We held a lantern release Sunday, the evening before Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
I had visions of the evening, of resting my head on my husband’s shoulder and crying as we watched our lantern float to the sky, finishing our week of birthdays and anniversaries with one last send off to our baby girl. I thought it would be sad and overwhelming and an emotional end to a long few weeks.
Instead it was so many things I’m not sure I can put it into words.
It was hovering under awnings and umbrellas with certainty the rain would stop.
It was smiling to the sky when it did just that.
It was collective sighs when lanterns hit the water instead of the sky and running to grab another to try again.
It was a group of people, many who barely knew each other, so determined to get those lanterns to the clouds that we huddled in circles, cupped hands around flames and held backs to the wind.
Instead of silence and tears as lanterns rose there were cheers and laughter and children running to the water’s edge with their eyes to the sky.
If there were every a pep rally for the grieving it was right there, on our little deck over the water.
Grief can leave you feeling alone in the most crowded of places but not on this night.
On this night I felt surrounded and understood and lifted up.
I watched those lanterns float to the sky and thought of all the babies who should be in their mothers arms.
Every time the tears threatened another lantern would rise. The glittered sky gave way to visions of our lost little ones, dancing on clouds glowing with love,
so much love.
Photos courtesy of my wonderful friend and partner on this project, Laura.
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