Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We Remember

This past Saturday, October 15th, was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. A day to raise awareness, to support those who have lost and to honor the lives, however brief, that have touched our souls and left our hearts changed forever. Since becoming involved in the infertility community, I have become close to many families that have had their lives forever changed by these tragedies. I always try to offer support and love in any that I can, knowing that I can't make their world right again and bring their beloved baby back, but I can at the very least honor their child and offer a shoulder to lean on.

One such family suffered an unimaginable loss earlier this year very close to the time I registered for The OC Walk to Remember, a 5k walk to honor and support infant and pregnancy loss. And it was with their precious boy-girl twins in my heart that I registered this year in honor of them, so that their names could be honored.

Last year, having recently suffered a miscarriage myself and wanting to support our neighbors who had lost their 5 month old daughter, I found the walk while searching for events to honor these losses. We walked with our neighbors as well as so many other in the loss community, holding hands and crying along with them. As I walked that day I carried the thought of so many angels in my heart. My Sprout of course, but I also thought of Matthew James, Wyatt River, Logan Ryan and Brody McRae. I greatly appreciated the ceremony at the event in which all of the names of every baby that was being honored was read out loud. Each precious name was given the opportunity to be not only spoken but heard. These names are so powerful, so beautiful, so alive. It often seems that the world has an easy time forgetting that those lost early on in life where never really here, but to those who have had to say goodbye too soon , they will never forget. The names of their children need to be shared, to be acknowledged, to be kept alive.

Such Beautiful Names

While I was thrilled to be honoring precious Bayli & Thomas Jr by having their names read during the ceremony, I knew there were far too many other precious lives that needed to be remembered. Names that needed to be shared. So I came up with the idea for the remembrance shirt that includes the names, legal or not, of those we've lost but will always love. (you can read that blog post here). And Saturday, the whole family wore those names proudly as we walked those symbolic steps. It isn't easy to articulate all of the emotion of that day. I cried, I smiled and I cried some more. It was an an amazing event that I wish there wasn't a reason for, but since there is, I am glad the walk exists.

Dressed and ready to walk for the steps they'll never take

Flowers for Thomas and Bayli

Over 2,000 people registered to walk. It was so moving to see whole families honoring their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and siblings. It was also inspiring to see so many families from last year that now had their rainbows in their arms. Us included.

Reaching out to touch Thomas & Bayli's names

Us and our neighbors with our rainbow babies

Rainbow buddies <3

Each name is precious and deserves to be honored.
(Let me know if you'd like your angels name added. I can still edit new versions for next year or if you'd like one for yourself.)

Honoring all those lost during the worldwide Wave of Light.

Some of my biggest tears of the day came right before the Remembrance Ceremony began. Just as Chad, Eliana and I had found our place among the crowd, I received a text from my dear friend Deanna, who had recently become unexpectedly pregnant for after a diagnoses of unexplained infertility and becoming a mother to a beautiful boy earlier this year through IVF. She had just had an ultrasound that morning where she tragically learned that her pregnancy had ended at 9 weeks. Although I sadly knew before the day began that my shirt would one day be outdated if another loss occurred amongst those in my life, I never imagined it would be so soon, on the day of remembrance itself. Heartbreaking is too light a word for it. I am still so devastated for her. Please stop by her blog and give her some love if you can. http://misdconception.blogspot.com/


Wifey said...

What a beautiful event. I hate that there is a list but I so love that they read the names. The shirts look great and I couldn't help but cry reading your words. What a great thing you did and a fantastic way to honor the missed lives. Love this!

Amelia said...

What a beautiful thing for you to do for others.

Idol lash said...

What a great event. I do not like you have a list, but I love the names they have read. The shirts look great and could not help but mourn to read his words. What greater thing you did and lost a great way to honor life. I love this!