It’s October, Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness month. One month, 31 days of the year, that we honor our lost babies, their mamas, their families. It’s 31 days that I am allowed to grieve the baby I had who never took a breath. October 15th is the designated day that those affected by loss join in remembering their babies. We light a candle. We say a prayer, have a moment of silence, hold our malas, cry.
One day of the year.
She was born at the end of May 1994. She was supposed to be born in October. That’s ironic, to have been due in the month I am allowed to grieve her loss publicly. It’s ironic like when it rains on your wedding day, not a coincidence, but a tragedy.
For a lot of years, I never mentioned her. People don’t like when you talk about your dead baby. They don’t know what to say. They fear they’ll say something wrong. They just don’t want to think about death and loss. It’s all just too much.
It’s one month a year out of a lifetime of pain for those who grieve their gone babies. But it’s just too much for some folks.
A very raw Monique Bowley speaks about miscarriage, grief, and how friends and family can help someone who is struggling. Post continues.
People don’t want to hear that your baby died.
I just don’t want to read/see/hear about that.
Why do we have to keep re-living it?
Why can’t people grieve in private?
Why do people have to continue to grieve long after the child is gone?
Why do you care?
I lost a baby girl. It was 23 years ago. I was devastated beyond measure. I am still sad.
I will not ever be not sad. She was my first baby. I loved her. I prepared for her. I waited for her. And she died.
I had not shared her death with people, not because she wasn’t real to me, but because I felt like she wouldn’t be real to them.
For many years after she died, I didn’t talk about her. It wasn’t because I wasn’t thinking about her, it was just because I knew no one wanted to hear about her or her death, the pain I felt after, the depression. No one wanted that to be real; I didn’t want it to be real either. But it was. It is. She is very real to me. But because no one saw her, she was easy for them to forget. It’s easier to dismiss the things you cannot see.
No one wanted to watch me cry or hear her name on my lips. No one wanted to hold me in my grief. She was gone, and I had other babies to think about, other babies to be grateful for.
It was only within the last ten years that I started to say her name. It has only been in the last seven that I light a candle for her on October 15th. It has only been in the last five that I have spoken about her freely.