Babies who died in early infancy, during birth, or before they were born will be honored by bereaved parents, families and local communities marking International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Precious lives that were lost too soon will be remembered by those who love and miss them, in a wave of candle light across the world on October 15.
If you are grieving the loss of a baby no matter how long ago, or supporting a family you know in remembrance, you’re invited to join the International Wave of Light and light a candle at 7pm local time, wherever you are.
International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day will also be marked in some towns and cities, with landmark buildings and hospitals set to be illuminated in pink and blue light.
Those taking part in community candle-lighting ceremonies, or as an act of remembrance of their own, are asked to keep the flame burning for at least an hour, to create a Wave of Light that travels across international time zones.
Join the #WaveofLight
Supporters can also join in a digital Wave of Light by taking a photo of their candle and posting it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #WaveofLight.
“We are asking everyone, in all time zones, worldwide, to join us in a candle-lighting ceremony,” says Robyn Bear, the founder of www.october15.com and Remembering Our Babies, the campaign marking International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
She describes it as a day to reflect on the loss and also embrace the love felt for every much-loved and anticipated baby that has died.
“While our babies’ lives were brief, they were so very meaningful,” she says, explaining why she believes everyone should light a candle for them on October 15.
“Yet there was not a time to talk about them. Our society seemed to forget, or perhaps didn’t know how, to reach out.”
Talking and remembering
International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day was launched in 1988, but 30+ years on, many parents who lose a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or shortly after birth say their grief can still be overlooked or hidden.
Around 25,000 babies are stillborn every year according to the American Pregnancy Association, with up to a quarter of ‘clinically recognized’ pregnancies ending in miscarriage. According to figures for 2014, more than 23,000 newborn and premature babies a year die in the U.S., with charities and research projects working to understand and prevent infant deaths.
“Our goal is to help others relate to our loss,” says Robyn Bear, who invites everyone to join her in lighting a candle in remembrance of those precious lives on October 15.