On Sunday 17th November at 6.30pm, Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire will hold one of twenty services of remembrance, being held across the UK for families, couples and individuals affected by the loss of a baby, whether that be during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy. The ‘Saying Goodbye’ services launched in 2012, and have since been held in six countries with over 130 services being held to date.
The services are organised by leading support charity, The Mariposa Trust, which provides support that reaches over 50,000 people each week through its 6 divisions, and helps people affected by baby loss, pregnancy after baby loss, fertility, adoption and more.
The charity was founded by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who sadly suffered the loss of five babies. They saw that there was an extreme lack of support available to parents like them, and so decided to start the ‘Saying Goodbye’ services. The Mariposa Trust has become the leading support charity in this field, and this led to Zoe being appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and 10 Downing Street to chair the ‘National Pregnancy Loss Review’, looking at all pre-24-week baby loss in the UK.
Sadly baby loss affects around 1 in 4 pregnancies each year in the UK, with nearly 700 babies lost each day. When parents go through the devastating loss of a baby, whether during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy, they often feel isolated and unable to process the overwhelming grief and trauma that miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and early years loss brings. The services allow people to stand with others who have experienced the similar trauma of baby loss, and collectively acknowledge and remember each life lost.
The services are open to people of faith or no faith,
whether people have
lost recently or decades ago,
and welcome not only parents, but also the extended family
and friends. The services are uplifting and moving events
filled with music,
poems, acts of remembrance and more, and have been
attended by countless thousands of people,
who have found
healing and solace by attending.
One of the many attendees said this about her experience of attending a service: “The Saying Goodbye service gave me the time and space to formally recognise all of my babies and the experience of being with people who just knew how it felt was a real strength. The loss of a baby by miscarriage is never formally recognised by ceremony – no funeral service is held, no date is noted, no names are recorded. As I stood with other parents and proudly rang the bell for my 14 babies, I felt unbearable sadness but also a great privilege in being able to properly celebrate their existence. For the first time ever I felt my tears of grief, loss and love were allowed, shared and understood.”
Zoe Clark-Coates commented “We invite anyone who has gone through or been affected by baby loss, to join us for this special event. Come and join with others who have been through a similar expereince, in remembering all those who have gone too soon, because every baby matters!”
More information on the charity can be found at www.mariposatrust.org and via www.sayinggoodbye.org. The charity has multiple social media pages, and can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sayinggoodbyeuk and on Twitter @SayingGoodbyeUK. The charity can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org