Wednesday, October 05, 2005

October: A month to remember

Since 1988, October has been National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month here in the USA. On or about October 15th is when most organizations associated with these losses commemorate the month, those gone beyond the veil, and those left behind with empty arms.

Despite there having been seventeen previous PILA months, both resources available to grieving family and friends, and commemoration ceremonies during PILA month, are not widely advertised. I only found out about the support group in my area, run through Resolve Through Sharing, by dumb luck - most docs and hospitals around here don't tell their patients about it, despite RTS constantly trying to get the meds to do so.

So, if you are one of those affected by the loss of a pregnancy or an infant, search around in your area to see if there is something going on where you can attend. Call your doc's office, local hospitals, maybe the library or funeral home. My past experiences with PILA events has been warm, cathartic, and very teary. There's something about being around people who get it, you know? No stupid comments, no averted gazes, a place to talk about your children like they're still here. Because they are, if only in our hearts.

RTS doesn't have a website that I can find, but SHARE, another organization that provides support for these losses (but not in my area), does. Visit
SHARE locations for locations hopefully near you.


At 9:51 AM, October 07, 2005, Blogger erinberry said...

My co-worker's wife (not a close friend, just someone I work with) just last week lost a baby that was due in December. Although I have many 'friends' from message boards, blogs, etc, who have experienced a late-term loss and know of some resources, I feel like it's not my place to mention it to them? Like I'd be intruding? Maybe that's not true at all, but because it wasn't my experience, I don't feel like I have a right to bring it up.

At 5:26 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger KZ the Turtlegirl said...

It can be awkward, I agree. The best anyone can do for grieving parents is to listen, and say you're sorry for their loss. If the time seems right to mention resources you know, you'll probably know,and then I say go ahead and offer it. I would have loved someone pointing me towards help.

The thing about a pregnancy loss is that, well, there was no baby that anyone else knew, so many either don't understand that it's damned hard to lose a baby whether it was born alive or not, or don't know what to say so say nothing.

Which, really, is better than a lot of stuff I've heard over my losses. But silence in itself was kinda harsh, too.

You're going through your own trials that many folks don't understand, either. I think the best thing to do is think about what you would want in that situation.

At 12:33 PM, October 12, 2005, Blogger erinberry said...

I ended up writing a card expressing sympathy and letting them know that a friend went through a similar loss and found comfort in Share. I gave them the URL and said there was a local meeting if they were interested.


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