Archive for Remembrance Day

It’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

2013-candles

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This day was designated by all 50 states in the US through the efforts of Robyn Bear (a lovely fellow-Texas girl!)

On this day, at 7 p.m. your time, grieving families light a candle for their babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early perinatal death for one hour. As each time zone extinguishes their candles, the next one will light theirs, creating the continuous Wave of Light across the world.

Some families opt to do this alone at home. Others will invite friends, family, or fellow baby loss moms to come over. Across the world, official walks and candle lightings are formed. To see if there is one near you, check this page: http://www.october15th.com/activities-walks/

Here in Austin, Texas, I have hosted the candle lighting for many years.

We will be down at the pond behind the Long Center. (This area is called Butler Park and is near the lighted fountains, at the base of the hill.) We will light our candles between 7 and 8 p.m.

Parking is easiest along Riverside or in the lot off Dawson Road. Most of the runners are leaving, so you can usually find a spot if you see someone heading to their car. You should be able to spot us by our candles and signs. I will have candles for everyone, and many parents will bring theirs too.

Here is a map.

If you need music to play during your hour, I have compiled a list of YouTube videos that will play in order and be long enough for your hour.

Two new things this year:

  • I started the Butterfly Project, which is a social media movement to post butterfly images to the pages of families who have experienced a loss to show them you remember.
  • My newest baby loss book, Forever Innocent, was released October 1 and has hit all the bestseller lists at the retailers. It’s been a phenomenal year for getting the story of baby loss into the mainstream awareness.

Watch the book trailer to Forever Innocent here to get a sense of the book (double click to see large):

 

Peace and love you all of you lighting candles tonight.

On meeting one of your heroes

I first learned about October 15 in 2007. I posted a hurried message about it, encouraging proud angel mamas to spread the word and light their candles at 7 p.m. their time. I didn’t know a lot about the day or the founder, but I knew it was a good thing, the sort of big event I was looking for.

My own web site was already nine years old, the time when you start to try and shake up what has become routine. I wanted to keep growing and moving us forward. I remember feeling frustration (and I still do) that mothers felt they had to “hide” their losses and that talking about their babies was still such a taboo. We’d gotten nowhere.

And along came Robyn Bear and her site for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. She and a team of volunteers took the measure to the legislatures of all fifty states and got it passed federally as well. I was amazed at their effort and the years they spent making this happen.

Naturally I reached out to Robyn pretty quickly. Someone with that much staying power, already seven years post-loss and still going strong, was going to be a big part of the baby loss community. Turns out, she was also very generous and friendly.

This year I decided ENOUGH, and packed my family in the car and drove four hours to where Robyn lives to deliver a box of books she had ordered from me personally. We had lunch in a little restaurant in her home town, and she was amazingly just as wonderful as I thought she would be! Our miracles babies (okay, tweens and teens) sat at one end, and the husbands chatted about work and weather, while we reviewed our two journeys through loss and the determination to actually get involved in the lives of other grieving mothers, and to carve businesses from this so that we could continue working with the community full-time.

webRobyn-Deanna-2013mid

Yes, that is a rooster behind Deanna Roy and Robyn Bear!

I think our partnership in making sure the needs of baby loss moms are met has only grown stronger by meeting face to face. We may have our separate web sites and support groups, and she may focus on Oct. 15 candle lightings as well as remembrance items and jewelry (and man, does she find some beautiful stuff), while I focus on books and information and support groups, but we are definitely united in one thing — making sure women facing these impossible losses have a place to go, a community to talk to, and ways to memorialize and remember their babies.

I see a day twenty years from now when we’re little old ladies, and still holding the virtual hands of the young women who need us. We’re here for the long haul. We’re here for all of you. I can’t imagine a more perfectly suited partner or a more beautiful person, inside and out.

 

My girls at our first Oct. 15 candle lighting in 2007.

My girls at our first Oct. 15 candle lighting in 2007.

It’s Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day 2012

2012 Candles

For those of you in the US, this post is going up a bit early due to the international nature of my site, but Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This day was designated by all 50 states in the US through the efforts of Robyn Bear (a lovely fellow-Texas girl!)

On this day, at 7 p.m. your time, grieving families light a candle for their babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early perinatal death for one hour. As each time zone extinguishes their candles, the next one will light theirs, creating the continuous Wave of Light across the world.

Some families opt to do this alone at home. Others will invite friends, family, or fellow baby loss moms to come over. Across the world, official walks and candle lightings are formed. To see if there is one near you, check this page: http://www.october15th.com/activities-walks/

Here in Austin, Texas, I have hosted the candle lighting for many years.

We will be down at the pond behind the Long Center. (This area is called Butler Park and is near the lighted fountains, at the base of the hill.) We will light our candles between 7 and 8 p.m.

Parking is easiest along Riverside or in the lot off Dawson Road. Most of the runners are leaving, so you can usually find a spot if you see someone heading to their car. You should be able to spot us by our candles and signs. I will have candles for everyone, and many parents will bring theirs too.

Here is a map.

See the Facebook page for more info.

If you need music to play during your hour, I have compiled a list of YouTube videos that will play in order and be long enough for your hour.

 

 

As Oct. 15 approaches, a song for you

Remember that on Oct. 15 (a Monday this year) at 7 p.m. your time, grieving families around the world will light a candle for their babies for one hour, completing a wave of light around the world.

As we lead up to this day, I like to do little things to help you prepare. If you don’t already have a special candle for your baby, you still have a week to pick one up. If you know other baby loss moms, get together with them. Grief shared is grief halved. There might even be a public candle lighting in your city! Go here to see: October 15th Events

I will post many songs that are appropriate for playing during your hour of candle lighting for your baby.

Here is one of them. I think I love it so much because of the idea that I was CHOSEN to carry Casey. No matter how it went, life or death, I got to be his mother for a little a while, to carry him while his heart beat.

 

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I’m spending this morning listening to the song list that I will play at tonight’s candle lighting ceremony here in Austin. Each year, I have added a new favorite to the list, and now, hearing my history of song choices, I’m reminded of all the time that has passed since I was pregnant the first time. So optimistic I was, unaware that anything could go wrong.

Of course, I still had no idea all the directions life would go. Three babies wouldn’t make it. Two would, but Elizabeth is reminded every day of the complications of losing her twin sister, medicine twice a day and still not knowing when or where a seizure might happen anyway.

But we are grateful, so grateful for the two daughters we got to keep. And while today will be hard, it always is, I don’t forget that this journey led to my life’s work, a purpose that carries me through everything. Other people might question why they are on this earth, what they are meant to do. But I know.

Here are the events happening here in Austin today:

10 a.m.
Memorial Service at Gateway church
The theme is Seasons of Hope. They’ll be planting a memorial tree on the church property in honor of those who’ve lost children through miscarriage and still birth.
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=267431516618597

3 p.m.

Baby Dust: A Novel about Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss
Book Launch and Signing

The Book Spot
1205 Round Rock Ave #119
Round Rock, TX 78681 (Map)
(Corner of 620 and Lake Creek Dr. by Round Rock High School.)
Book summary: What happens when five women from completely different walks of life each lose a baby? Support. Healing. Friendship.
Families will be given candles to light during the Wave of Light that evening.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=248851078490256

5 p.m.
Face2Face Austin Dinner and Balloon Release

A local support group affiliate of Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope will be hosting a gathering at La Margarita Restaurant (1530 IH-35) in Round Rock immediately following the book launch.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=179100578838084

7 p.m.
Wave of Light Candlelighting

Deanna has hosted the annual candlelighting to coincide with the international wave of light for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day for many years.

We meet by the pond next to the lighted fountains behind the Long Center to light our candles from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in a silent memorial vigil.

Park off Riverside Drive near Auditorium Shores or in the lot on Dawson Rd. (Map)

 

If you need music to play while you are lighting a candle at home, Casey Shay Press has aYouTube playlist of beautiful songs.

 

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