Blackpool Remembrance service for babies who died too soon

Megan Murray

WHITE feathers, a sign of purity and peace, are helping parents who have suffered the tragic loss of a baby cope with their grief at Christmas.

The feathers depict angel wings and remind us that however brief, a baby’s life is always cherished.

This year Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is holding its special Baby Remembrance Service on December 8th for parents whose babies were miscarried, born asleep, or lived for only hours, days or weeks.

The memorial will start at 3pm in the Baronial Hall at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and aims to help parents and families feel they are not alone with their grief at Christmas time.

Organiser, Megan Murray, Bereavement Support Nurse at the Trust, said: “We always chose a theme for our special service and this year we are using feathers as a sign of comfort and peace.

“Families often say their babies have become angels and the feathers represent angel wings. In the depths of despair bereaved parents can see a feather and claim it as a symbol of their own.”

Silver Christmas decorations have been provided for all families at the non-religious service with a wooden feather attached that can be personalised with a baby’s name.

SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity, Blackpool Miscarriage group, Aching Arms and 4 Louis will all be in attendance at the service with small keepsakes to share with the families who attend.

The bauble and message can be taken home or put on the remembrance tree at the service.

Christmas trees, donated by Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre councils, will be placed in the baby areas at Carleton, Lytham, Poulton and Fleetwood cemeteries. The tree at the service will be displayed at Carleton Cemetery.

The event will feature music from Blackpool singer, Joanne Donnelly and readings from bereaved parents and hospital staff.

Megan said: “I hope that each year this service plays a small part in helping families cope with their loss and gives them space to remember in a safe and supportive environment.  All members of the family are welcome; parents, siblings or grandparents, the service is for people to remember their loss surrounded by others who understand what they are going through.

“Every year I challenge myself to either equal or better the previous year’s event to enable parents to have a day of remembrance for their baby.”

Chair and befriender at SANDS, Claire Maxwell, said: “This is a lovely way to remember babies gone too soon, especially at this time of year.

Christmas can be quite daunting for bereaved parents and it is important to be with people who know how you are feeling.”

For more information contact Megan on (01253) 956877.

Posted in Home Page, Press Releases.