The opportunity to participate in a day of remembering pregnancy and infant loss is a chance to have the parenting experience of myself and so many others validated. In many ways, being the parent of these tiny saints is about embracing the opportunities we have to honor them.
by Heidi Indahl
On Oct. 15 each year, families (and those who love them) suffering from the pain of pregnancy and infant loss are invited to light a candle for one hour at 7:00 p.m. local time, thus creating a wave of light around the world.
In the more than 15 years since my first miscarriage, my participation in the official Wave of Light has varied. Some years, I quickly light one candle. Other years, I carefully light one candle for each loss. Some years I forget completely (although thanks to social media it’s much harder to accidentally forget these days). Speaking of social media, some years I share my light and some years I don’t.
For me, the opportunity to participate in a globally recognized day of remembering is a chance to have the parenting experience of myself and so many others validated. In many ways, being the parent of these tiny saints is all about embracing the opportunities that we have to honor them and to have their lives recognized.
Wave of Light
Throughout the year, there are “candles” spread through my home reminding me these babies are a part of our family too. A visitor in my home may recognize some of the signs, but others are there just for me and my family: a stone butterfly on a bird bath, an extra set of footprints in the corner of a Christmas card …
… a newborn photo missing a one year old portrait
… or an ultrasound photo missing a newborn shot
… a pregnancy test without an ultrasound.
But as the years since my most recent loss have ticked by, I find that it is not just a wave of light that I want to spread. I want to spread a wave of love for other moms, such as the wave of love spread by every copy of my book that is gifted to a grieving mother or every story and support shared in my pregnancy and infant loss support facebook group.
Wave of Gratitude
And with that wave of love, comes a wave of gratitude. There is gratitude for those who have helped me to this place on my journey, gratitude for those who supported us during our losses, and for those who continue to do so today. Not just for me, but for all families facing the crushing burden of pregnancy and infant loss.
More than a year ago, I had the idea to make an intentional effort to say thank you to some of these people. I have done so in many ways for my own providers through the years, but what about the others? Providing compassionate, pro-life support is not an easy job. I wanted to thank those programs and caregivers who are working against the cultural tide that seeks to devalue the life of the pre-born.
Blessed is the Fruit of Their Service
Indeed, #BlessedIsTheFruitOfThyService. I recently started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to send thank you care packages to these amazing people. As of today we have raised just enough to send thank you cards around the country, but I’d love to push the goal and send some super care packages! I want to say thank you, will you join me?