Say Their Names

October 7, 2011

Say Their Names is my way of observing and honoring October 15, which is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.

say their names

The idea for this project was born of an experience I had when attending the annual memorial service at Seattle Children's Hospital this past June. There was a time in the service during which the whole auditorium was silent. Every parent there had the opportunity to speak their child's name in that silence so that others could hear. In the midst of that silence, I got to say out loud: "Ewan Eliezer Petermann." The gesture was simple, but incredibly powerful. It honored the children who had lived and died. It acknowledged the deep love every parent in that room still bears for the child or children they lost.

And it said to every parent in that room: you do not have to be silent about your loss, your grief, or your love.

That, quite simply, is what Say Their Names is all about -- saying out loud the names of the children we have loved and lost too soon. Here are the details:

Who can participate?
Anyone who has lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death is invited to go to the announcement post and in the comments, leave the name of the child they lost. If your child's name is unique or you think I might otherwise have trouble pronouncing it correctly based on the spelling, please feel free to include any tips for pronunciation. It's important to me (and I know it's important to you) that if I say your child's name, that it is said correctly.

Include as much or as little of the name as you choose. It can be the full name, first and middle, initials, a nickname, or any other way you have of referring to that child.

Will you link to my blog?
If you have a blog of your own where you tell the story of your child's life and/or your journey, feel free to include that in the comments section with your child's name as well. When the Say Their Names video is posted on October 15, I will also include in that post a list of all the names spoken aloud in the video. If your blog is included, your child's name will link to your blog so readers can find out more about your story.

What will the video be like?
My intent for the video is for me to be off-camera. I will light a candle in memorial of the children we have lost. I will read each name aloud slowly and deliberately, pausing for several seconds between each name.

Can I let others know this is going on?
You bet! Feel free to share the link to the Say Their Names announcement post or to this page, or to post the badge on your blog (available on the sidebar on the left shortly after the announcement post goes live). Anyone who has lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death is welcome to participate.

When is the deadline for submitting names?'
If you would like your child's name included, please ensure that the name is submitted no later than 3 pm (EST) on Friday, October 14.

What is the link to the announcement post? How about just the video?
Announcement Post:, or for the shortened version:
Why It Matters:

When will the video with my child's name be posted?
My goal is to have the video posted by the morning of October 15, 2011. Once it it posted, I will include a link to the post containing the video and all the children's names on this page.
And here it is!
Say Their Names :: 2011

Other sites about National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day:
I Am the Face
Remembering Our Babies

Something not answered here?
If you have any additional questions about the project that are not answered here, please feel free to e-mail me at kirsten116 [at] gmail [dot] com.