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, which is also sometimes known as Miscarriage Awareness Month. Today, many recognize October 15th especially as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Despite this proclamation and recognition of the issue, many people who have experienced a miscarriage, stillborn or infant loss still 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 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 grief process, 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. 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 unimaginable grief. A memory box provides a thoughtful way to express care without having to say a word. These boxes are available as small keepsakes, or as larger cremation memory chests such as the Rosewood Memory Chest - both sizes come in a variety of shapes and styles.

The idea of a memory box or keepsake is straightforward: it is a box, chest or other object designed to store a lost loved one's mementos, personal objects and items that remind you of their memory. Some memory boxes are designed to hold ashes as well or keepsake urns. The memory boxes can then be kept at home with an urn or placed alongside your lost loved one's ashes at their final resting place.

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 Tranquility Wooden Cremation Urn and Memory Chest is a beautiful, hand-made wooden memory box that features an elm tree pattern. No two boxes are the same due to the patterns of the burl wood. Due to the delicate way these boxes are made, each one is unique. The Modern Pink Marbled Glass Cremation Box resonates with gentleness through its delicate design in a pastel color palette.

Memory lamps provide an alternative to lighting a candle in memory of a loved one. These creative ways to express sympathy for lost loved ones and many will additionally be able to hold a small amount of cremation ashes. 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 White Lily Memory Lamp features a beautiful stained glass white lily surrounded by blues and greens. 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 October 15 websites offer crucial information, private online counseling, and a community of support.

National 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 15th as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. While Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is observed throughout the month of October, many will choose to hold ceremonies and remembrances on October 15th.

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 15th. It is a powerful display of force, demonstrating that even though the lives lost were far too short, they were profoundly meaningful.

It can help to know that if you have lost a child, you are not alone. It's important to reach out to others to let them know how you are dealing with the loss, but you can also find comfort in National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day as well as the many keepsakes that are available for your child or infant's belongings. However you choose to grieve is up to you, but there are others who can support you through.

Image by essie can be found here:

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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