The symbol of stillbirthday is the burning zero candle. The original photo was taken at my son’s funeral, after a doctor called my baby debris, and after a popular babyloss bereavement photography organization told me that my baby was too young for their services.
The burning zero candle represents the heart of a stillbirthday. When our children die, at any age (before birth or after), we do not forget the value of their life. We do not forget that they were and are a part of us. Monumental events, such as their birth date or death date, become significant to us. Oftentimes, long after our loved ones move on and forget, stillbirthday parents quietly observe the anniversaries of these sacred, special, painful days.
Zeroes are placeholders; they hold value. They are intrinsically significant.
Stillbirthday’s Zeroes Count project is a call to invite stillbirthday family and friends to craft art pieces that integrate an image of a zero within the piece - the way this is done is totally up to the artist and the spontaneous inspiration that prompts them.
These art pieces are collected with the goal of piecing them together in a book; a colorful, beautiful, powerful collection of womandalas and mandalas. The funds of this book project will help our Palliative Birth Center project, and the inspiration for this project came from The Invisible Pregnancy, a collection of beautiful challenges for bereaved mothers.
“Mandala” is loosely translated from Sanskrit to mean “circle”, a shape entirely similar to the zero. More than simply a round shape, a mandala represents wholeness, a collection of integrated parts gathered around a central source.
Awareness of the mandala may have the potential of changing how we see ourselves, our planet, and perhaps even our own life purpose. ~Bailey Cunningham, Mandala: Journey to the Center
A mandala is…an integrated structure organized around a unifying center. ~Longchenpa
How to make your womandala / mandala:
If you’d like to create a piece for our Zeroes Count project, your only instruction is to allow yourself to freely create an art piece with two things in mind:
- an intentionally contemplative state on your womanhood, incorporating your motherhood, which may include your pre-conception, pregnancy, birth of your baby, death of your baby, your grief, and your journey to healing, and allowing these feelings to prompt spontaneous, authentic art. For stillbirthday fathers or other loved ones, translate this instruction as appropriate to you.
- a desire to include a circular or zero shape, drawing upon the value of the unifying stillbirthday zero.
You can email your piece directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our share your story link. By sharing your photo with stillbirthday, you agree to release copyright permission to include your photo in our Zeroes Count project art collection.
The jar is a circle.