Tuesday was one of the hardest days of the year for me - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. It’s the day that people all over the world use to recognize their grief and love for the babies that they have lost. This covers miscarriages, infant loss, and stillbirths. And one thing that people do is at 7 PM (their own time) all over the world they light a candle so that it is a wave of light.
But I didn’t light a candle.
It’s not that I’ve never had a loss. I have. But I still didn’t light a candle at 7 PM.
I made a decision several years ago that I wasn’t blogging about my loss on October 15th. That I wasn’t doing the candle. That I wasn’t doing more than changing my profile picture on Facebook and sharing one or two graphics that I find that I felt I connected with. Any other month of the year and I will tell you – in writing – all about my loss.
My pastor and his wife recently lost a baby. They had mentioned how much they had appreciated the outpouring of love and all the people willing to share their stories of losing a baby as well. She is one of the sweetest ladies in the world, and I wanted to share my story with her as well and to let her know that I had been praying for them and had also asked several of my friends to pray as well. But I couldn’t. It was my first time verbally talking to anyone who didn’t already know all the details of it. I ended up just choking up and crying instead. And of course she knew what I was trying to tell her, and instead of me comforting her, she ended up comforting me.
In case you’re unsure of where I’m going with that it’s to illustrate the point that, well, I haven’t really moved past the grief of it all. So please, don’t think that I didn’t light a candle just because I don’t care, or that my loss didn’t mean anything to me. I still get this tightness and crushing feeling in my chest just thinking about it all.
The whole first half of the month of October is hard for me. But the 10th and then the 15th are… words sort of just fail. See I was due October 10th. Every October 10th it hits me all over again – my baby that I don’t have has a birthday today. Last Thursday my baby would have been five. Then right when that dull ache seems to pass it’s October 15th. It’s October 15th and my Facebook feed is full of stories and photos of loss. I feel better knowing that I am not alone. I hate that any of my friends are going through any of this pain, but at least we have a day when we cry out our grief and not be alone. A day when people can’t tell us that 5 years, or months, or weeks is long enough and that we should be over it. At the same time, it’s just too much for me. The pain is still too renewed, too big, too encompassing, to share the way I see everyone else sharing.
So please, forgive me for not lighting my candle at 7 PM on Tuesday. I lit my candle all day the Thursday before.