Full hearts, empty arms

Re­mem­brance planned for preg­nancy and in­fant loss

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ADAM MACIN­NIS

Pic­tou County will hold event to re­mem­ber preg­nancy and in­fant loss.

Kim Aylesworth re­mem­bers walk­ing out of the hospi­tal empty.

Ma­ter­nity wards are sup­posed to be a place of new life and joy, but for her the hours spent there had been filled with sor­row and tears.

Nine years ago, her son Calum had died due to a pla­centa abrup­tion.

It’s a grief that has never gone away.

Some­times it’ll hit her out of nowhere. Once she was at a con­cert at A.G. Bail­lie. Look­ing at the class sing, it hit her – if Calum had lived, he’d be up there waving at her and mak­ing goofy faces. With­out warn­ing tears filled her eyes.

“It’s lit­tle things like that that just hit you,” she says.

This Sun­day, Aylesworth will re­mem­ber her son as she and oth­ers in Pic­tou County take part in an event mark­ing Preg­nancy and In­fant Loss Aware­ness Day.

The Wave of Light will be held from 6:30 – 8 p.m. in Stellarton Town Square.

“We will il­lu­mi­nate the space in pink and blue and light can­dles at 7 p.m. and let them burn for one hour, as we par­tic­i­pate in the In­ter­na­tional Wave of Light that will cir­cle the globe in the 7 p.m. time zones, to re­mem­ber and hon­our the ba­bies lost due to mis­car­riage, still­birth or neona­tal com­pli­ca­tions and show sup­port for the fam­i­lies,” she said.

Speak­ers in­clude Danny MaGil­livray, who will of­fi­cially rec­og­nize Oc­to­ber 15th as PAIL Aware­ness Day in Stellarton. Pic­tou East MLA Tim Hous­ton will speak about the in­ten­tion and sta­tus of his pri­vate mem­ber’s bill (Bill No. 29) PAIL Aware­ness Act.

There will also be a smudg­ing cer­e­mony per­formed by mem­bers of Pic­tou Land­ing First Na­tion and hand drums for mu­sic.

Other events are also mark­ing the day in­clude procla­ma­tions by lo­cal coun­cils. Sev­eral build­ings in­clud­ing the Pic­tou County Well­ness Cen­tre and Westville Post Of­fice will be lit up.

Aylesworth hopes that through the event and the recog­ni­tion of the loss, that peo­ple can re­mem­ber the chil­dren that were lost. In ad­di­tion, she hopes it raises aware­ness of the need for sen­si­tiv­ity to­wards peo­ple go­ing through this type of tragedy.

She re­mem­bers when she and her hus­band lost their son, feel­ing that they were rushed. One per­son even asked her hus­band if he could try to be qui­eter when he was griev­ing. She wanted more time to hold her child be­fore his body was taken to the funeral home. In a place of happiness, their sor­row was out of place.

“We don’t have a lot of grief sup­port,” she said of Pic­tou County.

She hopes that through ed­u­ca­tion peo­ple can be more sen­si­tive.

Dur­ing the re­mem­brance on Sun­day, there will be an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple who may be in­ter­ested in join­ing a sup­port group to give their email, so they can con­nect with oth­ers who have gone through sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences.

“It’s the be­gin­ning of rais­ing more aware­ness and more sup­port,” she said.

SUB­MIT­TED

On Wed­nes­day, Tim Hous­ton in­tro­duced a pri­vate mem­ber’s bill called the PAIL Aware­ness Act. He will speak about the bill on Sun­day at an event in Stellarton.

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