October – Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

Grief comes in Cycles - Grief Support by www.grievingparents.net

Most of you know that October is International SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (and also Breast Cancer Awareness Month). This article will shine a light on the history and meaning for our community, and provide a resource of events and projects you can take part, if you wish, to make this month meaningful for you. It will also offer a list of ways you can support yourself.

History

According to Wikipedia, the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement began in the United States in 1987. On October 25, 1988, American President Ronald Reagan designated the entire month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. (Read more about the history here.)

In 2007, Congressman Tom Latham of Iowa introduced a House Resolution supporting the Goals and Ideals of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, October 15th, and called on the President of the United States to issue a proclamation encouraging the American people to honor this special day of remembrance.

October 15th and the Wave of Light

On October 15th, now called Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (PAILRD), at 7:00 pm in all time zones, families around the world will light candles (and leave the candle burning for at least an hour) in memory all of the precious babies who have been lost during pregnancy or in infancy.  Too many families grieve in silence, sometimes never coming to terms with their loss.

If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss due to SIDS/SUID, prematurity or other cause, we hope you will join us in this national tribute to create awareness of these tragic infant deaths and provide support to those that are suffering.

Contributors of the Still Standing community have a number of events planned:

Events around the globe:

Grief comes in Cycles - Grief Support by www.grievingparents.netTo support yourself:

Reach out for support: Grief is isolating. To steer away from isolating yourself, make sure you let those around know, how you’re feeling. Connect with those you feel understood by.

Grief work: Grief work is finding a way to put your loss into perspective and to weave your loss into the fabric of your life. It is allowing feelings, working through them, asking for and receiving comfort. It is remembering the good times and the bad and getting them in perspective. It is remembering and honoring your lost loved one in your heart or in many other ways and by going forward a better person for the gift of that person’s life in your life, no matter how brief. The ‘Capture Your Grief’ project is a one example of doing ‘grief work’.

Facebook: Depending on your use of Facebook, it may be wise to post a comment on your personal page, explaining why and what you’re going to post about during the month of October, for example if you re-post a lot about Pregnancy and Infant Loss to raise awareness. If not, this can be misinterpreted by your friends.
There are a number of groups on Facebook that may be supportive for you. Be aware of the public nature of posting on Facebook, even if it is a private group, so only post what you’re comfortable sharing.

Instagram: Personally, I found the grieving parents community on Instagram to be tremendously supportive and nurturing of each other. How to find them? Search for example #grievingparents and check out the comments underneath the images shared there to find your tribe of like-minded and like-hearted people.

Check out the communities of SS contributors:

  • Aidan’s Elephants supports bereaved parents in the UK, by Helen Louise
  • All That Love Can Do supports families who continue pregnancy after receiving a fatal diagnosis, by ReaAnne Fredrickson
  • Choosing Your Breath is an invitation for grieving mothers to take back control of their grief, their lives and thus their happiness, by Franchesca Cox
  • Grieving Parents Support Network is a virtual place for grieving parents to find support online, by Nathalie Himmelrich
  • Invisible Mothers is for loss moms with no living children, by Emily Long
  • Pregnancy After Loss Support supports moms in a subsequent – after a loss – pregnancy, trying to conceive and parenting the subsequent baby, by Lindsey Henke
  • Project Sweet Peas provides care packages and memory boxes to NICU and loss families, by Megan Skaggs
  • Reconceiving Loss is a resource centre to support pregnancy and infant loss and healing, by Tara Shafer
  • Scribbles and Crumbs is for parents, who have lost a child who has battled a major illness, by Lexi Behrndt
  • Still Mothers is for loss families with no living children or those with living children but no baby born after loss, by RaeAnne Frederickson
  • Sufficient Grace Ministries offers support and resources for families walking through perinatal loss, by Kelly Gerken
  • The Charlie Sawyer Project shares the stories of children who have passed, by Lexi Behrndt

Many Still Standing Magazine contributors offer support to a subgroup of grieving mothers and fathers. If you’d like to know more about the different contributors click here.

Help us create a ‘wave’ of light across our nation!

Share this post with your network of people to create awareness and understanding.


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    Nathalie Himmelrich

    Nathalie Himmelrich the author of the new book GRIEVING PARENTS - Surviving Loss As A Couple. As a relationship coach and grief recovery expert and bereaved mother herself she believes that relationships (intimate and to other support people) are the foundation for a healthy grieving experience. The book is about surviving loss as a couple and the re-emerging from grief into a life of joy and melancholy, laughter and tears, happiness and sadness. Not either or but AND. She loves helping people find their way back to a life of joy, laughter and happiness through her role as a Transformational Coach & Counsellor in her business Reach for the Sky Counselling & Coaching. Her passion is writing and re-thinking human behaving and emoting. She’s processing her own experiences using her blog and you can also read her daughter Ananda Mae's blog, where she writes letters to her identical twin sister, who left her body at a young age of 3 days. If not at her desk, you can find Nathalie on the playground running after her daughter or feeding the ducks at the Lake of Zurich, Switzerland, if Ananda Mae hasn't managed to steal all of the dry bread. Find Nathalie here: Nathalie Himmelrich or here: Grieving Parents

    September 28, 2015
    October 1, 2015

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    6 Comments

    1. Reply

      Debbie Harrell

      September 30, 2015

      Great list! There is a Remembrance walk this Saturday, Oct. 3rd, in Littleton, CO, and they have a virtual walk scheduled on Oct. 24th for those that can’t attend a walk in their area. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/remembrancewalk/ , is organizing the walk.

    2. Reply

      Jens Locher

      September 30, 2015

      Thanks for sharing these wonderful resources. Any chance that you could add this Canadian resource? http://www.october15.ca/category/events/ It lists various Walks to Remember and illuminations of landmarks across the country…

    3. Reply

      Tigerlily Trust

      September 6, 2016

      Thank you for this great resource list – here is one for Cumbria U.K.
      Tigerlily Trust Remembrance Celebration – Venue: Outback Hall, Leven Valley CE Primary School, Backbarrow, Ulverston, Cumbria U.K. LA12 8QF
      Saturday October 15th 2016 – 6.45pm start – please arrive early to allow time for candle lighting
      International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day + Global Wave of Light.
      We invite you to join us along with family and friends for a very special evening remembering and celebrating all our babies and children gone to soon.
      On this special date we will light candles and be part of the global wave of light around the world. It will be an evening of remembering and honouring our babies, sharing and connecting with those who have travelled this path and those who helped us to travel it, a beautiful celebration with loved ones, our families and friends.
      If you think you would like to come along, please join our event on Facebook Tigerlily Trust Remembrance Celebration https://www.facebook.com/events/156294414801947/ so we can plan for the right numbers, and for more information.
      There will be tea and coffee afterwards and time to talk and connect with each other. Love and light, Val x x x

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