This the 7th year that I knew a night such as this existed. You know, before you’re thrust into the world where babies die, you don’t even know this as a possible reality. One day you’re living your life naive, free, expecting a baby and the next you’re headfirst into a devastating nightmare living without your child.
The first October without Ruthie Lou we escaped reality. We left in our trailer and drove down the California coastline, far enough away that we could be anonymous to search for who we were now that our baby had died without the pressure of those who knew us watching.
On October 15th I learned of the International Wave of Light. On this night for one hour in every time zone across the world, a candle is lit in remembrance of a much loved and missed baby. In 2011, my husband and I sat at a picnic table in a campground outside our trailer with our very best friends and lit our candle for Ruthie Lou. We watched it in the moonlight and honored the life that she lived, too short but so full of love. It was terrible and beautiful and so lonely.
Tonight, 7 years later I await impatiently for the 7pm hour to share my candle with the world, to share her light and my love for our daughter that beats as strongly as the day she was born.
It is still terrible and beautiful without Ruthie Lou, but it is no longer lonely. In the last 7 years there has been a shift in awareness regarding Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss that didn’t exist before. There are numerous resources, books, support groups, articles and friends that continually support one another.
As I sit here scrolling through social media I see so many names of babies I never met but love so deeply. I see camaraderie and support amongst bereaved moms and dads that may have only met online but are united in their loss and love for their babies. The real-life relationships and bonds that have held us through moments of sadness and moments of celebration of our babies is beautiful. It is amazing. It is what I was searching for 7 years ago. I wanted to feel normal in a world that was unrecognizable to me and here are, we are making tremendous strides supporting one another.
So tonight, I honor all the families missing their baby(ies) and I send immeasurable amounts of love. We are doing beautifully to honor our children and I know they are as much proud of us as we are of them. Their light continues to shine so bright as we remember them tonight and every single night.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.