Every year on October 15th, it is International Wave of Light. An event where participants light a candle at 7pm their local time to create the effect of a wave of light across the world in memory of the babies who have died. This year, we lit our candles in memory of our three babies. One for our daughter Olivia Hope born and died in 2013. A second for our baby lost at 7 weeks gestation in 2014. And a third for our baby lost at 9 weeks gestation earlier this year in March. Ironically as I write this, it came to mind that this would have been my 40th week and would have soon been delivering our baby. Our due date was October 25th. The same day back in 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. President Ronald Reagan is more familiar with child loss than I first realized. He lost his second daughter, Christine, a day after she was born in 1947. I'm sure he didn't just do this for the many families suffering from loss but also for his own family and himself.
This was meant to provide information and resources for families who experienced pregnancy and infant loss including miscarriages, stillbirths, neonatal death, SIDS and other causes. This was a time to remember those lives lost and participate in community events to honor them and their families who miss them. To bring light to the effects of loss on not just the mother but the family and friends surrounding her. An opportunity for all to gather and bring healing, hope and comfort.
"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
October 25, 1988. President Ronald Reagan.
Geoff and toni Brabec
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