October is such a fun, fall month. We get excited for pumpkins, hayrides, and costumes, but for many of us, October also comes with a variety of emotions. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Ronald Reagan made the designation in 1988. One in four women will be impacted by miscarriage or the loss of a child. One in four! All of us know someone touched by this pain, and it can be difficult to know what to say, what to do, how to grieve, or how to strive for hope. When it comes to this heartbreaking loss, our words will always fall short. The most important comfort we have to offer is our presence and our remembrance. This October, you may know someone who stares at the aisle of Halloween costumes wondering which one their child would have picked. You may know a family who lights a candle each day in honor of their child – gone, but never, ever forgotten. October 15 is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day. I challenge you to find ways to support, remember, and honor these families and these children in your life who were taken too soon. I light a candle each day in October to remember the children I love but have never truly known. This became part of our family’s reality three years ago when I lost twin nieces to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of them. I wonder what their hair would have looked like, what their favorite songs would be, what they would have wanted to be when they grew up, how their laughs would have sounded, and how it would feel to hug them. Today I have reached a place where I can be thankful for the impact they have made on my life. I celebrate their memory every day, but October is special. All children are a gift, including the ones we never met, the ones gone too soon, and the ones we only see in our dreams. This October may we all find ways to celebrate, remember, and offer hope.
To celebrate or honor a loved child this October, consider participating in the Child Advocacy Center’s Tribute Murals.
April V. Coleman
Pastor of Children and Families
Lafayette Baptist Church