Today we lit a candle for the first time, at 7 pm on Oct. 15th – for International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This is the first year we have known about this special day. While it is not (yet!!) officially observed in Australia, it was formally observed in our home this evening.
It was such a beautiful experience. I was surprised that I didn’t shed a tear.
Emma (who's nearly eight) actively participated, in complete innocence. Emma is too young yet to understand what this is about, and our m/c’s were all early so I never ‘looked pregnant’ in her memory. One day she will know how about how very hard we tried to give her a little sibling, but today she remains unaware of our 4 lost babies.
So at 6:45 pm, Emma saw me preparing the simple, white, tapered candle – without understanding its significance. She didn't ask me what it was for either, eventhough we don't usually have candles at the table. I was shaving off some wax at the bottom, because it was too wide for the holder. Known for her bubbling enthusiasm and joyful spirit (Emma’s fabulous!), she asked: “What are you doing, mum? Oooooooooh – how exciting!! Can I help?” So I taught her how to gently whittle some of the wax off.
Emma chatted with great excitement about this new experience of whittling, and then set the table for a little dessert. She asked if we could eat our ice cream without lights on (“to help the environment, mum”). Then she insisted on waiting till we were all seated, for the ‘ceremony’ of lighting the candle. DH lit the candle; he and smiled quietly at each other.
It was so nice – I felt somehow but very strongly ‘connected’ to our babies. It was like an invisible line to their perfect little souls. Nice!
Just wanted to share this – our family’s inaugural experience of Oct. 15th. I’ll be thinking about all of you, as the 7pm time slot flips through one time zone after the next today. I’ll be envisaging the candles being lit, one zone at a time. And my family will be with yours, in spirit.
Hugs all around,
(PS In case you’re wondering, our elder daughter, Mirei, was not with us tonight because she lives in Sydney, attending university. But she would have lit a candle at 7 pm too, as would other family and friends here).