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15.10.2021

Wave of Light: Illuminating the Darkness Surrounding Baby Loss

Content Warning: Pregnancy loss and baby death.

 

This week has been Baby Loss Awareness Week. A week aimed at breaking the silence surrounding pregnancy and baby loss and so helping those affected by the death of a baby to know that they are not alone.

One in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage. What’s more, every day in the UK, 14 babies die before, during, or soon after birth. We also now know that the coronavirus pandemic led to an increase in stillbirths during the first lockdown. If you haven’t experienced this kind of loss for yourself, you will undoubtedly know a family member or friend who has.

Baby Loss Awareness Week culminates tonight in a Global Wave of Light. At 7pm this evening, people are encouraged to light a candle and keep it burning for at least an hour in memory of all the babies who died too soon. The wave of light is a powerful act of acknowledgement that all the babies who have died are not forgotten, that they are loved, and that they matter. To those who have experienced the loss of a baby, it says, ‘you are not on your own.’

As the light of the world, Jesus comes to those suffering in the darkness of loss to dispel their darkness with his love. As his followers, he calls us to do the same; to go to those suffering the pain of loss with his life and light-giving message of love and hope. Whilst I hope that you will join me as I light a candle at 7pm this evening, can I also encourage you to think about how you might bring the light and love of Jesus to those you know who have experienced the death of a baby? How can you reach out to them to let them know you are thinking of them? Could you give them the opportunity to talk about their babies who died?

As a mother who has lost babies, when I light my candle this evening, I will, of course, be remembering the babies I carried but never held. But for me, as a follower of Jesus, lighting a candle is also a symbolic representation of the truth that Jesus is with me in the darkness of loss, that his light shines into my darkness, and that darkness does not and will not have the last word.

 

Katherine Gantlett
Katherine is a writer, speaker, and C-Me facilitator. Her background is in biomedical science with a PhD from the University of Oxford in HIV research. You can find her book, Walking Through Winter, and read her rich reflections, on her website.

Comments

  1. Thank you Katherine for bravely sharing your story and sensitively inviting us into this healing practice of solidarity in pain and sensing the Lord’s presence amidst loss. Know you’re in my prayers today.

    By Dr Dave Benson, LICC Director of Culture and Discipleship  -  15 Oct 2021
  2. Thank you Katherine for this beautiful piece. I shall be lighting a candle tonight.

    By Jan Fowler  -  15 Oct 2021
  3. Thank you, Katherine, for your thoughtful article. The loss of hopes and dreams can last a lifetime, as I know. My prayers are with you and all who grieve for pre-born children, children who die at birth and children who die in early infanthood.

    By Andrew Drury  -  15 Oct 2021
  4. Thank you so much, Dave, Jan and Andrew, for your beautiful words and your prayers – they mean a lot.

    By Katherine Gantlett  -  15 Oct 2021
  5. Thank you. It is 50 yrs since I lost my 4th child. You never forget.

    By Ann McClements  -  15 Oct 2021
  6. Thank you so much Katherine for writing for us on this important topic. There is simply just too much silence around this but Baby Loss Awareness Week has certainly made a marked difference and I know many who will be remembering this evening. My husband, son and I will be joining you in lighting our candle as we remember our unborn child who will always hold a special place in our hearts. We are so grateful for those who held out their hand to us and walked beside us in our difficult moments of grief. May you know Christ’s comfort and protection today, Lyn

    By Lyn Weston  -  15 Oct 2021
  7. Our Church, Southgate in Suffolk, had its main windows illuminated in pink and blue light all week. One of our congregation is chair of the local group of SANDS.

    By Bob Jones  -  16 Oct 2021

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