Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed on the 15th October annually in many countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy and the US. It is a day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death that includes, but is not limited to, miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS or the death of a newborn.
For those who have experienced Pregnancy and Infant Loss, there can often be an expectation that grief is somehow more finite than the grief experienced in relation to those who have lived longer. This expectation can come from both within those immediately affected, and also from friends, family, as well as more broadly. This experience can create a sense that our loss should be hidden away, hurried through, and can even create a sense of guilt that we feel as we do. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day reminds us all that grieving for our pregnancy and infant losses is very much okay.
Any loss of life is hard. When we have lost someone during our adult life, we often focus on the things that we miss that someone who has passed away. This can often be very specific, such as someone’s laugh, an experience we shared, and the memories that we made together. In the case of the loss of a pregnancy or infant loss, we do not have the same types or lengths of memories to revisit. Instead we miss the opportunity to have made these memories. We grieve the experiences that might have been.
With pregnancy and infant loss grief, regardless of the length of the life that is grieved for, something very deep often underlies our grief. Mostly commonly we deeply miss the bond that we shared, or wanted to share - our loving attachment. As hard as it may be (and often overwhelmingly so), our grief reminds us that this loving attachment endures, and the life of the one we have loved was deeply meaningful and important.
Each year Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed with ceremonies and candle lighting vigils. It is for each of us to decide if this is a way that we might wish to remember the ones we have lost. We may choose to join others at these events or we may prefer a moment to contemplate our loss alone. Others people may gain solace from including the person that is grieved for in their thoughts each day.
The staff at TasOGS would like to acknowledge and uphold those of you who are experiencing Pregnancy and Infant Loss. If you are struggling with your experience of Pregnancy and Infant Loss, reach out to a friend or family member, see your GP, or consider further psychological support at TasOGS with Dana Adaway (Clinical Psychologist) and Bronwyn Weaver-Pirie (Psychologist).
TasOGS – By Women, For Women