Between ushering the younger two off to the bus and driving the bigger kids to school, I went looking for the sunrise this morning.
As my nine-year-old informed me last night, sunrise in our corner of South Carolina was scheduled for 7:18 am. The sun apparently didn’t get the memo. The skies were overcast, though not dark with rain as they have been and are expected to be over the next few days. There was no golden orb or even gradual lightening of the sky. The sky did not hint any difference between east and west.
And yet, I know the sun rose.
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Welcome to October, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Though John Blaise was stillborn in December nearly five years ago, October has more or less been my season of beginning. The Capture Your Grief event has encouraged me to do much needed self-examination each year. (Now you all probably wish I’d “turn it off” occasionally!)
The loss of a child is an isolating experience. And it is an initiation into a unique community. It is something loss parents wish others would understand better, and yet it’s an experience no reasonable person would wish on another.
Whether you know it or not, pregnancy and infant loss touches everyone. Researchers speculate that about 15% of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. In the USA, 1 in every 160 pregnancies ends in stillbirth (loss after 20 weeks gestation). Put these stats together and roughly one in every four women will experience miscarriage or baby loss.
And every journey of loss and healing is as different as each child.
Through this blogging/social media campaign and the many remembrance opportunities during the month of October, I and thousands of other baby loss parents have been able to walk at least part of that journey with knowing companions.
This year, I hope to honor the little ones whose lives have touched mine, including but not limited to my three little boys in heaven. I also intend to share some of what has helped me heal after my three second-trimester losses.
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About seventy years ago, a poem was found written on a cellar wall in the Holocaust concentration camp in Cologne, Germany. I thought of that poem today as I looked for the sun:
I believe in the sun even when it isn’t shining.
I believe in love even when I cannot feel it.
I believe in God even when He is silent.
Any struggles I might be dealing with are so small compared to what this author must have been facing.
And yet, these words hold the weight and truth of a psalm.