Updated October 15th, 2020.
Mamas, mamas to be, mamas in waiting - to all of those of you who have loved and lost, we are thinking of you. We are here for you.
Losing your baby in utero or after birth is a devastating event. It changes who you are as a woman and mother, knowing that earthly-life for your little one has ended all too soon. And, the truth is, it happens to so many mamas around the world. If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a baby, we want to share our support by offering loving ways in which to honour their sweet lives. No matter how short-lived, babe’s life will always have a special place in mama’s heart. We hope these memorial ideas will help those on their path of grieving and healing as they seek to celebrate their angel babe’s memory.
1. Name Your Babe
This is perhaps the most meaningful memorial of all. Giving your angel babe a name (even if you don’t know their gender) acts like an anchor for their existence. Babe may never have journeyed from womb to world, but their name will be uttered earth-side for years to come.
2. Frame A Photo
A photo of your angel babe deserves a place at the family alter. Frame your last ultrasound photo (or a picture of your baby bump) to display with other beloved family photos. This can be a place where every member of your family—no matter how small—is remembered and cherished.
3. Choose A Symbol
Choose a symbol to represent your babe, such as a butterfly. Savour the bittersweet memory of your little one when you encounter that symbol day-to-day. What you choose is completely up to you. Anything that will hold special meaning—soft falling snow, the sound of a wind chime, a rose in bloom—can inspire babe’s memory.
4. Write It In Ink
Get a tattoo to honour your babe and carry their memory with you wherever you go. You might choose their name, due date, a flower, or perhaps wings. A more abstract option is to tattoo the number of dots corresponding to Babe’s gestational age in months—3 dots for 3 months for example. Decide whether you want to display your tattoo publicly (be prepared to talk about it) or privately, for a more intimate option.
5. Heal Through Art
Grievance is complicated; Mamas who have lost babies go through all kinds of emotions including sadness, guilt and even shame. Use this time to channel your emotions into a creative work, which can be therapeutic and help mamas along their journey. Write a letter to babe, craft a social media tribute, knit a blanket, or paint—whatever feels natural and healing to you.
6. Wear A Reminder
Wearing a meaningful piece of jewelry is another way to carry babe’s memory with you on a daily basis. Consider a necklace or bracelet that includes babe’s birthstone or is engraved with their name. A combination of blue & pink is symbolic of pregnancy and infant loss. Although they are typically worn as a ribbon, you might incorporate these colours into your special piece.
7. Light The Way
Light a special candle on Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day (October 15). Let the flame remind you of the unique life of your little one, and the fire of life that once burned bright within your loving body. Know that you can reignite babe’s memory at any time, simply by lighting your candle and remembering.
8. Make a Difference
Consider making a donation in your babe’s name to a special cause or organization. You might choose a children’s hospital, SIDS research, Every Mother Counts, or a pregnancy & infant loss support group in your area. Offering your support to other babies and mamas in need will help you build a meaningful community—whether or not you meet the people you’ve helped in person.
9. Let Their Memory Grow
Plant a tree or flower in a meaningful place that you can imagine spending time. Over the years you can watch the plant grow and evolve as you remember your dear little one. You may choose a plant that will bloom or yield fruit at a certain time of year—Irises for Spring, an apple tree for Autumn.
10. Hold a Ceremony
You may never feel ‘closure’ concerning the loss of your little one—every mama holds her babies in her heart, those living and departed. You can however say ‘goodbye’ to babe in your own special way. Invite family or dear friends for a memorial service where you share babe’s memory together. Display precious items such as your positive pregnancy test, ultrasound photos, or a stuffed toy intended for your babe. Most importantly, accept the sympathy and support of those invited, and feel comfort knowing that your angel babe left this world surrounded by love.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. People who would like to observe this day are asked to light a candle at 7pm in their own time zone, and to keep it lit for one hour. This creates a wave of light around the world for a whole 24 hours, sending love to lost babies and spreading hope. Mamas who have lost a pregnancy or infant can feel comforted knowing there is a day dedicated to remembering their little one, and that other parents, the world over, join them on their path to healing.
You can help to break the stigma surrounding pregnancy & infant loss by wearing a pink and blue ribbon in support of parents who have experienced the loss of a child. Parents who feel ready to share their story can wear a ribbon to encourage positive and supportive conversation within their community.
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