As I lit the candle, my daughters clamoured to blow it out. For them, a candle signals celebration – something to stick on top of a cake and extinguish to a song, a cheer and a wish.
But this candle is different. Tonight, we do not celebrate. Tonight, we remember.
We are joining the Wave of Light – a trail of tiny flames flickering around the world. As clocks strike 7pm in one timezone after another, we unite in solidarity with thousands of other families to honour and remember the babies we never brought home.
We take a few moments from our busy lives to stop and think about how life should have been. We acknowledge the missed firsts and measure the lost potential of the children we didn’t have the chance to raise.
According to Sands, every day in the UK, 15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth. That’s one every 90 minutes. And many families will never find out the reason why.
Monty was our middle child. He was stillborn five years ago – our much-loved, much-wanted son; a longed-for brother, nephew and grandson. He remains an integral part of our family, even though he isn’t with us. Next month, my daughters will ask me to bake a cake for his birthday. They will wonder what colour the icing should be. They will take turns to blow out the candle and make a wish.
Since Monty was born, we’ve been lucky to receive love and support from our family and friends, and we’ve been helped along our bereavement journey by Sands. And so we join the Wave of Light and share our candlelight to keep his memory alive.
We send our love to everyone who is remembering a baby who isn’t with them today, and will be marking the wave of light in The Motherload® Facebook community tonight. You can read Kate’s blog about the loss of her baby boy. If you need support, Sands and The Miscarriage Association are wonderful organisations.
I’m 39 years old, mother of two girls, wife of one bloke and owner of one cat. I like singing, step aerobics, stationery and organising stuff. When I grow up, I’d like to write science books for children.