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Our cause awareness blog provides knowledge and educational information to advocate for cancer, medical, social and psychological illnesses and/or causes. 

Filtering by Tag: loss

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

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Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, also referred to as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is observed annually on October 15, during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.” One annual tradition is a worldwide Wave of Light. People are asked to light a candle at 7 p.m. in their own time zone. If someone in every time zone joins in, there is a wave of candle light for a 24-hour period on this special day.

If you know someone who has experienced the loss of a baby, use this day as a chance to reach out in a simple way to let them know that their child is not forgotten.

It can be hard to know what to say. Just let your friend know you are thinking of them through words or actions. A card, an email, a kind gesture might make a big difference.

So help make today meaningful. Light a candle, say a prayer, kiss your children, be grateful for your life and the lives of those you love. (Content: Molly Hickey Image:

#pregnancyandinfantlossawarenessday #pregnancyandinfantlossremembranceday #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness #pregnancyandinfantloss #misscarriage #stillborn #sids #suddeninfantdeathsyndrome #grief #mourning #lossofachild #love #children #kids #baby

Suicide Prevention Week

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Yesterday marked the first day of Suicide Prevention Week!

There is no single cause of suicide. It most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk of suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives.

Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.

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#suicide  #depressed  #mentalillness #loss  #semicolonproject #prevention #reachout #warningsign  #endstigma #mental  #awareness #bethe1to #veterans #anxiety #trauma #stress #coping

International Widow's Day

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International Widow's Day

Gather round, everyone, it’s time for another edition of the Personalized Cause awareness blog. Today we are going to talk about something that many people don’t realize, particularly if you were born and raised in countries like the United States, Canada, and Western European nations such as France, England, Spain, Italy, and other countries with similar social attitudes. Today is International Widow’s Day. As the name indicates, this is an observance that is dedicated to women who have lost their husbands. Becoming a widow is an unbearable experience for all wives; however, many people don’t know that in many other countries becoming a widow can threaten your safety, social status, income, rights, and ability to care for your children. So, today, we are going to discuss what it is like to become a widow in other places of the world, where you are nothing and have nothing without a husband. While International Widow’s Day is free to be observed in honor of all widows, the day was created in order to call attention to the plight of women who lose their husbands in countries where widows are stigmatized, ostracized, and victimized as part of the culture they live in.

In many other cultures and countries, a woman’s status and value is inseparably tied to their husband. When their husband dies, everything tied to him disappears with it. All that they were when their husband was alive is everything they are not after his death. Many widows are treated as if they are invisible in other countries. In some places, widows are demonized and abused, as if isolation and being cut off from their families and society were not enough. For these women, becoming a widow is not only emotionally painful, but potentially also physically dangerous, and socially disastrous. When I say socially disastrous, I don’t mean that they stop being invited to holiday parties or drop a couple pegs in the social hierarchy. For them, socially disastrous means that they are completely ostracized, sometimes even excommunicated.

In many countries, particularly Africa, widowhood comes with a dangerous stigma. Some cultures believe that if a husband dies, it is the wife’s fault. It is believed that they are cursed or witches. In fact, in some parts of the world, the word for widow can be traces back to a word similar to something like sorceress or witch. They are accused of witchcraft and murder, simply because their husbands passed away and they are women. There are horrific rituals required of widows as a rite of mourning or burial. The rituals vary by country and culture, but these are just a few of the things that widows are forced to do when they lose their husbands. Many of them basically punish the woman for her husband’s death. Some of rituals put the widow’s life at risk, and most are humiliating and demeaning.

In some parts of Africa a widow is forced to have sex with another man. Some indicate that it should be the first man they see; others specify a man that is designated, or the brother’s of the deceased man. If the woman does not, it is believed that harm will come to her children. This act is considered a cleansing ritual. The belief is that this sexual encounter rids the evil spirits that surround death, which the widow has been exposed to in her husband’s passing. When you consider the prevalence of AIDS in countries that hold these beliefs, it is easy to see how this ritual is not only disturbing but also potentially life threatening, if AIDS is contracted.

In some other countries, generally in parts of Africa or India but also in parts of Asia, a widow may be forced to perform other kinds of rituals, too. Some widows have to drink the water used to clean the dead body of their husband. In some places, widows are forbidden from bathing for months on end, with no exceptions. This practice is not only unhygienic, but it may actually cause health problems. Skin diseases often occur as a result, as can issues such as gastroenteritis and typhoid. Some widows are required to sit on a mat, completely naked, and cry and scream at specified times. Some widows are prohibited from feeding themselves and must rely on others to feed them, which often results in malnourishment. Many customs include making the widow appear to be disheveled, raggedy, and unappealing.

Once a woman’s husband dies, she may be refused her inheritance, and her land rights may be stripped from her. Often times, widows are forced out of their homes, physically, mentally, or sexually abused, and sometimes even killed as a result of their husband dying. If the widow hopes to escape the discrimination and exclusion of being a widow, they may have to remarry a male relative of her late husband. Sometimes, a widow may be forced to do this, whether she agrees or not. From culture to culture, one thing remains consistent in the mistreatment of widows, and the social attitudes that encourage the mistreatment, and that is that widows are shamed for the death of their husband. The rituals and rites forced upon widows may vary by region, but all of the women who have lost their husbands in nations who mistreat widows are made to feel ashamed, dishonored, and degraded.

Children of widows also face great hardships. Because their mothers are socially and economically ostracized, many children who just suffered the loss of their father are forced to quit school and find jobs to support the family. Girls are particularly vulnerable in these circumstances because they may be forced to work in prostitution, they may be forced into an early child marriage, they may be trafficked, and they may be sold. Widowed mothers do this not because they want to, but because they cannot take care of them. Sometimes, even though child marriage is disgusting, the child will have a food, water, clothes and shelter if they become a child bride. As horrible as the decision is, it may be the best option and chance for survival. The majority of the time, children are withdrawn from school to go to work immediately. Child labor is sometimes the only source of income in families where the father/husband has died. These children forced into child labor never return to school, and therefore spend the rest of their lives working jobs to get by. The vast majority will never have gainful employment. Often, this means perpetuating a cycle of poverty.

There is such a profound and engrained sense of stigma for widows in some cultures that women who have lost their husbands sometimes commit suicide, rather than be forced to carry on living with the intense shame and dehumanization that comes with life as a widowed woman. A very large percentage of widows suffer from severe anxiety and depression because of the way they are treated and the poverty they are forced to live in. This kind of depression has terrible ramifications on the children, who are grieving themselves. Children of widowed women are forced to grow up in poverty, many times, despite the status they held or the lifestyle they were accustomed to when their father was alive. The loss of the male head of the household is devastating for all immediate members of his family.

I appreciate you taking the time to read about International Widow’s Day. The plight of widows is a little known fact in the western world. In fact, many census reports, statistical analyses, and population data collection fails to represent them accurately because they become invisible in their culture. It’s an issue that needs addressing, and the first step is to spread the word about what goes on. Losing a husband is difficult in any culture, but I can’t even imagine what it must be like to then spend the rest of your life being shamed for your loss. I’d like to wish all widows a day of peace and fond remembrance today. May their memories always make you smile.

If you are a first time reader, let me welcome you to the Personalized Cause awareness blog! Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory brand based in California. Personalized Cause offers all kinds of awareness accessories, such as awareness ribbon pins, fabric awareness ribbons, and silicone wristbands, but we’re famous for our custom awareness ribbons. Custom awareness ribbons are a product unique to our business because we are the only company to offer customers the ability to personalize their awareness ribbon with any text they choose, without any minimum quantity order. If you want to order 20 custom awareness ribbons with all different text, no problem! If you just want to order one custom awareness ribbon, that’s also no problem. Whatever your needs are, we’ve got you covered.

Personalized Cause began this awareness blog earlier this year because we wanted to do our part to help raise awareness for causes and illnesses that our customers fight. We know that many of our customers have to battle ignorance and misunderstanding about their causes and conditions on a daily basis. We wanted to show our customers that we believe in them, and we believe in the power of awareness to change minds, hearts, and attitudes. We have seen first hand how one custom awareness ribbon can impact an entire community of people. We have been inspired to educate ourselves, and our readers, in hopes of creating a more compassionate culture for our customers and others. I hope you’ll join us again next week for another edition of the awareness blog!

Orange awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for Human Rights. To order a custom orange awareness ribbon, visit:

Black and blue awareness ribbons are used to signify the loss of a husband. To order a custom black and blue awareness ribbon, visit:

#internationalwidowsday #widows #loss #death #husband #partner #menshealth #humanrights #grief #grieving #awareness #awarenessblog #awarenessribbons #cancerribons