October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
My first reaction is to scoff.
There’s seriously a national holiday to prompt me to remember my two lost little loves!?!?
Mommies don’t need a reminder. We’re aware. It’s something we think about all the time. Some days a thought just comes to mind. Some days the emotion hits hard, and it’s grief and pain all over again, and I need to bring the thoughts captive and remind myself of the beautiful truth. Some days even bring a smile, at a tiny reminder of the brief time they were here that only I would recognize.
But mommies remember. And we don’t need a date on the calendar to make us think of our children.
But what if I stop – for just a second – that default, auto-response of mine to make everything (EVERYTHING!) about me?
What if I use this date on the calendar to love others who have gone through similar pain? To use my empathy to encourage. To set aside time to pray, specifically for those who have endured the hurt and bear the scars?
If I turn the focus outward, a simple, stiff, calculated national holiday made up by a well-meaning group and willing politicians (not that it’s a bad thing, just seemingly too practical for such an emotional subject) becomes an opportunity to shine a light and spread the love.
Will you join me?
Each holiday comes with it’s own traditions. So what would be the appropriate actions for this one?
Wallowing? Wondering? Wishing?
No. Let’s make it more.
There’s a time for grief… but let’s share it and work through it together.
I (non-officially) propose these ten traditions for October 15 to make this date more than just a number on the calendar and more than just an excuse to wallow.
- Lend a shoulder. Be bold enough to be there for someone.
- Reach out. Make a meal for someone who’s going through it right now.
- Pray by name for all those you know who’ve lost a little one.
- Write a note of encouragement to five friends who’ve lost a little one.
- Thank God. Not necessarily for the grief but for the grace.
- Donate to those who are going through this right now.
- Donate to those who are welcoming little ones they may not think they’re ready for.
- If you’ve been through it, tell someone your little one’s story.
- If you haven’t been through it, tell someone that you still remember and love their little one. A mamma doesn’t tire of hearing her little one is loved!
- Finally, light a candle at 7 p.m., and let it burn for at least an hour. The idea of the international initiative is that as people light candles throughout each time zone, a light will illuminate the dark for an entire day.
If you’ll join me in celebrating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, please comment below and let us all know what tradition you started this year, not to wallow, but to show grace, encouragement and gratefulness to someone else.