Driving this morning to my best friends house, a voice on the radio spoke of October 15th - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I did not know. How lucky I had the radio on. It stopped me in my tracks, as these things will always do - and for a short time shook again the settled peace of mind and positive demeanour of a normal day.
She spoke of lighting a candle - at 7pm - to place in your window as a gesture of love and remembrance, for lost babes the world over. I will certainly do so. Five candles - and a time of our lives which became a recurring nightmare and hopeless situation for all involved. My story is one of many, thousands, millions the globe around. A form of loss so cruel and commonplace, yet so taboo - even in today's open and liberal world - that there is no conventional way to grieve.
Loss is a terrible thing, whenever it occurs - but the loss of a child, who we will never know, is the loss of a hope and a future. It is devastating in the cruelest possible way. My story has a happy end. I have a healthy boy and girl and I am luckier than many. But I know what loss is. There are children who will not join me on the beach, who will not hear bedtime stories and who will never go to school. I love them none the less.
A votive in my friends house bears the inscription, "Hope is eternal - all the darkness in the world can never extinguish the light of one small candle". If this story is your own, then October 15th will mean something special to you. Never lose hope of a happy end for it was precisely on the point of giving up that our luck changed. We have a son and a daughter who are strong, who are growing up. Life moves on.
But I will not forget. And neither will the rest. In your thousands - I extend my hand to you. Because you are not alone. Your neighbour, your friend or the woman on the street, knows a little of your pain. She knows loss of her own, and today I light a candle for you all - heartbroken families, missing babes and the healthy, living children you are yet to love and enjoy... x
I was honoured for this post to be featured as a guest blog on Loss Through The Looking Glass which may be of interest to anyone affected by this story x