This post was originally written by Corinne O'Flynn and shared at Rowan Tree Foundation:
In 1988, the month of October was named national Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And in 2006 October 15th was further recognized as the international day of awareness.
All losses are the loss of a child. When it comes to grieving the loss of your child, there is no line drawn to separate miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn, infant, and older child. No matter how long they spent in the womb, or in your arms... it is your child you are missing.
Please join us on October 15th at 7PM (in your time zone) by lighting a candle for remembrance. Organizations across the globe ask that you take part in this "Wave of Light" by lighting a candle at 7pm, in your local time zone. Please take a moment on this day for reflection, and remembering our lost children by lighting a candle at home, in groups and gatherings, attending a mass, or calling someone close to you who has experienced this loss. No matter how recent or how long ago, every parent would love to know that someone is remembering their angel child.
By the President of the United States of America
Each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child. National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, 1988, offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems.
Health care professionals recognize that trends of recent years, such as smaller family size and the postponement of childbearing, adds another dimension of poignance to the grief of parents who have lost infants. More than 700 local, national, and international support groups are supplying programs and strategies designed to help parents cope with their loss. Parents who have suffered their own losses, health care professionals, and specially trained hospital staff members are helping newly bereaved parents deal constructively with loss.
Compassionate Americans are also assisting women who suffer bereavement, guilt, and emotional and physical trauma that accompany post-abortion syndrome. We can and must do a much better job of encouraging adoption as an alternative to abortion; of helping the single parents who wish to raise their babies; and of offering friendship and temporal support to the courageous women and girls who give their children the gifts of life and loving adoptive parents. We can be truly grateful for the devotion and concern provided by all of these citizens, and we should offer them our cooperation and support as well.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 314, has designated the month of October 1988 as "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.