Remembrance Day…

Here we are in October and all the events for Halloween are in full swing as well as the month long Pink campaign for breast cancer awareness and month long PAIL remembrance. What is PAIL you ask, well let me share with you what it is.

PAIL-Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance month is October beginning on the 1st and ending on the 31st with October 15th being the official day for remembrance with lighting a candle to honor the pregnancy or infants that died. October 25, 1988, President Reagan designated the entire month of October as PAIL month.

SIGNIFICANCE-Recognition and raise awareness of, the prominence of pregnancy loss and infant death with an aim to support families who experience the death of their children and to increase awareness, remembrance, support programs and services for families who experience bereavement.

SYMBOL-Remembrance ceremonies with the Lights of Love International Wave of Light, a worldwide lighting of candles that encompasses and spans the globe at 7:00pm your local time. 

COLORS-The official Awareness Colors of the cause are light pink and baby blue and are synonymous with the campaigns awareness ribbons

While I have no issue with honoring these parents I am greatly hurt that grieving parents who had a toddler to adult child die have no month to remember their children. There is no ribbon and no real day for honoring the countless children that have died. PAIL was never meant to include the older children that have died.

I am NOT saying that my grief is more than any other mothers, but my thought is every second you have that child you grow to love them more and more and more. My thoughts are these: a mother who losses a pregnancy at 6 months hurts a bit more than a pregnancy lost at 1 month; the mother has felt the baby moving and heard the heartbeat several times. The mother that has a 2 month old baby die to SIDS hurts a bit more than a baby who is still born. The hurt is great and it is still there, but at 2 months the mother has had time with that baby. I feel the mother who  has a child die at 15 yrs old hurts a bit more than the mother who’s child died at 6 years old. While they both lost the future events the mother of the 15 yr old has had more time and knows more about their child and personality. Every second you have your child the love grows deeper and the more memories are made.

The unknown International Bereaved Mother’s Day is the Sunday before Mother’s Day. This was created in 2010. There is no ribbon, no candles, no hallmark cards or flowers and no real information about this day. It has not been designated as a national day. This day includes all deaths, pregnancy, infant and child death. The month of May is not National Child Bereavement Month.

We the hundreds of thousands of parents and mothers that grieving the deaths of our beloved children get the second Sunday of December as our DAY, not MONTH; one damn day. National Children’s Memorial Day is quiet , no fanfare for the missing, killed, murdered and simply died children. We have no ribbon color or month to remember. Compassionate Friends sponsors this event and there is no presidential backing.

I, as a grieving mother of my 21 year old Heather, feel that we deserve more than one day, a day buried in the holiday season and Advent. It is reported that 25% of all child deaths are during pregnancy. While 1% of all child deaths are during early infancy. This 26% of the grieving mother population get a whole month to grieve and a ribbon, official colors and a special day. The other 74% gets the 2nd Sunday in December. This does not seem fair to me, but then who am I? Just one grieving mother of an adult child that died way too soon.

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