I had just turned three when my younger brother was born. I was amazed at this chubby little creature and I remember wanting to hold him all
the time. My mom made me sit on the bed so that I wouldn’t drop him. He was so heavy I could only hold him for a while before mom had to take him, but soon I’d be asking to hold him again. It was easier when my older brother held him, then I could stroke his cheek or kiss his pink lips without a worry in the world. We had this big, red “bowl” we would bathe him in – I remember that red bowl so well.
And I remember that day so clearly. The sadness and the pain that filled our apartment. Mom tried to explain to me, but how do you tell a three-year-old that her hermanito is dead? My brother got to be a month old before he died of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Next week, on October 26th, would’ve been his 25th birthday.
An estimated 500,000 miscarriages happen each year; 1 in every 148 babies is stillborn; and 3 in every 1000 babies die shortly after birth. This in the developed world alone. The sorrow that we feel about losing a child, even after such a short amount of time, is just as painful as it is losing them later in life. I always wonder what my brother would’ve looked like, if he would’ve been like me or my opposite. What would’ve made him laugh and what would’ve made him cry? I will never know that, but I will always love him.
Today is the American Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death, which include stillbirth, miscarriage, SIDS and the death of a newborn. Organizations over the world are encouraging what they call Wave of Light-events today at 7pm. We light a candle in honor of these children, and leave it burning for an hour, so that a Wave of Light will span all over the world. I hope that you join me in lighting a candle.
If you want to learn more, I have compiled a list of links for you:
by Jennifer Turano