Tonight, at 7pm, I shall be lighting a candle.
It is International Wave of Light Day, and around the world as people’s evenings begin, candles shall be lit at 7pm, creating a wave of light cascading across the world.
To remember the lost children. The babies who never made it from the womb, the children born sleeping, and the infants who died in their mothers arms. A single small flame to represent and remember those small but significant lives that the world will never get to enjoy.
It has been said by some, not many, but some, that this is a pointless exercise. Why light a candle? What will it achieve?
You are only truly dead when you are forgotten. For as long as you are held in the hearts and minds of people who love you, you will live on. My Pip never made it past 10 weeks gestation, but in those ten weeks that baby brought joy, love, hope and happiness to my life and my family’s lives. Pip was essentially no more than a cluster of cells, a blob, a nothing. But she wasn’t a nothing. She was mine, she was wanted, and she was loved.
In lighting my candle tonight I am not wishing she was here, because if she was Miss Rose wouldn’t be. I got pregnant with Rose just three months after losing Pip, and if I had to choose one or the other I would choose Miss Rose in a heart beat. Without even a thought. Miss Rose is the baby I am supposed to have. But that doesn’t mean that Pip’s life wasn’t significant. That doesn’t mean that baby was not wanted or loved. Tonight my candle will be in memory of Pip. My first child. My first baby.
Across the world mothers and fathers will light candles to remember and respect their lost children. A small flame representing a massive loss. Babies and children lost from the world but not from us, because we shall always carry their memories with us. We shall always know what those short lives meant, the dreams we had for them, the love we poured into them, for however long or short a time we got.
So if you see no point in lighting your candle don’t, just as lighting a candle will achieve nothing, not lighting one will not dampen the effect of those that burn.
Those candles burn for love. Nothing more, nothing less. And what is a more worthy cause than that?