Families and individuals who have been affected by the loss of a baby are being invited to a remembrance service in Inverness.
The Saying Goodbye service, launched in 2012 by Zoe and Andy Clarke-Coates, will be held at St Andrews Cathedral in Inverness for anyone who may have lost a baby during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.
After seeing there was an “extreme lack of support” made available to parents like them, the couple decided to start these services and more than 145 physical services have been held in six countries – with an additional 15 held online due to Covid-19.
Baby loss affects one in four pregnancies in the UK
Zoe and Andy founded The Mariposa Trust after sadly suffering the loss of five babies.
The trust is now a leading charity that provides support by more than 50,000 people each week through its six divisions.
It helps people affected by baby loss, pregnancy after baby loss, fertility, adoption and more – where baby loss affects around one in four pregnancies each year in the UK, with nearly 700 babies lost each day.
When parents go through the devastating loss of a baby, 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.
They 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.
‘For the first time my tears were allowed, shared and understood’
The services are intended to be uplifting and moving, and are usually filled with music, poems, acts of remembrance.
Those who have attended have said to have found healing and solace by attending.
One of the attendees said 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.”
Three Saying Goodbye services coming up in Scotland. Hope to see you at a service near you ❤️ pic.twitter.com/BzTCyH9IuP
— Team@SG (@SayingGoodbyeUK) August 30, 2021
Co-founder Zoe Clark-Coates said: “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 experience, in remembering all those who have gone too soon, because every baby matters.”
The Inverness service will be held on September 15 at 7.30pm at St Andrews Cathedral.
More information on the charity can be found at www.mariposatrust.org and via www.sayinggoodbye.org
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