Tracci and Chris Lyon of Redwood Falls know the reality of infant loss all too well.
While their story of loss is unique to them, they also know there are many others who have also faced that loss.
To recognize that reality, Tracci Lyon started working on a project.
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Lyon put together a community wide project that remembers those babies who were “born sleeping.”
For Lyon these are “the babies we carried but never held, the ones we held but could not take home, those who came but could not stay.”
Called “Forever Loved,” Lyon brought together people of all walks of life for a photo shoot to celebrate life and to show the faces behind those losses.
Every family that has experienced this loss has a story, and Lyon wants people to know that infant loss happens to more people than one might think.
Yet, she added, it is more than just a statistic. It is people who are facing the pain and heartbreak of that loss, said Lyon.
Lyon said she is hopeful that the “Forever Loved” project speaks to the community, as they see and become more aware of the reality of pregnancy and infant loss. Among the photos are those recognizing moms, moms and dads and families.
The colors of the photos also represent different element, including what are known as rainbow babies. There are also photos of people wearing pink, blue and white, and, according to Lyon, those colors represent the gender of the baby that was lost – blue for a boy, pink for a girl and white for those who do not know. One can see all of the images from the project at www.facebook.com/Studio11PhotoMN/.
Lyon added having the group photos sends message to those who are facing pregnancy and infant loss that they are not alone. She added the good news is that more people are talking about it, which helps to help people see what these families are facing. These are people in your family, people you work with and people you sit by in church, said Lyon. They are in need of love, support and encouragement from the community, Lyon added, adding it can be a dark time, especially for moms.
In addition to October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, Oct., 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Earlier this year, the Redwood Falls city council and mayor Tom Quackenbush officially proclaimed this Tuesday as a day of remembrance.
According to the proclamation, “bereaved parents around the world remember their children annually on Oct. 15 with a candle lighting at 7 p.m. Some will remember their child/children in their homes, while others will remember them in small gatherings around the state, across the state and around the world.”
The proclamation further states thousands of children die each year in Minnesota.
It was in 1988 when then president Ronald Reagan officially proclaimed October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.
Light a candle Tuesday to show your support.