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Wave of Light Remembers Northeast Ohio Babies Lost Through Miscarriage and Infant Death

Candle honoring infant in prior wave of light ceremony
Cheryl Martin
During the annual Wave of Light ceremony, a candle is lit for each pregnancy and infant lost.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and despite restrictions brought upon by the pandemic, parents in Northeast Ohio who have experienced a miscarriage will still be able to honor their lost loved ones.

Babies in Northeast Ohio who have died before the age of one will be honored in a ceremony this week known as the Wave of Light.

Parents who have experienced miscarriage or lost an infant provide the names of their children to First Year Cleveland, who will announce the names of those lost and light a candle in their memory in an online ceremony taking place Oct. 15.

Parents will be able to join by lighting their own candles at home.

Sam Pierce, a lead family advocate on First Year Cleveland’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Committee, says that it is important for parents to share their loss with families who have traveled the same road.

Pierce: "We heal better when we're together."
Wave of Light 1

“We bury our head in the sand. You know what I mean? And we think that we’re all by ourselves when we’re not, and we heal better when we’re together,” she said.

Each year the ceremony takes place Oct. 15 with the lighting at 7 p.m. in each time zone throughout the world. That creates a wave of light for 24 hours.

Pierce, who has lost three babies, says that parents suffer when well-meaning friends do not acknowledge their loss.

Pierce: "I need you to say my baby's name."

“Honestly, I need you to say my baby’s name. I need you to talk about them because if you sweep them under the rug, you act like my baby was never here and that’s more painful than never saying their name,” she said.

Pierce assures parents that they will heal. She encourages grieving parents to connect with other families by visiting the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Committee’s website.

Kelly Murphy Woodward, a regional Emmy Award-winning producer, loves to tell a good story and has been privileged to do that for more than 20 years, working in public television and radio, commercial news and running her own production business. She is passionate about producing quality programming for Northeast Ohio.
Connor Steffen is a junior at Kent State studying journalism. Connor is a member of TV2 News, Kent State's student-run television station, where he serves as the executive producer for all news operations. He also anchors, reports and produces for the station. After graduation, Connor hopes to work as a reporter at a local news station.