“If it had to happen, I was lucky it happened here.” These are the words of a mother, Anna McCandles, as she reflects on the heartbreaking loss of her dear daughter, Josephine, on this October 15th; Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
As mothers and families worldwide take time to reflect on the losses of those taken too soon, Anna exudes a wisdom and strength earned through hearing the most tragic of words during an ultrasound at BC Women’s Hospital; “I’m so sorry.” Baby Josephine was discovered to have had her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck and later delivered stillborn – and Anna’s life would never be the same again.
While inexplicable grief and heartbreak have marked the days, weeks and three years between then and now, Anna has elected to honour young Josephine’s memory by sharing her experience and counselling others who have shared a similar experience to reach out, receive help, pursue supports and to commemorate the lives of those unlived.
“Reach out, connect, and get support. It is so much harder to heal alone. You’re not crazy to grieve so deeply. It’s a sign of the depth of your love. You will always be the mother of this child, and they will always be a deep part of your life, rather than a traumatic event to ‘get over’ and get back to normal”.