to remember the lost little one and memorialize – if possible – all the love poured forth toward the infant or unborn.

Memory Boxes and Memory Lamps

So often when pregnancy or infant loss occurs, friends and family members wish to comfort or extend support to the parents who are dealing with the unimaginable grief. A memory box provides a thoughtful way to express care without having to say a word. The boxes are available as small keepsakes, or as larger cremation memory chests such as the Orchid Memory Chest – both sizes come in a variety of shapes and styles.  

A small memory box can be used to store trinkets, a piece of hair or a small amount of ashes, and all memory boxes make a deeply meaningful gift. The Sapphire Keepsake is a beautiful, hand-made glass memory box with an array of colors and patterns. Due to the delicate way these boxes are made, each one is unique. The Rosy Rococo Memory Box resonates with gentleness through its delicate design in a palette of soft pastel colors.

Memory lamps provide an alternative to lighting a candle in memory of a loved one. They also serve as a heart-warming and expressive gift. As with memory boxes, memory lamps come in various styles and colors, from simple to elegant to ornate. The Crescent Moon Memory Lamp depicts a cherub sitting on the crescent moon, fishing for a star. While it’s not intended to hold ashes or mementos, it captures a unique, difficult, and unspoken hope.

For additional resources and support, we’ve found The Bears of Hope and the October15 websites offer crucial information, private online counseling, and a community of support.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Suffering a devastating loss such as miscarriage, stillborn or infant death is unimaginable for anyone, and sadly, happens much too often. As such, the House of Representatives passed House Resolution #22 on September 28, 2006 declaring October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

This is a day for communities all around the country and world to show support to grieving parents, reflect on their loss and embrace the love by lighting a candle at 7:00 pm local time on October 15. It is a powerful display of force, demonstrating that even though the lives lost were far too short, they were profoundly meaningful.

*Image by essie can be found here: http://bit.ly/2edRbSL

Wendy Jacobson is a freelance writer living in Minneapolis with her husband, two kids and dog. She helped market her mother’s book, “Hands Off My Hope: Life Lessons on my Journey with Breast Cancer” at the request of her mom, who died two weeks after publishing it in 2008. She also is the editor of Minneapolis Happening, a digital lifestyle magazine about what’s happening in Minneapolis and the surrounding area.

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