In Mexico on November 1, sweets and toys adorn alters in many homes to honour the souls of lost children. In our book, we write about the importance of revitalizing or creating rituals to mark the passages of our long and varied lives.
Today, I will create an alter to my child lost to ectopic pregnancy over 22 years ago. I spent the last 21 years raising my child’s younger brother. Recently, with parenting the latter almost done, I began to feel pangs of loneliness for my first baby. Gone and not forgotten, that child and I can have our special time today.
I know Leigh and I are not alone in having lost our long-planned for, very wanted and much loved first children. Although the statistics vary, it looks like at least 15 % of pregnancies are lost. We needn’t be silent about them or ignore their ongoing role in our lives. Our midlife rituals and conversations may even celebrate them and our experience of them, just as we celebrate others we have lost.