October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and yesterday Dylan and I attended the P.S. Walk to Remember for the first time. The family friendly event is put on by P.S. Parent Support to honor and remember all children who have passed far too soon.
The walk was short and very sweet through the wooded area of Newcastle Beach Park in Bellevue, Washington. Pink, Blue and White balloons danced above the loving friends and families heads as they walked with purpose, love and remembrance. The spectacular October sunlight filtered in through the trees and bounced off the children’s names, birth/loss dates and heartfelt notes written on the balloons.
The walk concluded on a wood dock jutting out over the water of Lake Washington, with people of all ages tucking in closely to one another. Friends and family tenderly held white carnations (provided by the event hosts) as they bowed their heads for a message and poem.
“You are not alone. With the support, we survive, we heal, and we grow. To our children that we have spoken of today, the message is, we remember you, we miss you. And most of all, we love you.”
A moment of silence followed with the release of the carnations into the water.
It was at “and most of all, we love you” that the tears rolled down my cheeks. What a beautiful message, and a beautiful day to remember our children alongside others who have encountered the same sorrow.
It’s such a bittersweet event to be apart of. It saddens me everyday to be a parent of a child who isn’t here on earth with us. It’s frustrating that I am someone who seeks events out for bereaved parents. But, how lucky we are to have a safe place to grieve, to have a community of complete strangers that can connect with you like no one else can, and to have the opportunity to walk in remembrance for our own losses, as well as all others.
It was a day I got to smile.
It was a day I got to cry.
It was a day I got to remember.
And remember, publicly, without feeling any guilt, or shame, or inadequacy.
Adeline, your dad and I think about you every single day. We miss you.
“And most of all, we love you.”
If you have lost a pregnancy or infant and are hesitating to connect with others, I encourage you to try to start in some small way. It’s a beautiful place to heal, together. (My inbox is always open).