What to Say Wednesday: Remember Anniversaries of Loss

What to say Wednesday 1Welcome to What to Say Wednesday – a weekly tip on how to support grieving parents!

To learn more click HERE

Here is today’s tip:

Remember anniversaries of loss. This may seem strange, but let me explain.

Moms remember. We remember every tiny detail of our pregnancy and every tiny detail of losing our baby. I remember exact times and relive what happened on the weekly and monthly anniversaries of losing Esther. Every single Tuesday, between 4:00 – 5:00pm, I think about the Tuesday in February when I skipped into my check-up, only to be devastated by finding out our baby had died. Every Thursday morning, I think about the Thursday that I checked into the hospital to give birth to my baby who was already in heaven. And every Friday, I think about the Friday that I held Esther in my arms.

Memory dates are so special, even when they are painful.

Due dates are also very significant. Although our lost children didn’t live to see their due dates, we will always remember these days.

So instead of having one happy birthday to remember each year, moms of loss have two main dates that forever stick in our hearts and minds:

1. The day we lost our baby (some people call these angelversaries)

2. The day our baby would have been born (Original due date)

Honoring our babies on these days is very important to us.

So here is where you come in. On these anniversary days, reach out to moms and dads who have lost a baby.

It is a common thought that remembering loss will cause more pain to parents. People seem afraid to “remind” a parent of their loss, as if they could forget! I guarantee you, moms and dads are thinking about their babies. When you remember too, it honors the child’s life and touches the parents in a special way. It tells them that although their baby is not here, they are not forgotten.

Here are some practical tips for reaching out on anniversaries:

DUE DATES: If you were aware of the day/month that the baby was due, offer your support at that time. First of all, pray for the parents in their grief. Second, contact them and say something like, “Thinking of your little one in heaven this month,” “Praying for extra strength for you right now,” or “Missing your baby with you.”

ANNIVERSARIES of BIRTH/DEATH: If the child was stillborn or lost later in pregnancy, and you know the actual birth/death date of the baby, let the parents know you’re thinking of them that day each year. A phone call, “thinking of you” card, email, or small gift can mean so much. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Simple statements such as, “I’m thinking of you,” “Sending extra love to you today,” or “Remembering your baby with you.” can communicate a lot.

If it was an earlier loss, you may not know an exact day, but you may know a general time period, such as a specific month. In this case, just let the parents know you are thinking of them around that time each year. Timing doesn’t need to be perfect to communicate your care.

Since it has only been a few months since my loss, I have not yet passed Esther’s due date, or a one year anniversary of her birth into heaven. But I think about those days all the time. I wonder what they will feel like, how I will handle them, and most of all, if anyone will remember their significance.

I never knew how important memory dates were until my daughter was gone from this earth. I know it requires special effort, but I hope you will reach out to parents of loss and let them know you are thinking of them on these hard, yet special days.

Comments

  1. It has been three years for me, and I can still remember every detail of the doctor’s office on the day we were told our baby died. I am so grateful to have a family who remembers his original due date. I still refer to it as his birthday–he would have been three this December.

    I hate that you and Adam have had to endure something like this. I’m sure he’s an awesome support to you. He was always so quiet and sweet when I knew him.

    • Kalyn from Mommy's Heavenly Dream says:

      CrysHouse,
      I am so sorry for the loss of your baby. Thank you for sharing. Yes, Adam is the most supportive Husband I could ever ask for. I’m very thankful for him…

      Blessings to you,
      Kalyn

  2. After our first loss I realized how important it was to reach out to others going through loss, to have people remember us and how much a simple card could mean. I had a friend remember me on Mother’s Day and it was the most special thing. It was after our loss and before our due date and I was so touched that she remembered me. That is one of the lessons I learned through the first miscarriage and it really changed my life.

    • Kalyn from Mommy's Heavenly Dream says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad a friend remembered you on Mother’s Day. Sometimes the smallest gestures can really mean so much…

      -Kalyn

    • You are so right. I had a friend who texted me every Mother’s Day after our loss. Likewise, I make an effort to remember Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and other important dates for people I love who have experienced the same sort of thing.

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