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As the seasons shift and a chill graces the air, October brings me back to one of the most bittersweet moments of the year: the International Wave of Light. This ceremony is an integral part of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and it holds a sacred space in my heart and in our community.
The Wave of Light is a special ceremony that takes place on October 15th at 7pm local time to honor all angel babies–those lost to pregnancy loss, TFMR, stillbirth, and infant loss. You can participate in a formal ceremony, like our Virtual Wave of Light 2023, or you can participate by silently lighting a candle in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re wondering whether yours or someone you love’s baby “counts,” let me assure you: they do. Whether the loss was early or late, whether it required an agonizing choice, the parents and baby both matter and deserve to be honored if it feels supportive to the parents.
Whether you’ve navigated this heart-wrenching journey yourself or you’re here to offer your support, know that the Wave of Light serves as a beacon for us all, illuminating the love we hold for the babies we’ve lost but will never forget.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- What the Wave of Light truly represents,
- How you can effortlessly participate,
- Why this ceremony is a cornerstone of healing and remembrance,
- And where to find commemorative candles to make the event even more special.
What is the Wave of Light?
The International Wave of Light is more than an event; it’s a sanctuary of collective remembrance and support. It honors babies lost too soon to miscarriage, termination for medical reasons (TFMR), stillbirth, and infant death. It can be an especially supportive events for parents and loved ones grieving their beloved babies.
Originating from President Ronald Reagan’s 1988 proclamation of October as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month,” this ceremony provides a formal space to honor angel babies. Think of it as the poignant closing ceremony of Baby Loss Awareness Week, celebrated every October 15th.
How Do I Participate in the Wave of Light?
Participation is simple and flexible.
Light a candle at 7pm local time and let it burn for an hour.
In these virtual times, you can also share your light on social media using the hashtag #WaveOfLight. The choice is yours, but the collective impact is immense.
Join Our Virtual Wave of Light 2023
Our virtual ceremony will take place on Zoom. Want us to honor your baby by speaking their name aloud? Submit your baby’s name here.
After you submit a name, we’ll send you a Zoom link for the event at 7pm EST on October 15.
Share photos of your candles and tag us using #undefiningmotherhood.
You can also post photos of your own candles and tag us @undefiningmotherhood or using #undefiningmotherhood.
Social Media Templates
We’ve created special graphics for you to use to show your candles and honor your little ones. Add one of these to your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook feeds.
Please tag us in your stories so we can support you.
To add a photo to your Instagram or Facebook stories, consider using one of these graphics. Please tag us in your stories so we can support you.
Why is the Wave of Light so Important?
The Wave of Light is a cornerstone in breaking the silence around miscarriage and infant loss.
It offers a sense of community and reminds us that we’re not alone in our grief. As the wave travels globally, it reinforces the idea that grief is a burden too heavy to carry alone.
Wave of Light Candles
If you’re looking for commemorative candles, here are some of our favorites:
Angel Memorial Candles
Sweet and delicate. It has a light vanilla scent and is made from environmentally-friendly soy wax.
If you’re a family member or a friend of someone who lost a child, you can also have it gift wrapped and sent to your loved one.
Sentimental Keepsake Candles
Not religious or into angels? No problem.
Uses a (secular) Gandhi quotation to perfectly capture how loss parents often feel: “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.”
Want personalization? You have plenty of options, and these personalized candles can be so healing.
Include your child’s name on the candle. We love the quotation included on the candle’s label: “Precious. Loved. Remembered.”
What is your favorite way to celebrate the International Wave of Light?
Other Miscarriage Articles
- Types of miscarriage
- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
- Miscarriage support groups
- Miscarriage books
- Miscarriage ornaments
- Miscarriage memorials
- Missed miscarriage stories
- Katy’s recurrent miscarriage story
- Beth’s ectopic pregnancy story
- Faith’s termination for medical reasons (TFMR)
- Arden’s misoprostol experience
- Katy’s blighted ovum story
Other Loss Stories
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, mom, recurrent miscarriage survivor, & owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and 2 children (Jack & Branham). She believes our society puts too many expectations on women that make womanhood and motherhood restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Romper, Scary Mommy, Love What Matters & more.