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Remembrance planned for pregnancy and infant loss in Stellarton

Stellarton – 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.

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.

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.

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