Do you have to stop identifying yourself as a mom if your child dies? No.
“In 1997 I lost my son to SIDS,” said Alison Jacobson, CEO of New Canaan-based First Candle. “One year I had a baby and was celebrating Mother’s Day and the next year my son was gone.
“Even though I was still a mom, people were hesitant to wish me Happy Mother’s Day because they didn’t want to upset me. Every mom, whether her child is here on earth or in heaven, should be acknowledged on Mother’s Day.”
Begun as the SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Alliance in 1987, the organization changed its name to First Candle in 2002, when it also expanded its mission to include stillbirth and other Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID). First Candle has a simple mission statement: A commitment to eliminate SIDS, SUID and preventable stillbirths through education and research while supporting families who have suffered a loss.
With the help of Lucia Rilling, wife of Norwalk’s Mayor Harry Rilling, First Candle staff and volunteers will install 147 plants – donated by Lowes Home Improvement in Norwalk – on Saturday, May 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Shea-McGrath Memorial & Wall of Remembrance at Calf Pasture Beach.
The number of plants symbolizes the number of babies who will have statistically died over the Mother’s Day weekend from SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths and stillbirth. Every year 27,000 babies die from these causes and SIDS remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age.
The event is open to the public. Those who would like to participate in honor of a mom who has lost a child are welcome to do so.
For more information visit First Candle or call (203) 966-1300.
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